In the last two years I have read more than 200 articles and blog posts on the importance of sales and marketing alignment. Despite the importance of this alignment, a recent report from marketing firm Marketing Sherpa showed that 50 percent of survey respondents say it is a significant challenge.

You will often hear salespeople complain about the quality and quantity of marketing leads, while marketing teams accuse the sales department of not selling effectively. If this process of aligning sales and marketing is so important, why is it so difficult for most firms to figure out?

The report identifies one of the primary causes of sales and marketing misalignment stems from incompatible goals. Establishing common goals and objectives is one important step toward improved coordination between sales and marketing departments.

Here are three steps to better sales and marketing coordination:

  1. Performance must be measured using metrics agreed to by both departments.
  2. The two departments must meet frequently and regularly to discuss progress toward mutual goals.
  3. Last, and probably most important, company leaders must make sales and marketing alignment a priority.

With the right approach, sales and marketing can declare a truce and work together for the greater good of both.

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Dan Hudson is the co-founder and president of 3forward and has a B2B sales and sales leadership background of more than 30 years. He can be reached at dan.hudson@3forward.com.