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How to Align Sales and Marketing, with Jeff Davis [Episode 618]

Jeff Davis, sales and marketing alignment expert, joins me on this episode.


  • Jeff says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is engagement — how to get through the noise to have a compelling and informative conversation with prospects that gets them to want to talk with you.
  • The subject line of an unopened email can still drive business through awareness. Reps need to prioritize sales activities between calling and emailing to ensure the most effective use of their time.
  • One outreach method doesn’t work for each situation. Jeff discusses understanding the buyer. Each person responds uniquely and should be approached differently.
  • How do you scale from talking to individuals to accelerating growth?
  • Aligning sales and marketing involves implementing business intelligence you have captured. Sales and marketing need to share their information over the fence, iterate, and change to improve performance.
  • Jeff started the Sales + Marketing Alignment Summit to bridge gaps between the sales and marketing leaders. He wanted to create a space where sales and marketing leaders could share challenges as a unified group.
  • There are no two more interdependent groups within an organization than sales and marketing. The work they do independently can be leveraged meaningfully for the other group. Some reps do not understand marketing.
  • The CEO has to be on board for sales and marketing to align. It is not a tech problem but a people issue. In order to close the rift between sales and marketing, the CEO has to lead the way forward with a clear vision message.
  • To get the CEO on board, the VP of Sales and the CMO need to work together to drive revenue and produce the business case to inform the CEO of the merits of alignment and the lost revenue from misalignment.
  • The CEO must consider costs to achieve alignment against lost revenue from misalignment. There may be costs to update platforms between groups.
  • For a major long-term initiative in an organization, you need the CEO to be the sponsor of sales and marketing alignment as it involves the full organization. In the absence of CEO sponsorship use short-term efforts.
  • Keeping sales and marketing as separate silos is a barrier to empathy and understanding. Rethink the organization in terms of acquisition, retention, and branding. Look at the individual roles and how they overlap.