The Impact of RevOps on Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Guide

Over a third (35%) of marketers see Sales and Marketing alignment as their number one challenge to tackle, according to HubSpot.

And it’s not surprising. The same report reveals that businesses with closely aligned Sales and Marketing teams typically see 27% faster profit growth and 36% higher customer retention.

We understand how critical it is to align your Sales and Marketing teams for sustained business growth. Despite their shared goal of driving revenue, these teams often operate in silos, which leads to communication gaps, inconsistent data, and missed opportunities. 

Enter Revenue Operations (RevOps) – a strategic approach to bring together sales, marketing, and customer success teams. In this guide, we explore how RevOps can bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing, transforming the relationship from cmisalignment into a powerful, cohesive force that propels your business forward.

Understanding Sales and Marketing misalignment

Recognising that there is a problem and then taking the time to understand it means you’re over halfway to solving it. So let’s get stuck in. Why are your Sales and Marketing teams misaligned? Here are four of the reasons we come across most frequently:

1. Different goals and KPIs

One of the main reasons that Sales and Marketing teams are not on the same page is the different goals and KPIs they are set to work towards. This is a natural result of their function in your business, and the day-to-day tasks they must carry out, but bringing awareness to this is an important first step towards alignment around overall business growth.

Let’s look at some of the goals and KPIs typically associated with Sales:

  1. Revenue Generation: Close deals and generate revenue for the company.
  2. Quota Achievement: A specific sales quota for the salesperson or sales team to meet within a set period.
  3. Customer Acquisition: Acquire new customers and increase the customer base.
  4. Customer Retention: Ensure existing customers are happy and continue to purchase from the company. (This calls for collaboration with the Customer Success team since it is in their remit).

KPIs:

  • Sales Revenue: Total revenue generated from closed deals.
  • Sales Growth: Percentage increase in sales over a specific period.
  • Conversion Rate: Percentage of leads converted into actual sales.
  • Average Deal Size: Average value of each sale closed.
  • Sales Cycle Length: Average time taken to close a deal from first contact to final sale.
  • Win Rate: Percentage of deals won out of the total number of deals pursued.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Predicted revenue that a customer will generate during their relationship with the company.

When we then look at Marketing’s targets, it is easy to see how the two teams or functions may feel that they are on different paths:

  1. Lead Generation: Attract and generate leads to pass on to the sales team.
  2. Brand Awareness: Grow the visibility and recognition of the company’s brand.
  3. Customer Engagement: Engage potential and existing customers through marketing activity.
  4. Market Penetration: Help the company grow in existing and new markets.

KPIs:

  • Lead Volume: Number of leads generated over a specific period.
  • Lead Quality: Percentage of leads that are high-quality or sales-qualified, based on meeting agreed criteria
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): Leads that have been deemed likely to become customers based on agreed criteria.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Total cost of acquiring a new customer, including Marketing and Sales expenses.
  • Website Traffic: Number of visitors to the company’s website.
  • Engagement Metrics: Metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), social media engagement, and email open rates.
  • Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI): Revenue generated from marketing activity divided by the cost of that activity.
  • Brand Sentiment: Measurement of how the brand is perceived by the audience, often assessed through surveys and social media analysis.

A common problem is that once Marketing have delivered their leads to Sales, they feel that their part is over, and it is out of their hands what happens next. 

On the other hand, Sales may regard Marketing’s results as mere vanity metrics. What does it matter if the number of people visiting the company website has increased by 50% year on year if the number of people actually becoming customers remains the same, or even goes down?

These are just two examples of the next major reason for Sales and Marketing misalignment: miscommunication.

2. Communication Gaps

If your business isn’t encouraging your teams to talk to one another, miscommunication and misalignment are the natural result. When we hear a Marketing team deriding Sales performance or a Sales department that only uses lead data it has sourced itself because Marketing’s leads are rubbish (to put it politely), we can be pretty sure that the people on those teams rarely get in a room or even on a call together.

This is siloed working. Infrequent meetings between departments, a sales strategy that is created independently of the marketing strategy (and vice versa), cross-department emails deprioritised and not followed up. The rise in remote or hybrid working, while positive in many ways, can also make it harder for your teams to get together. In the past they may have been on different floors, now they could be in different countries.

But what about when they do get together? If the data and reports they access don’t marry up, you can expect each meeting to kick off with an argument.

3. Data and Reporting Issues

Sales and Marketing teams often use different data sources and reporting tools – after all, they have different goals and KPIs – but this makes it almost impossible for them to have a unified view of performance metrics and customer insights​ (Keep Upgrading)​.

You may also find that Sales and Marketing lack a shared vocabulary, one of the fundamentals of team alignment. When Marketing defines a lead, prospect or opportunity in a different way to Sales, sharing reports only causes confusion.

4. Process and Technology Gaps

Disjointed Processes

If Sales and Marketing develop their processes for lead generation, scoring, nurturing and so on separately, this creates gaps and inefficiencies in your customer journeys​ (Sprout Social)​.

A classic example we see is when Marketing has a Nurture process whereby each new lead receives ongoing marketing emails. However, Sales is oblivious to this process and has been told to be more ‘on it’ with new leads so they start emailing and calling them twice a week. The result? Leads that go rapidly from potential customer to potential brand attacker.

Siloed Technology

When your Sales and Marketing teams don’t share the same tools and platforms, it makes collaboration far harder than it needs to be. Day to day they lack oversight of what is and isn’t working across both functions. It can be catastrophic if they don’t use the same CRM, as leads may be contacted when they shouldn’t be, or treated as opportunities when they are actually customers, for example.

These are four key causes of Sales and Marketing misalignment. If they resonate with you, let’s look at the impact they could be having on your business. 

The Impact of Sales and Marketing Misalignment on Your Business

1. Inefficient use of resources

When Sales and Marketing fail to communicate, you’re more likely to find overlap and doubling up. For example:

  • The Sales team sourcing its own leads instead of prioritising MQLs provided by Marketing
  • Different tools and platforms that do the same or a similar job purchased by each team, increasing the overall price tag and requiring more time and resource to look at each separately rather than one together
  • Separate reporting on similar metrics – time and resource wasted trying to reconcile reports and debate which is the source of truth

2. Missed revenue opportunities

Without regular Sales and Marketing meetings and shared dashboards for reporting on lead and revenue metrics, it’s easy for fantastic opportunities to slip under the radar.

Who is going to ask what happened to that exciting lead that came in a week ago? To notice that only one call has been recorded in the CRM, and it went to voicemail. Or to check whether the lead currently in a deal stage has been receiving marketing emails about the benefits of the tempting new feature that just came out?

Meetings and shared dashboards bring shared visibility and accountability.

3. Lower customer satisfaction and retention

Sales and Marketing speaking over each other, or not speaking at all, is not a good look for customers. On Monday your customer receives a marketing email about a new offer. On Tuesday they speak to the salesperson who knows nothing about it and is fairly confident they aren’t eligible. Soon you have a bunch of unhappy camper customers who are pulling up their tent pegs and heading for home.

No business wants or needs to be dealing with these problems. So where does RevOps come in? We’ll start by looking at its core principles.

The core principles of RevOps

As we noted in our introduction, RevOps is a holistic approach that aligns sales, marketing, and customer success to drive efficiency and growth. Here are the core principles.

  1. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Using data to guide strategies and decisions.
  2. Integrated Technology Stack: Ensuring all teams use the same tools, or tools that work well together
  3. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Encouraging teamwork across departments or functions.
  4. Continuous Improvement: Regularly revisiting and refining processes for optimal performance.

How to use RevOps to align your Sales and Marketing teams

By this point, you’ve probably put 2 and 2 together and worked out what you need to do next to make RevOps work for your business. But we thought it would be useful to create a checklist to address the points one by one:

Create a Shared Strategy, Goals and KPIs:

1. Get Sales and Marketing input on the business strategy

Make sure both your Sales and Marketing teams input into your overarching business strategy and develop a shared Sales and Marketing strategy before developing more detailed individual strategies for each function to implement.

2. Set shared objectives for Sales and Marketing

You can (and should) still set targets for website visits, or the number of leads called in a week, but as part of your Sales and Marketing Strategy, agree some overarching objectives that Sales and Marketing are targeted on together. These are likely to include:

  • Revenue Growth – How both teams contribute to the overall revenue growth of the business
  • Customer Acquisition – Work together to acquire new customers
  • Customer Retention – Collaborate to retain existing customers with a seamless customer experience (marketing, sales, customer success) and continuous engagement
  • Lead Generation and Conversion – Generate high-quality leads and convert them into paying customers – clearly a cross-team activity!
  • Market Penetration – Share Marketing and Sales insights into existing and target markets to create a joint plan for reaching more people

3. Create joint metrics tracked in real time in shared dashboards

Set up dashboards that both teams can access (see the importance of Integrated Technology, below) displaying metrics which demonstrate the impact of Sales and Marketing collaboration on the success of the business.

These metrics could include:

Revenue Metrics

  • Total Revenue generated from combined efforts.
  • Revenue Growth Rate: the percentage increase in revenue over specific periods.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement Rates: Measure interaction metrics such as

  • Open and click through rates (CTR) on emails
  • Social media engagement (reactions, shares, comments)
  • Website sessions, time on site and bounce rate
  • Any other interaction relevant to conversion to customer

Customer Metrics

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): the cost of acquiring a new customer, combining Marketing and Sales expenses
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): the predicted revenue a customer will generate over their relationship with the company
  • Customer Retention Rate: the percentage of customers who continue to do business with the company over time

Sales Cycle Metrics

  • Sales Cycle Length: the average time it takes to convert a lead into a paying customer.
  • Win Rate: the percentage of deals won out of the total number of deals pursued​, in particular those that originated from an MQL (rather than Sales-sourced data)

Lead Metrics

  • Lead Volume: the number of leads generated within a specific period.
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): the leads that have engaged with marketing activity sufficiently to be judged as good contenders for conversion into customers. This should be based on criteria​ which inform a lead scoring system that both Marketing and Sales are happy with, and which can be adjusted based on feedback from either team
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs): the number of leads that the Sales team have had at least initial communication with and judge to be worth pursuing
  • Lead Conversion Rate: the percentage of MQLs that become SQLs and eventually convert into customers

ROI Metrics

  • Return on Investment (ROI): Assess the revenue generated from Marketing and Sales efforts relative to the cost of those efforts​ (Sprout Social)​.
  • Campaign Performance: Analyze the performance of specific marketing campaigns in generating leads and revenue​ – getting feedback from Sales on campaigns is vital for future campaign development (Keep Upgrading)​.

Share or Integrate All Technology Across Both Teams

We get it. Some tech may be specific to one function, or has been in the business so long (and with so much investment) that there’s no way they’ll get rid of it any time soon. But at least find a way to integrate it. If all else fails, Zap it. It’s going to be hard to create those shared dashboards we mentioned earlier without this cross-tech, cross-platform visibility.

See Sales & Marketing as a shared function, and as such:

  • Use unified CRM and marketing automation systems. This is where a platform such as HubSpot can bring Sales and Marketing together, with its CRM, easy-to-create dashboards, sales sequences and email marketing product
  • Make sure data is consistent and accessible by both teams (if possible, by the whole business). The fewer platforms you’re using, the easier this becomes. It also supports end-to-end tracking of the customer journey, so you can see what’s working, and where you need to make improvements.

Develop Standardised Processes

Agreeing standardised processes takes a lot of stress out of Sales and Marketing communications. If you all know what you’re doing and when to do it, you’ll have far fewer arguments down the line. 

When it comes to the monthly Sales and Marketing review, deciding which processes to remove or improve is much less loaded than praising or criticising each individual’s personal approach.

Standardised processes could include:

  • Lead qualification and scoring
  • When and how to hand over leads from Marketing to Sales, or hand back (for example, a not right now that needs more marketing nurture)
  • Planning content creation to align with sales feedback and needs
  • A joint Sales and Marketing kick-off meeting before work begins on a new campaign
  • The timing of Sales and Marketing emails – when should Sales sequences start? When should Marketing nurture stop? Or can they both go out, after agreeing the timing, to complement each other?

Improve Communication and Collaboration

When it comes down to it, all the recommendations around shared technology, shared targets, shared platforms are about this point: improving communication. Better communication leads to better collaboration, which leads to better results for your people and your business.

However, there are a couple of basic activities you’ll need to commit to so that it all comes together:

  • Set up (and stick to) regular cross-department meetings – ideally in person now and again but definitely by Zoom, Google Meet, Teams or your video conferencing of choice when that’s not possible
  • Establish clear communication channels and collaboration platforms, such as Slack or a task management tool that has instant messaging built into it.
  • Make sure people use the communication channel you’ve agreed upon. If they keep slipping off onto long email threads, bring them back, for example: “I’ll copy this onto [INSERT NAME OF COMMS PLATFORM] so we can carry on the discussion there.”

Benefits of Aligning Sales and Marketing through RevOps

The benefits of making this effort will already be evident but to underline everything said so far, when you take a RevOps approach you can expect to see considerable business growth. Companies who achieve strong Sales and Marketing alignment, supported by RevOps, experience:

Better Lead Quality and Conversion Rates:

Lead conversion rates are up to 67% better in businesses where Sales and Marketing work closely together​ (Sprout Social)​. This is the result of improved lead scoring, nurturing and handover practices.

Greater Revenue and Growth:

Organisations with well-aligned Sales and Marketing teams typically see 39% higher revenue growth compared to those with poor alignment​ (Sopro)​​.

Enhanced Customer Experience:

Consistent messaging and seamless transitions between Sales and Marketing contribute to a 36% higher customer retention rate, which leads to long-term business success​ (Sopro)​.

Higher Team Efficiency and Morale:

With more communication, shared targets, strategy and platforms, and standard processes comes greater understanding of Sales and Marketing’s respective roles and value, reducing friction and supporting collaboration and wellbeing.

Real-world examples and case studies of RevOps in action

RevOps Example 1: HubSpot

Initial Challenges

HubSpot, a leading provider of inbound Marketing and Sales software, was seeing misalignment between their Sales and Marketing teams. This included inconsistent data reporting, communication gaps, and a lack of shared goals.

RevOps Implementation

HubSpot implemented a RevOps strategy by:

  • Setting up a RevOps team that bridged sales, marketing, and customer success.
  • Creating shared dashboards and KPIs so all teams were aligned and working towards common goals.
  • Integrating their CRM and marketing automation tools to provide a single source of truth for customer data.

Results

  • Improved lead quality and a 20% increase in lead conversion rates.
  • Better collaboration between Sales and Marketing, resulting in a more efficient sales process.
  • A significant boost in customer satisfaction and retention thanks to more consistent and personalised interactions.

RevOps Example 2: Salesforce

Initial Challenges

Salesforce, a global leader in CRM solutions, struggled with siloed teams and disparate data systems, which led to inefficiencies and missed revenue opportunities.

RevOps Implementation

Salesforce adopted a RevOps approach by:

  • Creating a centralised RevOps function to oversee and optimise processes across sales, marketing, and customer success.
  • Implementing a comprehensive data integration strategy to make sure all teams had access to consistent and accurate data.
  • Standardising processes such as lead scoring, handoff procedures, and performance reporting.

Results

  • A 15% increase in revenue, the product of improved alignment and more effective cross-functional collaboration.
  • Shorter sales cycles and higher close rates, driven by better lead management and nurturing practices.
  • Greater team efficiency and morale, with clearer roles and responsibilities and reduced friction between departments.

Example 3: Adobe

Initial Challenges

Adobe, a multinational software company, faced challenges with aligning their Sales and Marketing efforts, leading to inconsistent customer experiences and lower than expected revenue growth.

RevOps Implementation

Adobe’s RevOps strategy included:

  • Integrating their Sales and Marketing technologies to provide a seamless flow of data and insights.
  • Aligning their Sales and Marketing teams around shared goals and KPIs, tracked through a unified dashboard.
  • Enhancing communication and collaboration through regular cross-functional meetings and integrated project management tools.

Results

  • A 25% improvement in the success of their marketing campaigns, the result of more targeted and data-driven strategies.
  • Increased sales efficiency and higher conversion rates, due to better-qualified leads and streamlined processes.
  • Greater customer satisfaction, with more consistent and personalised Marketing and Sales interactions.

These real-world examples show the transformative power of RevOps in aligning Sales and Marketing teams. By breaking down silos, integrating technologies, and fostering cross-functional collaboration, companies can achieve significant improvements in efficiency, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction.

5 Steps to Implement RevOps for Sales and Marketing Alignment

So, you’ve decided a RevOps strategy is the way forward. How do you get started in five simple steps?

1. Assess Current State

Conduct a gap analysis of existing processes and tools. What is and isn’t working right now? Use different methods to carry out this assessment – these could include:

  • moderated meetings with both teams (if the teams are too big, try to invite a cross-section of both, from most junior to most senior)
  • surveys (offer an incentive!)
  • review of the data or results in current platforms and tech to discover where there are discrepancies

2. Define Common Goals and Metrics

Set joint KPIs for Sales and Marketing in line with overall business objectives.

3. Choose the Right Technology

Find tools that both teams can share, or that integrate with each other, that support RevOps principles. Clear visibility of activity by both teams is key, as is overall ease of use (hint: otherwise people won’t use them and you’ll be back where you started).

4. Foster a Collaborative Culture

Encourage cross-functional teamwork and regular communication, both face-to-face (in person or via video conference) and by email or a messaging platform.

5. Monitor and Optimise

Continuously track performance in dashboards that both teams can view and comment on, and make data-driven adjustments.

Conclusion

RevOps is more than a strategy; it’s a paradigm shift that aligns Sales and Marketing, leading to greater efficiency, revenue, and customer satisfaction. At We Are All Connected, we’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours implement effective RevOps strategies. By bridging the gap between Sales and Marketing, you can transform your teams into a unified, powerful force that drives business success.

Further reading

Here are some valuable resources for further reading on Revenue Operations (RevOps), including real-world case studies and insights from leading companies:

1. HubSpot Case Studies

  • Ving: This company increased its revenue by 96% using HubSpot by integrating sales, marketing, and service data into one platform, which streamlined operations and improved customer retention​ (HubSpot).
  • Travellers Autobarn: Doubled its sales revenue with HubSpot by enhancing lead management and boosting sales​ (HubSpot)​.
  • KeepCup: Unified operations and boosted collaboration, achieving greater transparency and improved conversion rates with HubSpot​ (HubSpot).

2. Square 2 Marketing

  • Provides a comprehensive look into how RevOps can be implemented using HubSpot, focusing on services like data migration, system optimisation, and ongoing support to drive revenue growth and improve operational efficiency​ (Square2)​.

3. New Breed Revenue

These resources offer practical examples and insights into how RevOps can transform business operations, streamline processes, and significantly boost revenue. For more in-depth information, you can explore the case studies and methodologies provided by these companies.


As a marketing agency specialising in Revenue Operations we help businesses align their sales, marketing, and customer success teams to achieve sustainable growth. For more information, explore our website or contact us.