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How to Integrate Sales and Marketing for More Revenue

By tying sales and marketing processes, workflows and KPIs together, you can generate more revenue, retain more customers and get higher win rates.

Special Note: This article is based on the chapter “Sales and Marketing Integration Made Simple” Lisa wrote for the book Sales Fusion: Design Your Modern Sales Strategy, available now on Amazon.

FAQs about Sales and Marketing Integration

Ideally, the content created by marketing generates leads, then sales converts those leads into customers. But the two teams often work at cross purposes and blame each other for poor results.

The integration of sales and marketing can generate more revenue, retain more customers and achieve higher win rates.

What is SMI?

It’s my way of referring to sales and marketing integration (SMI) and eliminating the word “smarketing,” which places a higher weight on marketing than sales. SMI involves identifying the differences between the functions and developing more productive strategies and processes with those differences in mind.

By combining processes, workflows and KPIs, the struggle between functions dissipates—sales no longer complains about the quality of leads marketing produces; marketing no longer complains about sales not working the funnel—and the organization reaps the benefits. You gain sales and marketing alignment.

How do I get started?

First, appreciate the differences between sales and marketing. Here’s a breakdown I’ve used:


  • One-to-one
  • Business becomes real, stories come to life
  • Relationship-driven
  • Looks after the individual
  • Present
  • Transactional conversations
  • Push
  • Works with individuals and ambiguity


  • One-to-many
  • Tells stories
  • Looks after brand’s reputation
  • Keeps stories circulating & resonating with target
  • Future
  • Market focused conversations
  • Pull
  • Works with target groups and averages

Both are vital functions that power growth, but most small businesses don’t see real results from marketing because the lines between the two functions become blurred when the same staff is responsible for both outcomes.

Come to a common definition of “conversion.” Some define conversion as the transition of a cold contact to a warm lead. EMI defines conversation as moving a key contact to the next step in the process. Whatever your definition, everyone involved in the sales, business development and marketing functions of your business must use the same one.

What are the most important steps to begin integration?

Start with evaluating your current efforts. Even if you have documented in the past, it’s a great time to review and refresh the following:

  1. Client or customer profile:Do a deep dive into what type of client is the best for your business and why. Be sure to document the profile and gain buy-in from every client-facing position within your organization, not just those involved in sales & marketing. Without clarity, lead generation and prospecting are not targeted, growing client relationships is random, and marketing is too general to influence or impact your ideal client.
  2. Sales process:What are the steps and stages, what does it take to say yes, how do you qualify/disqualify, what data do you currently measure?
  3. Marketing process:What are the current goals & priorities, what are your key functions and tactics, what data do you currently measure?
  4. Client or customer onboarding process:What are the steps, who is involved, what are the touchpoints and timeline?
  5. Client journey:Once onboarding is complete, how do you provide service, stay in touch, ensure satisfaction, identify other services or products they may need? Is there a lifecycle?

You want to vet issues, concerns and even complaints at this stage. If you don’t hear sales constructively criticizing marketing or marketing perplexed about sales tactics, then you’re not doing it right.

How do I develop an integration strategy?

Devise a combined strategy to seamlessly transport the client/customer through the entire buying cycle–from awareness to finalizing the sale–and throughout the client journey.

In this step, think about what ultimately needs to happen, not which team will do what. Once the strategy is set, consider functional areas as you determine the best actions or tactics needed to achieve the goals and objectives you set.

Focus on the 97% not currently ready to buy. Knowing you’re probably not going to get the sale today,

  • how do you start a relationship with them, then
  • how do you keep them in the relationship loop, so when they are ready to buy, they think about you and your organization?

What comes after I have a strategy written down?

Once you’ve set a strategy, create a working plan that combines functions, with clear tactics for each goal assigned to specific personnel.

Review the combined plan every month or quarter, celebrating successes and revising the plan as needed. Discuss challenges, explore opportunities and collaborate on solutions.

Does anyone besides sales and marketing need to be involved?

Everyone in the organization has a voice in the marketplace. Communicate efforts, initiatives, successes, challenges, goals and targets throughout your organization frequently.

When teams are pulled together, aware and involved, better-than-expected results are generated.

What if I don’t have the time or staff to do all this?

Our team can help. We plug into existing efforts and resources to fill the gaps, and have depth in our capabilities to handle both strategy and execution. Schedule a time to talk about your business’s growth goals.