15 Ways To Break Down Silos Between Sales And Marketing
Sales & Marketing

15 Ways To Break Down Silos Between Sales And Marketing

Sales teams depend on their marketing peers to handle branding to gain exposure for the business and generate leads. For the sales team to be able to convert these leads into sales, open and clear communication between the departments is essential. The best marketing efforts, of course, always start with a partnership between the two teams to ensure that their strategies complement each other.

While marketing and sales are natural partners, within agencies, these teams are often siloed, and the lack of collaboration between them can be detrimental not only to their own performance but also to the company’s bottom line. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council explore how agencies can bridge the gap between their marketing and sales teams and benefit from a more integrated approach.

1. Focus On Shared Goals

Focus on how sales and marketing jointly contribute to growth and depend on one another for success. Use technology and data to create shared reporting. Marketing needs the right tech, data and insights to support a great customer journey and deliver engaged prospects. Sales must commit to acting on those prospects and share insights to support mutual success. Shared goals will elevate the relationship—and the business. – Rhoan Morgan, DemandLab

2. Empower Knowledge Sharing

Build a helpful culture where each team feels empowered to share knowledge and insight. Using a shared technology closes that gap significantly, but only if each team uses the technology effectively. A continuous feedback loop goes a long way. – Jonathan Franchell, Ironpaper

3. Consider Job Swaps

As part of internal training, get each team to walk in the shoes of the other team for a day or two. Once they both have a greater understanding of how the other function operates and the challenges they face, synergy will follow, and those gaps will be bridged. – Jules Herd, Five in a Boat

4. View Sales As PR’s Client

In the world of B2B public relations, it is often the case that the brief is fundamentally about making it easier to sell. Sales teams are the client. We never take a brief unless we have spoken to those in sales, and we always make a point of sharing coverage with the sales teams. We also monitor the way that coverage has helped with business development, adjusting our activity to be of most value. That helps. – Richard Cook, Champion Communications Ltd.


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5. Learn The ‘Love Language’ Of Sales

Marketers must learn to speak their sales team’s “love language”: leads. How are your marketing efforts contributing to their sales funnel? Whether you’re driving traffic back to the company website through earned media placements or running paid ads on social media, you need to communicate to your sales team how your work is contributing to the overall sales process for a healthy, happy relationship. – Heather Kelly, Next PR

6. Map Out All Target Audiences

Hold an off-site session with a facilitator to help you map out all of your targeted audiences. Include current customers and prospects, the key messages you want to communicate to those audiences and the methods you all have at your disposal to communicate with those audiences. Salespeople can meet face-to-face with customers and prospects, and marketing people can create emails and social posts. – Nancy Marshall, Marshall Communications

7. Tailor Internal User Journeys To User Personas

Just as with external communication strategies, internal user journeys and pathways must be tailored to user personas. The business development department can be viewed as an internal client of the marketing department and can be handled as such. Through fun, user-centered exercises, messages and meaning can be developed to work both ways and hit both teams’ objectives. – Goran Paun, ArtVersion

8. Ensure The Heads Of Both Departments Are Aligned

One mistake we see companies make is where the sales team does not understand or respect the function of marketing and treats marketing staff like their “personal assistants.” It’s critical to ensure that the CMO and head of sales are aligned and have a strategy in place so that the marketing and sales team are collaborating regularly and effectively. There also needs to be some mutual respect. – Azadeh Williams, AZK Media

9. Have Both Teams In Constant Communication

Be sure to have both teams in constant communication. Feed all PR placements to your marketing teams so that they can best use that material in sales outreach, media kits and digital marketing. Sales and marketing should work hand in hand, and brainstorming together is essential for both departments. You need your campaigns to be cohesive and sustainable. – Jessica Kopach, The JKO Agency

10. Focus On Solving Customer Problems Together

You need to focus on building team cohesion and solving customer problems together. Joint development of client promotion—where the marketing team actively asks questions, and the sales team (understanding the importance of marketing efforts) passes along all the necessary information—is essential. Everything rests on the development and establishment of internal processes. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

11. Have Teams Discuss Consistent Friction Points

Sales teams need to be reporting how many marketing qualified leads are converting into sales qualified leads. Along with this, sales must communicate with the marketing team on the greatest consistent friction points they are running into. Marketing messaging is key to streamlining the sales process, but without this open communication, the two cannot work in harmony. – Bernard May, National Positions

12. Develop Interdepartmental Training

Marketing, sales and operations must all work together to support the overall picture. We provide sales and ops training to clients and client teams, and my teams participate in all training sessions. I have a series of workshops and manuals, too, to give all team members a deep understanding of the processes involved at every stage of the funnel—from discovery to retention and referral. – Vix Reitano, Agency 6B

13. Define Common Terms To Create A Universal Language

One of the ways to bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams is to create a universal language by defining common terms and definitions. This will help both teams work in tandem. Through the efforts of the marketing team, the sales team should know exactly what leads are looking for when they contact the business, as this helps them plan their next step in the sales process. – Ajay Prasad, GMR Web Team

14. Foster Mutual Respect, Understanding And Trust

Mutual respect, understanding and trust are essential for any healthy team. Make sure your teams understand their mutual goals and their individual goals so that they can see how connected they are. Help foster a culture of generosity and empowerment between the teams. Once everyone trusts and respects each other, the teams can actually begin to collaborate in healthy and productive ways. – Jason Wilson, Strategy, LLC

15. Have Marketing Sit In On Sales Calls

Having your marketing team sit in on sales calls provides the link you need between the two silos. Your marketing team will better understand the prospect and how your sales representative is presenting your brand, products and services. Simultaneously, your sales representative will communicate the needs of customers and whether your marketing efforts are helping them to communicate about your products. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2022/08/26/15-ways-to-break-down-silos-between-sales-and-marketing/