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How to Align Sales and Marketing for Success

Quartz Editorial Team

Quartz Editorial Team

Overcoming a Cats & Dogs Mentality Achieving Success through Marketing & Sales Alignment

With Sales and Marketing teams gunning for the same goals, why can’t they all just get along? 

The answer can be complex, but Lamar Johnson understands how to achieve success through marketing and sales alignment. 

He leads a team of 8 marketers who work in close collaboration with a 57-member sales team. Johnson is VP of Sponsorship Marketing at National Public Media, the sales and marketing branch of National Public Radio. Through their combined efforts, they generate the majority of funding for NPR’s hit show, All Things Considered, in addition to leading podcasts, and more.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

“What I like to share with our sales and other teams within our organization, particularly at times when perhaps they may be burnt out or frustrated…is that they should keep their eyes focused on the ultimate prize of keeping and growing and driving a more informed American public,” Johnson said. 

In a recent Quart Network presentation, he explains, “sales and marketing teams have often merely coexisted. This uneasy relationship (or lack thereof) has been fraught with misalignment, conflict, or never-ending tension, as opposed to operating like a well-oiled profit driving machine.” 

Grow & Learn Together

Johnson is here to help you change those dynamics by summarizing what he’s learned into three main principles.

  1. Keep all eyes on the ultimate prize – Focus on the company’s purpose as the team mantra instead of individual transactional motivations
  2. Lead with empathy – Understand your colleagues’ daily motivations and challenges in order to anticipate what’s needed
  3. Foster a collaborative and experimental environment – Utilize creative tools for bonding, like a virtual campfire for remote workers to gather online and share personal and professional stories while snacking on smores

The main takeaway Johnson stresses is to celebrate risk-taking, success and failure alike, because they all provide opportunities to learn and grow together as a team. 

Watch the full presentation for more insight on aligning your sales and marketing teams.