by Mike Volpe, CMO of HubspotAligning Sales and Marketing

Data is the crucial ingredient for maintaining sales and marketing alignment. You need data to monitor progress toward goals, analyze lead quality, and measure marketing ROI. So the first step in creating a Smarketing organization is establishing a closed-loop reporting system that tracks key marketing and sales metrics.

The two key pieces of this system are:

  1. Marketing software like HubSpot that helps you generate and manage leads.
  2. CRM like that helps you track and measure sales activities.

Sharing the Same Data

These two systems must be integrated to share data on every lead from creation through opportunity stage to close, so you can build reports that show the close rate and new customers from the leads generated by marketing. Many marketing software platforms integrate with CRM systems. 

Other features you should look for in a closed-loop marketing system include:

  • Automatic synchronization between the marketing platform and your CRM.
  • De-duplication of leads by matching on email address and tracking information, so as leads come back to your website you are updating existing lead records not creating duplicate leads.
  • The ability to pull information from the CRM into the marketing platform, allowing you to segment your leads by data the sales team has added to the lead or contact records.

Information Sharing

Next, start sharing information between the two platforms to help improve the performance of both sales and marketing.

   What should marketing share with sales?

          1. Complete lead intelligence

Complete lead intelligence includes the history of each lead’s activity on your website like campaign engagement, download history, and social media presence. Appending these details to each lead record helps sales reps plan their follow-up strategies and find hooks to start that first conversation.

This is an example of lead intelligence:


          2. Lead alerts

Lead alerts are email messages or other notifications when a lead revisits your website, completes an important form, or takes another key action, such as requesting to speak with a salesperson.

This is an example of a lead revisit alert:



These types of insights are available in integrated marketing software platforms like HubSpot.

   What should sales share with marketing?

Your sales team also needs to keep marketing informed on their activities. Here are some suggestions for the type of insights sales can share with marketing:

          1. Contact Touches

Records of email and call attempts and connects.


          2. Lead Status Updates

Updates on lead status, such as open, in progress, qualified and unqualified.


          3. Revenue Numbers

Data on closed deals and the revenue associated with each contract to calculate marketing effectiveness and ROI.


These types of insights are available in CRM solutions like

Using this closed-loop data, you can track how each customer progressed through your marketing funnel and see which marketing programs are delivering the best bang for your buck. Getting your hands on this sales data in real time can help you be an agile marketer and make effective iterations to your campaigns.

          4. Identify Winning Marketing Channels

Trace each customer back to the source of their first visit to your website – e.g., paid programs, organic search, social media, or email marketing. You should analyze each channel for key metrics such as:

  • Visits per channel
  • Leads per channel
  • Visit-to-lead ratio per channel
  • Lead-to-customer ratio per channel

Use this data to optimize your marketing mix and focus on the channels that are delivering the best conversion metrics.


          5. Identify Winning Marketing Assets

Examine the lead history of each customer and record every marketing touch and action that occurred between lead capture and close. By calculating the percentage of customers who visited a specific page on your site prior to conversion, or who viewed a particular webinar or ebook, you can identify the most effective content in your marketing funnel. HubSpot’s Conversion Assists tool provides this type of analysis.


This process also can include a review of specific market campaigns to determine which generated the most leads and customers. Or, you can look at which of your landing pages reached a higher-than-average conversion rate. The insights you gain from these reports can help you fine-tune your content strategy or optimize your site to promote more influential pages. For instance, check out HubSpot’s Landing Page dashboard and some of the metrics we keep an eye on here:


To learn more about how to align your Sales and Marketing teams, download the ebook  "A Complete Guide to Unifying Sales & Marketing Efforts".