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Classic marketing and sales misalignment

A marketing team worked with an external creative agency to develop a new launch campaign around a four-step digitization program. The agency was given carte blanche to design and deliver the campaign. Marketing worked closely with the agency and the campaign turned out to be a masterpiece from a creative standpoint.

The big reveal to the sales team was scheduled for a Friday morning presentation. The plan was to launch the campaign on the following Monday morning.

Upon learning of the campaign, the sales team’s facial expressions said it all. Not only was this the first time they saw the creatives–it was also the first time they heard about the campaign. Their major concern was basic—what are we selling that matches this campaign? What conversion is this campaign supposed to support? 

In the end, those questions were not satisfactorily addressed. The campaign did not launch on Monday morning. And a large portion of the marketing budget simply went down the drain, wasted.


The marketing and sales teams are on the same continuum. Accordingly, the marketing team would benefit from prototyping any creative campaigns in the same way that the product team iterates outcomes.

That is, the marketing team would prototype the campaign on paper, then share it with the sales team as an iterative process throughout development. This process would enable the sales team to buy into the campaign from the beginning, and then throughout, the process.

Prototyping marketing campaign development in this way would enable alignment with the sales team. The sales team could shape the campaign to be effective with the target audience, or ideal customer profile (ICP). And it would ensure the sales team would actively use it as an opportunity attraction and conversion tool.

*Bloopers might be real or fictional

Image credit: Eduardo Casajús Gorostiaga on U