Walker holding a map and compass in a forest

Why sales is the compass to your marketing map

In last month’s blog, we drew the analogy that writing a marketing strategy is like navigating a trail. If we follow the ‘five Ds of navigation’ we can address the questions that help us to map a relevant and impactful strategy. But just as any map requires a compass to determine the direction of travel, so too does marketing require its own orientation tool. If marketing is our map, sales is our compass!

Using sales as a compass

For anyone not familiar with the workings of a compass, its primary purpose is to determine direction according to magnetic north. By simply aligning the printed north arrow on your map with the magnetized needle of your compass, you’ve already started the process of navigation. Without this simple act, you have very little hope of finding a path forwards.

The same is true for marketing and sales. You won’t make many sales without a marketing strategy and there’s no conversion of marketing efforts without sales input. With no alignment at all between these teams, you’re only destination is failure. With three easy steps, we can avoid failure and start the journey towards greater sales and marketing alignment.


  • Sales determines our magnetic north. Just as our compass needle points north, our sales team diligently points toward our target clients. They own the prospecting lists, they understand who the audience is, they know what our ideal client needs from our business, they have absolute focus on who to speak with and how to pitch. This unabashed attention on the end goal means that our alignment journey starts with the end. The clearer that sales can communicate this to the marketing team, the more impactful our marketing will become. A vague list of sectors won’t cut it. Drill down to the brands, DMUs and individuals that sales want to converse with and focus your marketing there.


  • Sales directs us along the marketing path. We have our end goal agreed but the path is likely to be long and arduous. We all know B2B lead times can be 6 months, 12 months, or more, so your target client might not even be in sight at the start of the campaign. Allowing sales to input into the proposed marketing strategy, to co-create the path forwards, presents the best possible chance of reaching the destination. Marketing often claims ownership for the top of funnel and middle of funnel marketing mix, but hands over to sales at the bottom of the funnel. Let’s change the habit and create a full funnel strategy that works for both marketing and sales, taking us from attack point to destination as one team.


  • Sales feedback prevents deviations and downfalls. Unfortunately, no path is without undulations, so we need to frequently use our compass to check the map and confirm we’re still heading in the right direction. If there is no communication between marketing and sales during the campaign period, it’s highly likely that we’ll lose the path, take a wrong turn or lose sign of the destination. We need to foster ongoing communication and collaboration between marketing and sales as the landscape shifts around us. Sales are in the best position to provide feedback on client moves, competitor activity and the industry setting. Learning from wrong turns and adjusting our route when needed should ensure we land our dream client every time.


Thankfully, the argument for marketing and sales alignment is a tale as old as time. Sales relies on marketing to generate leads, whilst marketing needs sales to nurture and convert them. It’s a relationship, a partnership, a connection as strong as that between a map and compass. So, if you’re lacking alignment, let’s explore how to make the most of your sales and marketing bond.


Let’s align sales and marketing at last.

How to map your marketing strategy

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