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CMOs and CROs: Why sales and marketing alignment must happen this year

Jumpstart sales and marketing collaboration to streamline growth


70% of CMOs don't think they're getting it right, according to the latest survey data from the CMO Council and KPMG Customer Advisory. “It” is their sales and marketing model1.

Most CMOs don’t feel very confident that their organizations can keep up with today’s buyers’ journey—one defined by consumer self-reliance and a new array of digitally powered customer choices. In this post, we look at why CMOs and CROs should align sales and marketing functions around the new customer journey.

Let’s start with some hard truths:


The customer journey has changed – and marketing and sales models should too

Many of the old rules about customer engagement and sales enablement no longer apply. That doesn't mean there are no rules; every innovation effort should be tethered to customer value.


How a shift in strategy can optimize teams capacity to reach, engage, and convert customers over time

CMOs and CROs can’t afford to work in silos. They need better solutions that lead to a single path—a roadmap allowing a rapid pivot toward greater cost efficiency and higher impact marketing and sales strategies. As ROI pressure accelerates and inflation concerns and marketplace uncertainty lingers, transformation is not an option—it’s a necessity.

60% of marketers say marketing and sales don’t co-own customer strategy and data, and 25% say customer data is still owned in silos by marketing and sales1


Customer insights are at the heart of ROI—creating a force multiplier effect around sales and marketing strategy

Unfortunately, data also works the other way—accelerating productivity drain as teams hunt for relevant insights amid a constant flow of irrelevant information.

CMOs and CROs know that analytics tools yield data that can unlock ROI, but reaching the right insights means navigating a high volume of information of varying relevance. The roadmap to better ROI holds customer behavior as its North Star. It starts with a more profound and highly integrated view of consumer behavior. Then, with granular insights into what motivates, drives, and redirects consumer choices, sales and marketing teams can quickly shift directions to effect winning omnichannel strategies as marketplace conditions change.

53% of marketers plan to focus on integrating data across customer journeys in the next 12 months1


Marketing and sales technologies only matter when they work, and technology silos don't hinder strategy implementation

Marketing and sales teams use of technology can drive or hinder optimized sales and marketing benchmark achievement. That means sales and marketing technology strategy needs to not only align around ROI goals but also undergo a review for their functionality as a collaborative tool. When sales enablement technology and marketing technology optimization works, sales and marketing teams benefit from a cost-efficient mix of legacy and new technology that can fuel a high-performance revenue strategy. However, when technology fragmentation dominates an organization's tech stack, sales and marketing strategy alignment is often limited or blocked.

61% of marketers say fragmented technology across marketing, sales, and service restrains better sales-marketing alignment1


Sales and marketing teams face many roadblocks to better ROI: they should come together around strategy, data, and customer focus

Those goals aren't aspirational for many CMOs and CROs—they’re table stakes for their organizations to remain competitive in an uncertain economy. The ability to meet these challenges successfully requires a radical, collaborative alignment of sales and marketing functions with long-term revenue goals. Yet for most sales and marketing teams, silos between customer strategy and implementation are common—only 39% of teams stated that marketing and sales departments jointly own and implement customer strategy.

Which best describes current ownership of customer strategy in your organization?

Which best describes current ownership of customer strategy in your organization?

Sales and marketing alignment is urgent—and hesitance can be costly. Here’s why:

  • Most customer journeys are entirely self-managed, as customers research their own needs and reaffirm their preferences online.
    • Self-reliant buyers spend 68% of their journey digitally before speaking with a salesperson1.
  • Most self-reliant shoppers identify, research, and choose a specific vendor after deciding on a purchase independently.
    • 71% of buyers complete the vendor selection process independent of interacting with a sales team through a self-managed, digital-only journey1.
  • Your sales and marketing tech might never connect with a customer – or it may optimize every interaction. You won’t know without the right metrics.
    • Measurement is key to optimizing sales and marketing strategy and alignment, but the decision about what to measure is just as crucial. For example, the reach of your marketing strategy and the efficacy of your sales enablement technology may be greater than the clicks you see in your CRM dashboard if you don't have access to omnichannel data.

If you are ready to jumpstart a sales and marketing alignment strategy, follow these steps:

  1. Develop an action plan to start collaborating on customer data strategy, collaborative strategy ideation, and customer experience modeling and analytics.
  2. Create a structure for collaborating on marketing and sales campaigns that drive lead gen.
  3. Develop a clearly defined governance strategy for defining shared KPIs for marketing and sales and adjusting expectations and resource allocations in response to new customer insights.
  4. Ensure that CMOs and CROs are aligned in their understanding of and approach to strategy development and implementation with respect to the use of new data to update customer personas.

What new sales-marketing alignment initiatives better support the digitalized customer journey and self-reliant buyers?

Top 4 answers

71% Collaborating to achieve business objectives (e.g., revenue, customer acquisition, market share)

60% Collaborating on marketing and sales campaigns that drive lead gen

56% Defining shared KPIs for marketing and sales

50% Collaborating on customer personas

Learn more about how KPMG Customer Advisory is helping organizations move customers into new perspectives with powerful customer data tools.


  1. The Force Multiplier: Sales and Marketing: Driving Revenue Through Collaboration. CMO Council and KPMG Customer Advisory.

How KPMG can help you

KPMG Customer Advisory helps some of the world's leading marketing, sales, and service professionals make the right investments that deliver meaningful, sustained growth. At every step, we deliver insights that help you make decisions with precision and confidence. Together, we’ll turn opportunities into tangible, transformative results. Let’s start the conversation.

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