Search for “sales and marketing alignment” on Google and you’ll get 28,000,000+ results. The articles cover optimizing processes, improving communications and getting the teams aligned on the same goal.

I look at it this way: achieve sales and marketing alignment by convincing them that they’re mirror images of each other. Brothers from another mother (or, sisters from another father).

Salespeople as Marketers

Email marketing used to be something that Marketing did. We’d set up campaigns, send out emails and track results. Our weekly marketing report would include statistics on open rate, open-to-click rate and click-through rate. These days, salespeople use tools that track the same metrics.

While Marketing may use email at a broader scale, Sales uses email marketing with equal sophistication. They measure their results and use data to tweak their send times, subject lines and messaging. Sound familiar?

When I bump into my Sales colleagues in the kitchen, they tell me about the email drip campaigns they’re running. They also tell me the precise time I opened their last email (Whoops! Time to reply to that one).

Recently, we had our Sales colleagues review an upcoming email campaign. They made some fine suggestions, which we applied to the emails. Why were the suggestions so good?

Because sales reps spend as much time on email marketing as we do. While Marketing tracks results at an aggregate level, sales reps have a more tactical, one-to-one sense of email marketing results.

Marketers as Salespeople

“Coffee is for closers,” and more often than not, Marketing grinds the beans and fires up the coffee machine. Closing is something that Sales focuses on. Still, there are plenty of day-to-day activities that require Marketers to pitch, sell and close:

  • Getting your latest product launch covered by industry press
  • Getting influencers to share your blog posts
  • Getting thought leaders to partner with you on content development
  • Getting analysts to understand your products’ competitive differentiation

We go through a similar cycle as our Sales siblings:

  • Getting someone to answer your call or open your email
  • Making an impact when they do
  • Helping move things toward your ultimate goal
  • Closing the deal

While these transactions don’t result in booked revenue, they can require as much work and perseverance as a six figure deal. The more selling we do in Marketing, the more empathy we’ll have for our colleagues in Sales.

We’re The Same People

It’s easy enough for Sales and Marketing to think about a shared goal. For better harmony, get each team to understand that it’s not just a goal that’s shared, but a daily experience. Brothers from another mother.

Note: This post was originally published at LinkedIn