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Gartner Survey Reveals Marketing and Sales Functions Collaborate on Only Three Out of 15 Commercial Activities

Experts Explore How Cross-Functional Alignment Can Drive Outsized Results During Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, June 3-5 in Denver

Marketing and sales teams typically collaborate on only three out of 15 commercial activities, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT).

The inaugural Gartner B2B Commercial Strategy Survey of 412 senior marketing and sales leaders across North America and Western Europe in November and December 2023 found that 80% of key commercial activities are missing contributions from marketing or sales. Moreover, 90% of marketing and sales executives report their functional priorities conflict with one another.

Gartner experts presented the findings today during the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, which is taking place here through Wednesday.

“It is clear that marketing and sales leaders’ partnership and coordination efforts are in shambles,” said Kristina LaRocca-Cerrone, Senior Director, Advisory in the Gartner Marketing Practice. “Dysfunction is rampant, and they face decision-making bottlenecks and numerous roadblocks that lead to collaboration drag and hindered growth.”

“Improving the strategic and meaningful collaboration between marketing and sales is vital to generating stronger commercial results. The greatest opportunity for driving profitable growth and customer acquisition occurs when the two functions partner and focus on understanding buyer journeys, digital commerce management and sales enablement. In fact, the likelihood for commercial success is doubled when teams come together and adopt that approach.”

When marketing and sales have shared buyer journey insights, organizations are 2.3x more likely to see higher sales conversion rates

Commercial teams who share buyer journey insights with one another are 1.6x more likely to exceed revenue growth expectations. Yet the majority of survey respondents (60%) indicate a lack of shared buyer journey insights. Only 17% of the functional leaders surveyed collaborate on buyer journey mapping, preventing them from developing a more holistic and accurate picture of how customers research and make decisions.

“Shared insights are more robust, fueling strong demand generation messaging and more compelling interactions,” said LaRocca-Cerrone. “For example, where marketing captures the full customer journey across channels, sales has access to common customer pain points and journey triggers.”

Organizations that offer both rep-led and self-service interactions are 3.9x more likely to exceed profit growth expectations

By looking for opportunities to blend rep-led and digital experiences to support omnichannel buyer journeys, organizations can enable B2B buyers to better understand how to accomplish their goals and drive outsized commercial results. Digitally-enhanced interactions between sellers and customers boost the likelihood of strong revenue growth by 1.9x compared to solely digital engagement.

“A hybrid journey design that optimizes both digital and human channels signals the future of B2B buying,” said LaRocca-Cerrone.

Successful sales enablement offers buyers support across all stages of the buying journey

Leading organizations tap into buyer journey mapping to reveal customer needs and buyer dynamics, in turn arming sellers to help buyers navigate today’s complex, omnichannel environment. Marketing and sales can work together to gather sales team input early in sales enablement development to ensure the resulting content and tools are aligned to seller workflows. It is this synergy that encourages seller skills that complement buyers’ digital learning.

“True cross-functional alignment between marketing and sales can be sparked through an intentional and focused partnership. Strategic collaboration occurs when the teams come together, avoiding disjointed efforts that impede growth,” concluded LaRocca-Cerrone.

Additional information can be found in the complimentary eBook.

About the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

The Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo is taking place June 3-5 in Denver, providing marketing leaders with actionable advice about the trends, tools and emerging technologies they need to deliver business results. Follow news and updates coming out of the conference on the Gartner Newsroom and on X and LinkedIn using #GartnerMKTG.

About Gartner for Marketers

Gartner for Marketers provides the objective, expert advice, and proven tools that CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities with clarity and confidence, and to stay ahead of the trends that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, Gartner for Marketers helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver results. More information on Gartner for Marketers is available online at Follow news and updates from the Gartner Marketing practice on X and LinkedIn using #GartnerMKTG. Members of the media can find additional information and insights in the Gartner Marketing Newsroom.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit


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