Summary... Here are my 6 steps to marketing and sales alignment. Note that in reality, these 6 steps are about aligning your go-to-market processes, at least for your own direct sales channel. Step 1: Agree on a tight definition of target market Your definition needs to be something like: “Our target market is fast food restaurant franchises of 5-15 stores.” This way, marketing knows very well if leads they generate are in the strike zone or not. Step 2: Develop standard buyer personas Step 3: Define the customer acquisition process Now lay out the entire customer acquisition process with the target market and specifically those key personas in mind. Marketing and sales management must all buy into a flow from origination of a lead right through the onboarding process after a deal closes. Step 4: Develop a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) across the process Once the customer acquisition process can be clearly mapped, there are obvious steps in the process that become key performance indicators, or KPIs. This can be as simple as steps in your lead and sales process. Step 5: Create a rapid feedback loop I can’t stress how important it is to rapidly evaluate what is working and what is not. I have been in organizations that evaluated marketing programs quarterly. That is a mind-numbingly long time to wait to change or adjust processes or programs that aren’t working. Step 6: Measure the process and iterate quickly Once the feedback loop is established, iterate quickly. Nothing in an early stage go-to-market strategy ever works the first time. We are all by definition feeling out new markets. So iteratively working towards the best processes and programs is a must.