The Secret for Aligning Sales and Marketing Like Never Before: Revenue Attribution

Sales and Marketing alignment has been preached to the B2B community for years.

And with reason. Take this study by Aberdeen Group, which found that Sales-Marketing alignment can generate 32 percent higher revenue, retain 36 percent more customers, and achieve 38 percent higher win rates.

Now, while it is true that these two teams are becoming more close-knit, the rise of the CRO role being a great example, the commitment remains lackluster.

Where it matters most - the data and tools they use and rely on - these teams continue to be plagued by shortcomings.

But how do you bring a more unified approach to marketing and selling while respecting the necessary boundaries?

In the digital age, data is supreme, and these teams need to look to data—revenue and customer data—to align their approaches like never before.

They need to unlock their siloed data and throw away the key.

And attribution, specifically revenue attribution, sets them on the right track. In this post, I’ll show you how.

What Really Matters for Sales and Marketing Alignment?


Over the years, the preaching for better alignment between Sales and Marketing has ranged from the superficial, such as moving desks and running joint meetings, to the deep, such as strategy and goal alignment.

Useful as these suggestions might be, especially in the more tangible end of strategy and goal setting, they fail to get to the source of the misalignment. Data.

To really nip the (mis)alignment in the bud, we need to look at the data and tools.

This becomes MORE apparent as the teams work closer together.

Here’s an example to illustrate the point.

The order comes in from the CRO for a Q3 sales growth target of +30%.

Head of Marketing:

“Simple, I’ll double down on the two campaigns which, according to my Google Analytics, are bringing in a tonne of MQLs.”

Head of Sales:

“Sure thing boss, our CRM’s Original Source is showing loads of SQLs coming from Direct traffic after my BDRs ran a LinkedIn outreach campaign. Will hire another BDR and increase LinkedIn outreach.”

Now, say you’re the CRO and only have the budget for one of these.

Which would it be?

Tough right?

The root of the problem is very clearly the siloed data sitting in these tools.

Data silos are too real a problem. This Treasure Data’s State of the Customer Journey report found that 47 percent of marketers consider silos to be their biggest problem when it comes to gaining insights from data.

In our scenario, the best case is that they are both correct, and the only thing that’s missing is how they compare in impacting the singular customer journey.

In the worst-case scenario, they are both wrong. The MQLs might be rubbish, and the Direct traffic might not relate to the LinkedIn outreach.

To avoid this, three key elements need to come together:

  1. Have a single source of truth
  2. See the customer journey as a unified process
  3. Measure success with the same yardstick (revenue and pipeline generated)

Let’s take a look.

A Single Source of Truth


As the example scenario above shows, both teams must be singing from the same hymn sheet. That is, their data needs to be the same.

Now, this doesn’t mean that they need to operate using the same tools. Marketing can continue using its ad programs and automation tools, and Sales can plough ahead with its CRM.

Essentially, they will be singing different harmonies, but the sheet is the same.

If you want to enhance your B2B sales funnel strategy, check out the insights from our comprehensive article on B2B CRMs and their transformative effects.

A Unified Customer Journey

In the same way as relying on a single source of data truth, each customer journey needs to be considered as the singular journey that it is.

(Oh, and in B2B, "customer" is an account with multiple stakeholders).

We’re all too accustomed to thinking about MQLs, SQLs, sales pipeline, and marketing funnel.

Yet, the customer journey is the same. The division of labour is introduced artificially. It is helpful for many reasons, but artificial nonetheless.

While the tools sitting in the respective stacks are ideal for the teams to perform their activities, keeping data siloed helps distort the customer journey. They are dissecting it into parts and reinforcing the split journey.

Instead, the customer journey needs to be mapped as a unified singular journey where things are not necessarily linear. A re-targeting ad might impact an account that’s already engaging with Sales.

Measure Success with the Same Yardstick

As with any strategy, your activities need to be measurable to demonstrate success (or failure) and enable optimization moving forward. By extension, when looking at a unified customer journey, all your activities—marketing and sales—need to be measured against the same metrics.

The metrics can only really be revenue and pipeline generation.

Against these, the number of MQLs generated becomes a lot less meaningful. Similarly, for Sales, it means sharing a piece of the pie with Marketing when the latter has contributed to closing the deal or generating a pipeline.

To close the circle, this measurement can only be done when you have that single data source of truth and when you look at the customer journey holistically.

The B2B Revenue Attribution Solution to Sales and Marketing Alignment

So, how can you bring these elements together and finally put Sales and Marketing in a position where they can align where it matters?


Erm. I can’t be serious, can I? Attribution? What do marketers do to try and get credit for deals?

Yup. That one.

To be precise, it’s B2B Revenue Attribution that we should be after.

B2B Revenue Attribution Brings Your Customer Journey Data Under One Roof


Attribution is the process of tracking, analyzing, and measuring touch points across the customer journey.

It’s true that marketers have been the primary users of attribution so far, using it to track, measure, and optimize activities in their funnel.

But its value beyond the marketing department is just as great - I’ll get to the benefits for Sales in a second. That is why the wider category of Revenue Attribution has emerged.

Revenue attribution recognizes that B2B deals are closed through a months-long team effort of quality ads, thought-provoking content, impactful product demos, and killer sales meets. And collect and analyze the data accordingly.

And because it does, revenue attribution delivers on each of the three elements mentioned above.

Let me elaborate.

Single Source of Truth:

A revenue attribution solution connects with all relevant data sources—all tools on the commercial tech stack and Javascript for on-site tracking. This immediately settles the question of reliability.

Without the data silos impeding clarity, users can take the revenue attribution data crunching as the source of truth.

Remember the above example with the conflicting Sales and Marketing views on acquisition? Well, this is what the power of B2B revenue attribution can achieve👇


Both teams are able to see where leads are coming from and tailor their approaches accordingly. Below is more on what this can mean for Sales in practice.

A Single Customer Journey Mapped

In the same way, with all these data sources connected, the revenue attribution platform enables users to map every recordable touch on the buyer journey.

This means they can see what the customer is/has been doing throughout their journey, independently of what is happening in the pipeline.

For instance, has the customer clicked an ad or read a blog post while you’re waiting for them to return for a meeting?

Measure Success with the Same Yardstick


The focus of revenue attribution is, you guessed it, revenue. Well, regarding revenue and pipeline generation, I think the category’s label would lose its zest a little if it were that long.

I digress.

With revenue attribution, every touch is connected to revenue, from the very first to the last. This means that all activities are measured against their impact on generating revenue and pipeline.

If other metrics, such as MQLs, are necessary, they should either be linked directly to revenue/pipeline generation or pushed down the pecking order.

How Does B2B Revenue Attribution Achieve This?

Let’s take a look under the hood.

1. Multi-Touch

Like most dedicated attribution tools, the most defining feature of revenue attribution is that it applies multi-touch attribution modeling.

Fancy talk for describing the fact that it tracks and considers all the touches users (and accounts - more on this in a second) are making with your site/activities. So that’s both sales (phone calls, social media messaging, emails) and marketing (ad clicks, content views, form fills) - and Customer Success, but we’ll leave that for another time.

It achieves this by the previously mentioned process of tracking and integrating with the tools sitting on your commercial tech stack.


The multi-touch attribution models then allow you to credit any and all the activities associated with the account’s journey. How much credit and where depends on the models you apply—more on this below.

This contrasts with the single-touch, single-source attribution your CRM uses for the "original source" or "lead source" field, which carves out only a narrow picture of everything that’s taking place in the customer journey.

Find out more about the limits of your CRM’s source in this post.

2. Multi-Stakeholder (Account-Based)

The typical B2B customer is not a single individual but a company (account) with multiple stakeholders.

These may interact with your activities differently and help drive the deal down the funnel. For instance, the person in need of the product is not necessarily the one who will be signing the check, nor is she likely to be the person implementing your product.

Therefore, a B2B revenue attribution solution is configured to accommodate all identified stakeholders. This allows the success of activities to be measured on an individual and account basis.

3. Multiple and Customizable Attribution Models

Finally, an effective revenue attribution solution can run the data through different attribution models.

Multi-touch attribution models, unlike single-touch attribution models, distribute value across the account’s multiple touches. However, how this value is weighted changes depending on the model applied.

For example, a linear multi-touch model will attribute equal credit to all touches. At the same time, a W model will give the first, middle, and last touches more outstanding credit than those occurring in between. The model you end up using depends entirely on your unique needs. This is why the revenue attribution tool needs to facilitate custom models.

Get the low down on revenue attribution models here.

Want to see revenue attribution in action for yourself? With Dreamdata you can get started with B2B revenue attribution free today.

Sales Efforts with Revenue Attribution

Revenue attribution makes getting a trustworthy and singular overview of the end-to-end customer journey possible. From this, Marketing and Sales alignment will flow seamlessly.

But how will this help a sales team in practical terms?

Here are three broad ways:

Inbound Efforts

Going into conversations without a clear picture of how the account came through the funnel and what they’ve interacted with can make it very difficult to tailor the conversation adequately.

Let’s use a hypothetical example.

Several contacts within an account may have read a blog post on one of your product’s features. They also attended a webinar on the same topic and looked at the same product feature page on your site.

Not only will this particular feature be the segue for your conversation, but you’re also going to assume some knowledge on their part, meaning you can dive deeper into some of the less well-known details of this feature and how it interacts with other killer features.

In summary, with what, in effect, should be a much more qualified lead, you’re going to be closer to closing the deal.

Outbound Efforts

An overview of how accounts have progressed through the funnel, including all the juicy data on each contact’s touches, will go a long way in fine-tuning personas, sequences, and messages.

The data shows that Ops people in most of your journeys have engaged with a particular blog post. Sending a cold message to an ops persona with a link might prove more successful.



At its core, attribution is about identifying what’s working and what isn’t. By incorporating all revenue-generating touches into the modeling, you can start unpacking where your activities are failing.

Let’s say an account goes cold, and your emails and calls go unanswered.

But the account reheats out of the blue. With the touches mapped on the customer journey, you’d be able to identify that it was, in fact, a retargeting ad that brought the account back to life.

You want to be seeing and accounting for these episodes.

If it’s recurring, you want to evaluate what your activities might lead to accounts going cold.

Elevate Your Business Strategy with Effective Sales and Marketing Collaboration

Sales and Marketing alignment enhances revenue generation, customer retention, and win rates.

Yet the remedies prescribed by thought-leaders for aligning these teams largely fail to tackle the most fundamental obstacle to alignment: data.

Data silos produced by the tools sitting in the teams’ tech stacks make it impossible to align.

Without a single source of truth, unified customer journey, or common measurement, Sales and Marketing can’t work more cohesively.

The solution? B2B Revenue Attribution.

The revenue attribution platform establishes a single source of truth by connecting with all relevant data sources—all tools on the commercial tech stack and a Javascript for on-site tracking.

Similarly, in capturing all the touches on the customer journey, revenue attribution maps a complete customer (account) journey - from the first to the last.

Revenue attribution achieves the holy grail of linking all activities to revenue and pipeline generation. There will be no more squabbling over the quality of leads or impact of efforts.

So, if you really want to reap the many benefits of Sales and Marketing alignment, leave the desk swapping and meeting sharing to one side and focus on settling your data with B2B Revenue Attribution.

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