Program Overview

Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE)

Bring Precision to Customer Acquisition.

The Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE) is a CMO Council strategic interest group that curates practitioner-based knowledge to empower, enlighten and enjoin functional marketing leaders in tandem with their counterparts in direct sales, field, branch office, and indirect channel organizations.

CLOSE was developed out of a need to assist, activate and engage the front line and demand chain on both a centralized and distributed intermediary level, in order to leverage resources, truly optimize performance, improve effectiveness and maximize business growth and pipeline potential.

The CMO Council is dedicated to providing information that empowers sales, aligns process and function with marketing, and amplifies the voice and influence of trusted sales agents with their customers. It believes marketing must actively assume the role of predisposed prospect identifier, sales cycle facilitor, conversion enabler, after-market value builder, revenue optimizer, as well as relationship, experience and retention architect.

Strategic Imperative

Sales and marketing are under pressure to redefine their relationship to enable new customer-centric purchasing paths. This requires an entirely new way to collaborate across customer strategy and data, initiatives, technology, activities and metrics.

It is now critical for marketing and sales teams to integrate data and optimize touchpoints across the entire customer journey. They need to focus on finding the shortest, most efficient, profitable and satisfying path to transaction, repeat purchase and after-market experience.

Most sales and marketing organizations haven’t been able to pivot fast enough to the new digital buyer. This means they risk falling short of their revenue mandate. More than 70% of marketers don’t feel very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalized customer journey, according to a new CMO Council report, produced in partnership with KPMG LLP.


Key findings from recent CMO Council studies and reports show:

  • Underperforming advertisers waste more than 75% of their marketing on impressions that fail to generate incremental outcomes. (Source: Getting Smart About Ad Waste)
  • 70% of marketers aren’t very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalized customer journey (Source: Sales & Marketing: Driving Revenue Through Collaboration)
  • 68% are only moderately confident or worse in their media marketing and advertising strategy to produce desired business outcomes (Source: Optimizing Outcomes in Media Marketing)
  • Only 24% of top data marketing performers and 2% of bottom performers say they have real-time access to customer insights (Source: The High-Velocity Data Marketer)

The CMO Council’s recent report -- “Sales & Marketing: Driving Revenue Through Collaboration” --  examines the marketing and sales relationship and how it should evolve. The report found that the ability to share customers insights, gathered by data science as well as AI and machine learning, with the sales team to inform the pipeline is one of the defining traits of the new sales-marketing relationship.

Key findings include:

  • 70% of marketers don’t feel very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitalized customer journey
  • 60% say marketing and sales don’t co-own customer strategy and data
  • 61% of marketers say fragmented technology across marketing, sales and service restrains better sales-marketing alignment

CMOs are advised to adopt four sales-marketing alignment initiatives to better support the digitalized customer journey and self-reliant buyer:

  • Collaborate to achieve business objectives (e.g., revenue, customer acquisition, market share)
  • Collaborate on marketing and sales campaigns that drive lead gen
  • Define shared KPIs for marketing and sales
  • Align on customer personas

To sell effectively to the new self-reliant digital buyer and enable the purchasing paths customers seek, marketing and sales teams need to have the same goals, speak the same language, and hold each other accountable. The keys to building a strong sales-marketing relationship include:

  • Co-ownership of customer strategy and data,
  • Agility and ability to hand off real-time data insights
  • Employing the right technologies to share metrics
  • Ensuring consistent communication

Research: Survey & Reports



Curated Facts & Stats

The increasing prevalence of AI-generated information is likely to drive a significant change in how consumers seek out information. Traditional search engines like Google may see a decline in user traffic as consumers pivot more and more toward embracing AI tools such as ChatGPT to answer their questions. This shift signifies a growing trust in artificial intelligence to curate and deliver relevant content.

Source: WSI World

In 2024, the continual rise of smart speakers and voice assistants will reshape how businesses prioritize voice search optimization. A game changer on the horizon is the concept of Search Generative Experience (SGE). This shift will enable a seamless exchange of information, allowing users to engage in natural conversations with search engines as if they were interacting with a knowledgeable assistant.

Source: WSI World

Macroeconomic trends, first-party data and the influence of artificial intelligence will all be instrumental for marketers next year.

Source: Marketing Week

The relevance of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing is growing. According to McKinsey, generative AI’s impact on productivity could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. In 2024, marketers should make use of AI-powered technologies to optimise performance.

Source: Marketing Week

With constant change in the marketing, media, and tech landscape, it’s nearly impossible for CMOs to keep up with what the job demands. And let’s add the inherent misalignment between the CEO and CMO around customer obsession to the list of stressors. The good news? CMOs who show up as strategic business leaders don’t just drive results but are viable CEO successors.

Source: Forrester

There are multiple ways to make sure you’re creating the right content for your funnel and maintaining customer interest. It’s just about finding the method that works best for you and your customers.


82% of high performers say B2B and B2C tactics are now overlapping. This is compared to 67% of underperformers. Plus, overperformers dedicate 18% of their budget to ABM, compared to 14% for underperformers.

Source: Lxahub

Mature ABM programmes are now accounting for 79% of all sales opportunities (vs. inbound/outbound, etc.) Relative to other marketing activities, ABM delivers 97% higher ROI.

Source: Lxahub

83% are still struggling to find the perfect way to deploy ABM. However, 43% of marketers are working on refining and measuring their ABM campaigns.

Source: Gitnux

33% of marketers are in the planning stages of implementing an Account-Based Management strategy.

Source: Gitnux


Curated Reading

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