Kimi Brown
28 May 2024

Thousands of reasons. But also, kind of… none?

All avid fans of Peep Show – the awkwardly intimate and banally bleak British sitcom – will remember S04, E02. 

In this iconic episode, Johnson plans to unleash Project Zeus at the JLB Conference in Kettering. He brings Mark on board to ‘take care of the details’ (i.e. create the entire sales-and-marketing-alignment plan) before ‘pitching the mother’ in front of the JLB board: ‘the biggest swinging dicks in corporate strategy’. 

Of course, inevitably, Mark crashes and burns – spectacularly, shamefully and publicly. Despite his best efforts, insults and jokettes, he can’t find a way for marketing and sales to work cohesively together. Project Zeus doesn’t work. It’s unworkable

But this isn’t a TV show. This is real life. 

In the 17 years since it aired, Peep-Show-fans-who-also-happen-to-be-marketers (like me) have wondered whether Project Zeus would work in the real world. Mark is right. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work – so why don’t more companies amalgamate sales and marketing into one super-department?

To get to the bottom of Project Zeus (and finally become Johnson’s Queen, if the public will accept us), we need to go back to the beginning. 

Won’t marketing (and sales) kick up a shit storm?

Despite being close cousins, sales and marketing have historically not got on. The teams have very different targets, use very different tactics and follow very different timescales. 

Marketing has traditionally been more strategic, concerned with branding, positioning and segmentation. Whereas sales has been more tactical, tasked with contacting and converting lists of leads. 

Traditional sales teams work in the short-term. They need leads, like, now. They have monthly or quarterly revenue targets to hit. And they want to win business, bonuses and bragging rights. 

In direct comparison, marketers tend to take their sweet time, tweaking and tinkering until copy, creative and campaign-set-up are perfect. They play the long game, steadily building awareness, nurturing leads and gaining market share. 

In a high-pressure working environment, these differences have created an ‘us-and-them’ culture between sales and marketing – and up until recently, the two have really not mixed. But today, digital channels and complex customer journeys have blurred the lines more than ever – especially in B2B. 

Sales and marketing alignment is no longer an unachievable pipedream – so far-fetched that it’s the ridiculous plotline in a comedic sitcom. It’s essential to delivering sustainable business growth in today’s market.


Now is the time for you to know the meaning of Project Zeus.
(Here’s how to make marketing an arm of sales.)

‘I’m going to be Charles, and you’ll be my Camilla’

Sales and marketing alignment starts at the top: with the CRO (chief revenue officer). This role is responsible for all revenue-generating activities across all teams. (Not just amalgamating sales and marketing, but bringing planning – and customer success – into the mix as well.)

The CRO is therefore uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between teams and build a cohesive revenue engine – from lead generation to closed deals. But as well as leading teams to meet their own objectives, the CRO needs to ensure all teams are communicating consistently, collaborating effectively and celebrating collective success. 

‘If you can’t sum up all your aims in the first line, they’re too diffuse.’

Sales and marketing need to work towards the same common objective: a simple, shared goal that’s easy to remember. This will help to bring teams closer together and ensure they’re mutually invested in each other’s success. 

Shared goals need to be equally inspirational and relevant to each team. For example, joint KPIs around lead quality and conversion rates will galvanise teams within their own processes, while working towards a wider, revenue-focused goal. 

Any kind of convoluted targets will just confuse the matter and diffuse the impact, so try to summarise your collective aim in a way that’s easily understood by everyone.

‘Every window is also a door.’

Your overarching strategy needs to perform two functions in one: a strategy for both sales and marketing. 

To create an integrated strategy, sales and marketing should collaborate closely throughout the development process. Your campaigns should also perform for both teams: helping marketing generate high-quality leads, and supporting sales to follow-up with consistent messaging that drives conversion.  

‘Sweating facts and shitting stats til D-Day.’

Sales and marketing teams should have access to facts and stats spanning the entire customer journey – from initial contact to conversion. Using a shared platform – such as a CRM (customer relationship management) tool – will ensure both teams have complete visibility of the pipeline and can work together to nurture contacts down the funnel. 

We’re a HubSpot partner agency, so we may be a little biased, but having a CRM is absolutely essential if you’re looking to align sales and marketing. It provides a central hub for customer data that both teams have visibility of – a single source of truth to ensure everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goals, and not slipping back into an ‘us and them’ culture.


So, integrating sales and marketing. Project Zeus. 

It requires a touch of determination. A whole lot of collaboration. And a CRM.

But ultimately, Project Zeus does work. Sales and marketing can be one super-department. Everything’s going to be okay!

Want to find out how you can achieve sales and marketing alignment in your business? Or looking for a HubSpot partner agency to implement your instance? Let’s talk


Kimi Brown

Senior Content Writer.
Copy machine. Mayo queen.