CIM forecasts that separate sales and marketing departments will disappear over the next ten years. The shift, it argues, would stop the “siloed thinking” and “subtle conflict” that stunts growth.

Aligning the two departments, the Institute continues, will lead to improvements in productivity, while reducing duplication and wastage.

It adds: “Those that continue to treat them as independent entities will appear out of touch and pay a high price in loss of business opportunities. Marketing’s reputation will suffer too, with the discipline inevitably reaching the end of its path with no way of moving forward.

“In the current economic climate – with marketing already being relegated in many organisations and with even tougher times predicted for the UK’s future – this is not a welcome option.”

Nick Porter, European sales and marketing director at Iron Mountain, says the two functions need to share accountability for revenue and margin results.

He adds: “Organisations are becoming increasingly intolerant of separate sales and marketing departments fighting with each other rather than focusing on revenue growth and ROI. The challenge today in all organisations and particularly in the current economic climate is about meeting the buyers’ needs and growing the top and bottom lines.”

The report, “marketing and sales fusion”, has been published to mark CIM’s centenary year.