"In 2016, sales and marketing managers will map sales and marketing processes to how prospects actually buy -- from awareness to close. While CEB states that almost two-thirds of the buying decision is already made before a prospect ever makes contact with a sales team, prospects do not stop their research at that moment. Client acquisition used to be a relay race. Marketing captured the lead and then nurtured the lead part of the way. Then, Sales ran the rest of the race by themselves. The two did not need to communicate to win, they just needed to hand off the baton properly. But today, it’s a three-legged race with Sales and Marketing’s legs tied together. In the three-legged race, the prospect receives stimuli from both Marketing and Sales throughout the buying process. In order to win, a firm must have two partners with clear shared goals, a defined process, and open continuous communication."