Ways for Sales & Marketing to Work Together
Humanity has seen its share of legendary conflicts and battles: God vs. Science, The Trojans vs. The Spartans and, most recently, Miley Cirus vs. Joan of Arc.
And when it comes to corporate crossfires, we live to tell the epic struggles taking place through press and social media outlets: Apple vs. Microsoft, Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. Android, Apple vs. well, just about anyone. But every so often, a struggle takes place inside the cytoplasm of a cell. Its a civil war of claims to fame and there is a division of ownership. Sales vs. Marketing.
Initial hypothesis: not every fight has a winner. But two sides can form a much larger alliance supporting a greater good.
So let's take a look at what happens when these two integral forces of business collide - or, as some might tell you, collaborate.
As a salesperson, I am a marketer at heart. And many marketers will tell you they are salespeople are heart. If they don't tell you that, they are either ashamed (and shouldn't be - there's nothing wrong with being a salesperson!) or they are lying.
Set aside the title and conflicts of ideology, set aside the the philosophies, entitlement and ego that might or might not be annotated to either title, there is a common thread that runs through both sales and marketing.
What is the main goal of sales? I can answer with a simple question (because its my blog)... the answer is 'what is the main goal of marketing?'
And the answer to both, at the very macro level, is the same: grow business.
Why do you think HR, IT and Financial departments are just that - departments. Because they have different goals and overarching objectives. How often do you see "John Smiley, Director of Talent Acquisition and IT"? About as often as the Cake Boss screws up...
So why do so many people have the title, "VP, Sales & Marketing"? Because some people know that to be a necessity and a truth.
Really good marketing departments grow awareness and drive sales.
Really good sales units grow awareness and generate money. Grow awareness? Hell yes, they grow awareness. Everything a sales person does is in the legacy of their brand. I carry my company name with every email I send and every presentation or proposal I deliver. Every move a sales person makes carries some degree of branding. And most senior folks at marketing agencies will tell you 'everyone is a salesperson here'.
So now that the air is clear and we understand that objectively sales and marketing have similar intent, let's look at where the disconnect lies. This is a fantastic infographic from Pardot outlining where the troops stand when it comes to sales vs. marketing:
I often ask myself "can't we all just get along?" And as illustrated above, if these two revenue generating beasts can play nicely together on the playground, businesses leaders will sleep better at night.
Reams of blogs have been written about how sales and marketing departments can better collaborate - you can read some at Pardot, Forbes and Harvard Business Review. I won't beat that horse any further, but I will say that I'm lucky enough to work for an organization that has equal affinity for, and places equal responsibility on, our new business unit as it does our marketing/PR department. The results are a solid workflow and an understanding of responsibilities. This has led to less wasted time and more efficiency.