We've been talking a bit about how sales and marketing can work together if you have the right data in a closed loop marketing system.  Here's a short video with some commentary on the situation at many companies.

Clearly this is a comic view of the situation.  But let's take a more serious look at how Marketing and Sales typically view each other.

How Marketing Typically Views Sales

  1. Sales people are coin operated and focused on results at any cost, even if that might not be in the best long term interest of the company.
  2. Sales is very short term focused and can't see the big picture.
  3. Sales people are also unable to deal with change or uncertainty.
  4. Sales people are not smart, but somehow they get paid a lot (more than marketing). 
  5. Worst of all, Sales blames Marketing when things are bad (sales numbers are down because the leads suck), but takes credit when when things are good (sales are up because sales is doing a good job).

Now, this blog is targeted towards marketers, so I think it makes a lot of sense to also think about how sales people view us marketers.

How Sales Typically Views Marketing

  1. Sales people do the hard work.  Marketing generates a list of names of people that may or may not be accurate and and may or may not have any interest in our product, but we sell them anyway.
  2. Sales is the hardest working group in the company and we stop at nothing to meet our goals.  Sales is constantly under pressure since the results are the most measurable and most visible out of anyone in he company.  Other groups, especially marketing, can hide behind the fact that a lot of what they do is not measurable, but not sales.  Sales deserve the most credit for the success of the company since we are on the front lines.
  3. Marketing talks about how easy the product is to sell, but they have never actually sold it themselves.
  4. Marketing talks about the great volume and quality of leads, but they don't get hung up on 5 times a day when making calls.
  5. Marketing is always going to these conferences and having cocktails, ordering fleece jackets for the company and having parties, but they don't do any real work that actually helps the company.
  6. Every time Sales has a good idea to generate more leads, Marketing just looks at us as if we don't know anything about Marketing and tells us to stick to sales.

How Sales and Marketing Can Work Together

Sales and Marketing can get along.  It takes some work, but here are some ways to make it happen.

  1. Implement a closed loop marketing system that does two things.  First, closed loop marketing gives sales more information about what leads have actually done to engage with your company.  Second, it should give marketing information about what leads are closing at what rates, so marketing can focus on producing the leads that sales most effectively closes.
  2. Work together to really define exactly what a "lead" is.  Does a lead need to have a phone number?  Does a lead need to be someone from a company of a certain revenue or employee size?  Get specific.
  3. Work together to define exactly what the sales and marketing process is.  Put together a "service agreement" that defines how many and what quality of leads marketing will produce, and the level of follow-up (number of calls and activity) sales will devote to each lead meeting these criteria.
  4. Measure the activities in the "service agreement" activity and discuss it in regular meetings between sales and marketing leadership.  Marketing should hold itself accountable for producing the right quantity of quality leads and sales should hold itself accountable for following up on all of the leads in a timely manner.

Do you have any good or bad stories about sales and marketing working together?  Or not working together?  Leave a comment below.

internet marketing kit

Originally published Jul 21, 2008 9:02:00 AM, updated July 03 2013

Topics:

Marketing and Sales Alignment