In many respects, Marketing and Sales have always been at war. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, if Marketing and Sales can get on the same team, their battles will be much easier to resolve, and sales will flow.

In many businesses, the sales team is responsible for the bulk of a company's profits. They are the people on the front lines, meeting with clients, negotiating, and getting signatures. However, Marketing can provide invaluable insight to assist in sales of all shapes and forms.

Marketing's resources and expertise bring four significant and often overlooked tools to the table that sales reps would be smart to tap into.

1) Marketing has access to priceless research.

Want to know where your customers are? Ask Marketing. Want to know how much your customers spend on a certain product segment? Ask Marketing. Whether is it Nielsen research, Scarborough, Borrell, AdMall, SEM Rush, or countless other tools on the market, Marketing is often able to take historical data sets and provide Sales with an easy-to-execute plan based on concrete metrics.

2) Marketing knows how to sell value.

The definition of marketing is the art of communicating the value of a product, service, or brand to customers for the purpose of selling that product, service, or brand. Marketing boils down to the unique selling proposition your company has over other companies and products. The marketers at your company are intimately familiar with what makes your product, brand, or service special. They can help you sell the sizzle and the steak. 

3) Marketing can emotionally connect.

One thing marketers understand is emotion, and any good marketer will understand what emotions will connect with their intended customer. Confused about which emotional levers to pull? Check in with Marketing. Just bear in mind that preparing this piece of the sales puzzle often days takes and sometimes weeks.

4) Marketers are experts at telling stories.

Stories sell. Think about Apple for a moment. Sure, their products are beautiful and function just the way users want them to, but that’s not why they sell. They sell because they are cool. They sell because Apple understands that on some level, their products are a status symbol. And that was created by a marketing story.

Salespeople should certainly work with Marketing to craft sales stories, but it has to be a collaboration. As a marketer, I am here to help but I also can’t save the day. Creating a story to assist with a sale takes time and creative energy.

Marketing tells stories and helps create demand. Sales makes money and closes the gap between supply and demand. They should get along. To get the most out of your marketing team, think strategically, plan ahead, and understand that Marketing is your best friend because their goal is to help you make sales. 

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Originally published Apr 7, 2015 9:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Sales and Marketing Alignment