The Struggle Between Sales and Marketing

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Walt Kelly, Creator of “Pogo”, 1970Many businesspeople use the terms “sales and marketing” as if they complement one another as agreeably as peanut butter and jelly, but that is rarely the case. In the same way many executives hold the title of “VP of Sales and Marketing,” yet we often find that they will lean strongly toward one or the other discipline.Everyone would agree that both of these functions are critical within every organization and at times must be managed on an individual basis. While many companies seem to achieve some kind of acceptable balance between sales and marketing it is often reminiscent of the way cats and dogs tolerate one another’s presence in the same household. Yet imagine how powerful these forces could be if they truly DID collaborate and attempt to complement one another.More often than not I have witnessed a struggle between each of these functions which often stunts the effectiveness of the both. For example, I have seen entire marketing strategies conceived, documented and implemented without even interfacing with the sales group. On the other hand, I have seen marketing plans that have been completely ignored by the entire sales force while that department pursued their own mission.An equally problematic facet of the marketing/sales dynamic lies in document preparation. An investigation performed by “Executive Decision” an on-line professional resource interviewed Mr. Dave Fowler, senior vice president of marketing and business for Pragmatech, a software company specializing in proposal automation software. He reported that, “90% of content generated by marketing is never used by sales.” Fowler attributes this statistic to a fundamental divergence in purpose. Marketing has little time for varied industries and varied levels. They are focused on broad-based documents and in a sense, ring the dinner bell for sales. Sales teams, in turn, must deal with a specific customer in a specific industry. Despite marketing’s best attempts at document preparation, Fowler estimates that, “sales professionals spend 25% to 30% of their time finding, customizing and assembling content for clients.” No doubt this represents a massive duplication in efforts!Improving the disconnect between marketing and sales doesn’t need to be complicated. Both teams are working towards increased market advantage. While it is a fact that 50% of sales reps currently do not fulfill their quota requirements; this statistic is being partly caused by a global marketplace with heavy competition for an already Internet-savvy consumer. The answer, then, as evidenced by the success of technology companies, may be found in the combination of old and new: by employing sound principles of viral marketing and communication supported by the benefits of new and ever an improving internal culture.If we allow the struggle to continue, we might find that our biggest obstacle to improved brand position, market dominance and key client penetration will be that department across the hall. We may find that the real enemy resides in our own home.Find out more about how to create harmony between your sales and marketing departments. Visit www.sbanetwork.orgHave a great week!

Posted in Marketing Strategies, Uncategorized.

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