Having worked in several marketing departments I have seen firsthand how adversarial the relationship between sales and marketing can be. Neither gives the other much respect, with common comments on bloated budgets, reckless spending and that they “just don’t understand us.”
While entrenched in a corporate marketing environment I have done my share of the above and confess to being guilty on all counts. But even then I knew that these two teams needed to work together to be effective.
But when I say work together I’m not talking about creating one department or having common goals and objectives.
Sales and Marketing are separate departments and each has its own purpose:
- Sales exists to make sales
- Marketing exists to make the sales process easier so the company makes more sales
The entire point of any business is to sell. There is no function more important than selling, because without sales there will be no business. But the sales process needs to be effective and the support it receives from marketing is essential to a company’s success.
So how do we get sales and marketing working together?
One of most effective methods is communicating. Sales can provide marketing with valuable information, including sales obstacles, prospect objections, customer feedback and competitive activity.
But even more important is respecting the company’s brand and consistently communicating the brand promise. This means no homemade marketing materials with off-message content, invented taglines and manipulated logos. They make you look amateurish and unprofessional and confuse your customers, diminishing their trust in you.
Sales should be making sales and marketing should be creating programs and materials to make the sales process easier. And both should correctly represent the company brand – continuously, consistently and correctly.