I think it goes all the way back to college, this separation of church and state. The advertising majors were in a completely different college than those business majors that would pursue sales careers. It doesn’t change much in the real world. Sales people and marketing people often have different objectives and metrics by which their individual success is measured. However, they are both working to gain market share, increase customer brand loyalty and ultimately produce revenue for the company.
The people in the sales silo are trying to figure out how to get in front of the prospect. And then once they do, they’re working to build a relationship, learn more about the prospect and turn him into a customer. If they’re not communicating with the sales silo, those in the marketing silo could be “building creative bridges to nowhere”. That’s a reference from this article from Entrepreneur.
The bottom line is that marketing doesn’t work when it’s not designed to drive sales, when it doesn’t have accountability to produce sales, and when it’s not in lock step and communicating well with sales.
The merger of marketing and sales needs to happen at the beginning of the planning process. Marketing and sales need to be at the table together when goals are set. They need to have an understanding – together – of why the brand is important to the customer and what needs exist in the marketplace that can drive sales of the product. Typically this kind of information comes through:
Notice how this information comes in through both sales and marketing? If the two departments are talking, they can both be stronger and more effective in their work.
Once the goals are set, accountability needs to be shared for reaching them, and a system should be in place to measure the shared progress. Shared progress. Imagine how people can come together and work through their differences if they are both looking at the same goal and are able to have those wins together.