Although salespeople and marketing professionals are both tasked with the general goal of “bringing new customers to the company,” they go about it in very different ways. And, as a result, it’s not uncommon to discover that these departments don’t get along particularly well in the companies we work with.
But friction between these two important groups can cause dead weight on the bottom line. Here’s why sales and marketing fight like cats and dogs, and here’s what you can do about it:
Salespeople Are Focused on the Personal and Immediate
Good salespeople build relationships one at a time. That necessitates the need to focus on individual decision-makers. It’s not unusual for salespeople and their clients to follow each other through several career changes, and the bonds they form with customers can’t be faked or built overnight.
Marketing Takes a Long View
Marketers, on the other hand, are concerned with aggregates, percentages, and demographics. In other words, they are less concerned with individual buyers than they are large groups of them. They might not know many, or any, individual customers, but they know a lot about the types of people that buy products or services.
Both Sides View Each Other as Unnecessary
In theory, a strong enough salesperson forms relationships one on one and doesn’t need a marketing department; likewise, with strong enough marketing, prospects would come into a business already prepared to buy a product or service at full price. It’s no surprise, then, that sales and marketing departments often consider each other to be unnecessary.
One Should Flow Naturally to the Other
In the best companies, sales and marketing are complementary – the marketing department establishes a strong brand and generates leads (sales opportunities), while individual salespeople follow up on those leads, build relationships, and service accounts.
For that to happen, both parties need to understand one another, and their respective goals and methods. What’s more, they need to have the right incentives to help each other succeed (i.e., marketing team members receiving some kind of bonus for achieving sales goals).
Marketing and sales might not ever be the same, but they should be working from the same side of the table. Find ways to get them cooperating, and you might see your business grow in unexpected leaps and bounds.