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Sales and Marketing Working Together is a Platitude

April 15, 2019    |     Dan Kraus

Let’s say you have a sales team of between two and ten people. I’m going to make an educated guess that one of three things is happening:

Conventional wisdom is that sales and marketing must work together for everyone to succeed. Marketing needs to support sales’ lead generation needs so sales can get the numbers; sales needs to give feedback to marketing so they know what programs to keep running.

So yeah, that should happen … but it rarely does.

But this conventional wisdom doesn’t account for the three sales performance scenarios above. Even if sales and marketing are working great together, with marketing passing leads to sales and sales giving them feedback, you’re still likely to have those various scenarios.

And no, the problem isn’t that you hired some of the right people and some of the wrong people. 

The conventional wisdom about sales and marketing working together is, frankly, not that wise. And “working together” almost misses the point.

If you’re in scenario one or two, you have a marketing issue. But it’s not lead generation that’s the root issue – marketing is so much more than just generating opportunities for the business.

So now you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah, I know that. Marketing includes our brand, our website, our brochures, our sales tools.” And yes, it does. But all that “stuff” won’t improve sales team or company performance.

Neither will more sales training, new sales methodology, or hiring a different type of salesperson.

Sales and Marketing Collaboration Case Study

Simon Sinek has a great phrase: “The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” He’s right. But most people take this to mean that you need to spend time figuring out what you believe – and most people are wrong. Why? Because what you have to understand is what your ideal customer believes (values) and align to that – in marketing, sales, and service.

Solve that riddle, and you solve your marketing AND your sales issues.


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