Sales vs Marketing – True or False?

Joanne Gore_printmediacentrBy Joanne Gore

David vs Goliath, Leafs vs Habs, Montagues vs Capulets, Sylvester vs Tweety, the list is endless. And the rivalry between Sales and Marketing lives on. So I’ve gathered some general assumptions and labelled them as True or False.

Marketing is easy…just make it look pretty – TRUE (if you love your job)

Any job is easy if you love what you do. But let’s face it. Marketing is challenging. We have decreasing budgets, increased fiscal responsibility, fewer resources, and are expected to be “on the grid” 24×7. And because Marketing is a cost center (not a revenue generator like Sales), we are heavily scrutinized to prove ROI within days. How many companies REALLY take the time to do A/B testing and focus groups? Reminds me of a famous saying from the print world: “There’s never enough time to do the job right… but there’s always time to do it over”

Sales people live to golf – TRUE

Where else can you get a prospect’s undivided attention for at least 3 hours. Kudos to the reps who spend their days on the course, converting prospects into opportunities and closing deals. I couldn’t do it. I’d much rather ride the golf cart, take pictures, and tweet about it!

Marketing is responsible for generating all leads – FALSE

While it’s true that Marketing definitely has a hand in lead gen, there’s a reason why sales people are segmented into categories of “hunters” and “closers”. A mama bird will only bring food back to the nest for so long…

Sales owns the customer database – TRUE (and False)

Sales owns the relationship with the prospect. Marketing owns the relationship with the lead.

In my experience, Marketing is responsible for nurturing leads. In other words, work the database, maintain communication, and deliver content until such time as the lead is ready to convert into a true prospect. At that point, marketing hands the lead off to Sales. Sales then assigns opportunity potential and, with support from Marketing, converts the prospect into an account. Most importantly, it’s the responsibility of BOTH groups to ensure a clean and healthy database. As the old saying goes: garbage in…garbage out.

Marketing and Sales are arch enemies – FALSE (and True)

I’ve been fortunate to work alongside some amazing Sales people, who truly embraced the value of Marketing. When this occurs it is a beautiful alliance and together the teams are unstoppable.

Sales people don’t pay attention to detail – (TRUE)

Great sales people are sniper-focused. They want the facts, they want it now, and they want results. They aren’t worried about the little details, like whether there is font consistency in a powerpoint presentation. Nor should they have to. Because that’s where Marketing comes in. Keep your messages short and to the point. Need a response? Ask a question…don’t infer. Want their assistance? Illustrate the benefits.

The bottom line is: Sales people have quotas and are only as good as their last quarter. Marketing supports sales. You cannot have Marketing without Sales and I don’t believe you can have a truly successful Sales team without the assistance from Marketing.  When one team tries to control the other, doesn’t appreciate the skills and talents brought to the table, or focuses on benefitting themselves rather than the company…the lines are drawn in the sand and everyone suffers. A sure sign that this is the case? A revolving door in either of those departments.

About Joanne Gore

Joanne Gore has nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, including corporate and small office environments. She is a talented and creative marketing professional, always positive and able to see the big picture. She possesses the organization/prioritization skills which allow her to manage multiple projects from inception to implementation, meeting deadline demands and budgetary constraints.

A true mentor, Joanne marries her passion for marketing with clear, creative feedback and inspiration. Joanne develops lead generation and conversion programs, re-brands product lines, implements social media strategies, manages PR and media relations campaigns, overhauls websites, develops highly targeted marketing campaigns, and delivers results.

Joanne graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.


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