The Common Problem | Sales vs. Marketing

Why is it that since the dawn of time Sales and Marketing departments have been bitter foes? In the first company that ever existed was Cain the VP of Sales and Able the VP of Marketing, or maybe it was the other way around. At companies around the world these departments seem to view the other as the personification of their respective cliches. Marketers see salespeople as flashy, jet-setting attention seekers, that drive fast cars, and wear fancy clothes. Respectively, salespeople all too often see their marketing colleagues as vegan moustachioed hipsters, jonesing for their next IPA or pour-over coffee, depending upon the time of day of course. 

The bottom line is that there is a palpable line of delineation between these respective departments. Not surprisingly this division serves only to draw a negative impact on team harmony, company culture, customer experience, and revenue. To be clear this is a manufactured division that consistently exists across a myriad of companies for no other reason than the detestable and inexcusable reason of “because it’s always been that way”.

No company should suffer the cost from this self-inflicted division between Marketing and Sales departments. What companies truly need is a transformational alignment between these respective departments. A transformational alignment that’s brought about by Marketing and Sales understand their respective roles in the sales cycle, and most importantly for Marketing to assume the ethos of “Sales at Scale”.

The Marketing Ethos “Sales at Scale”

Let’s be clear about something; Marketing and Sales are on the same team when it comes to the sales cycle. In the context of how Marketing and Sales should work together in an ideal sales cycle we should look no further than how major league baseball teams handle their pitching rotation in a nine inning game. Simply put, in baseball you have the starting pitcher that starts the game, throws four to six innings, and sets up the rest of the game for a successful outcome. The middle relief pitcher comes in for a couple of innings to move the game along, and finally, you have the fabled “closer” that comes in the 8th or 9th inning to bring the heat, and secure the win. This is precisely how the roles of Marketing and Sales should play out in the sales cycle. Marketing serves as the first encounter with a prospect, and they carry the prospect forward in the sales cycle. Naturally, as things progress Sales comes in to carry the engagement forward and closes the deal.

Once this fundamental principle of how Marketing and Sales should work together in harmony as part of the sales cycle is understood the “Sales ast Scale” mentality can take hold. The “Sales at Scale” mentality is simply the understanding of Marketing’s role in the sales process and that they are responsible for setting up the Sales team for bountiful success. In this manner Marketing is an extension of Sales, with the main difference being they tell the story at the front-end of the sales cycle with a megaphone. Marketing’s role is to reach out far and wide telling the story of your company to would be prospects. Prospects that answer the call are to be greeted with phenomenally helpful content that directly resonates with their pains and desires. Additional relevant content is made effortlessly available to the prospect until such time they pass the threshold where they become a “sales qualified lead”, at which time the sales reps come in to do what they do best.

This is “Sales at Scale” at work, and it’s far removed from the unfortunate oppositional state of Marketing and Sales departments at most companies.

Marketing’s “Sales at Scale” Ethos Comes Down to Revenue

According to NAICS 88% of the 17,310,600 businesses in the US produce under $10 million dollars a year in revenue. These businesses do not need their Marketing and Sales departments bickering the way they’ve always done. Leaders need to lead out of the status quo and towards a more harmonious way of doing business that provides a better buying experience for the customer, happier employees, and more revenue. Businesses must shape the narrative so that Marketing and Sales understand they each have tremendous responsibility relative to the sales cycle. Once Marketing fully embraces and implements the “Sales at Scale” ethos they can enable the Sales team to experience more success than ever before. Reject status quo, embrace the “Sales at Scale” ethos, and set your company up for the success it deserves. 

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