Thursday, January 3, 2008

Marketing vs. Sales

We all know that Marketing creates the pretty brochures and Sales uses the brochures to close a deal, but what about the gray areas... the brand representation, the product definitions, the RFP requirements?

Marketing's purpose is to generate the leads. Sales' purpose is to close the deals. However, it happens all the time... these guys butt heads. Picture it: the sales rep and the marketing manager go together to a visit a prospect and close the sale. The marketing manager watches in horror as the product/service/widget/whatever doesn't perform up to "brand specifications" rendering the entire Marketing department essentially LFC, Liars First Class. Now watch the horror to the nth degree that flashes across the sales guy's face when he hears marketing blurt out, "We'll give you another upgrade... this time for free."

The old line goes, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later." When a company understands the true essence of both sales and marketing, and applies them in the right blend, the question isn’t being paid now or later. It’s being paid now and later.

Simply stated, marketing takes the long-term view of customer relationships, paving the way for sales to occur in the short-term. One feeds the other. Companies get into trouble when their appetite for short-term sales neglects the key role of long-term marketing.

Putting sales and marketing together in the same group is the single biggest mistake... actually, it's mistake number 2. The Biggest Mistake is hiring a guy with the title "VP of Sales & Marketing" expecting her to actually do either one worth a crap. These two groups have different goals, and when a wheel falls off, sales always wins because squeaky-wheel problems win against the need for long-term results.

No comments: