Marketing vs. Sales

I just read a great article from this month’s Multichannel Merchant magazine that I felt was valuable to share called “Getting Sales and Marketing to Play Nice”.

The main gist of the article is that the entire organization suffers when sales and marketing not only don’t get along, but don’t collaborate with each other.

A recent survey of 300 companies found that only 20% of respondents said that their sales and marketing departments were integrated and worked well together, and 95% said that their firm’s revenues would increase in the two departments worked more closely together.

The golden rule here is that marketing’s main priority is to generate leads and revenues for the company in concert with building the brand, increasing the company’s visibility, and harvesting long-term customer relationships.

Marketing is a lead generator for sales. Marketing uses public relations, direct marketing, advertising, Websites and other methods to generate leads for sales. Sales then reaches out to the qualified leads to reinforce the message that marketing has communicated.

An article on About.com sums up the relationship nicely by saying that “marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects, while the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale.” Likewise, ClickZ says that “once marketing has created opportunities for sales to succeed by defining the product and creating the sales tools, it’s up to sales to drive the success or failure of the company.”

A common practice that we do with our clients when we’re planning marketing efforts for the year is to meet with sales to determine what the revenue objectives are. From that figure, we back out how many sales are needed to close in order to meet the objective, how many leads need to be brought in to close X amount of sales, how many people you need to reach to generate X number of leads, etc.

Look at your options for lead generation programs – whether it is direct mail, email, or a Webinar – and figure out which options will bring in the greatest number of qualified leads for the cost, and use the above formula to see whether those programs will bring you closer to achieving the sales objectives for the year.

The bottom line is that when both sales and marketing are working together, the entire company wins, and each function needs the other if the company as a whole is going to succeed.

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1 Response to “Marketing vs. Sales”


  1. 1 Dan Valencia November 28, 2006 at 1:24 am

    I failed to seee the respondent’s percentage. Out of the 300 surveys that were sent out. what was the Respondents Percentage?


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