Original insights in international business and marketing
Getting along well with a sibling can be a challenge. Take for example the relationship between sales and marketing. There have been a number of studies and articles written over the years on the complex and at times strained relationship between Sales and Marketing. Although often described as two sides of the same coin, these two functions have frequently been at odds with each other. Marketers have accused Sales of being too tactical, too price focused, too whiny/needy and too product minded. Meanwhile sales have blamed marketing for being unresponsive, uncreative, too slow, and too removed from the business & customers. While some of these accusations may be warranted, they ignore the fact that sales and marketing are inexorably tied to each other and that when one group fails, they both suffer. Marketing may be more strategically focused and sales may be more execution oriented but they cannot thrive in the long run without each other and without healthy levels of interaction.
A study by Luys, Rogers & Simms (“The role of sales and marketing integration in improving strategic responsiveness to market change”) reminded me just how strong collaboration between both groups can significantly expand an organization’s insight gathering and its reactivity in the market. One major benefit is improved gathering of market intelligence. Because of their daily interactions with customers in the markets, sales folks are ideally placed to collect information, data and testimonials that are invaluable to the marketing organization. Meanwhile, close integration between sales and marketing has been shown to result in improved strategic reactivity. In essence: better integration = improved market intelligence gathering and greater reactivity. Yet how often have we seen or experienced dysfunction between sales and marketing?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Steps can be taken to help foster better relations between both groups. Here are a few suggestions:
Got any horror stories or great examples of sales and marketing integration? Share your thoughts or simply follow the Parifornia blog (Original insights in international business and marketing).
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