Sales & Marketing: The Classic Sibling Rivalry

Two people shakes hands over a conference table

Sales and marketing are a classic play on siblings: they’ll always be there, together, as part of the same family, but here and there they get into quarrels, have different tastes, and don’t agree on things.

It is key to keep this in mind to make the most of each effort. Some organizations even combine marketing and sales into one department.  While they should absolutely coexist and support each other, there are some key differences that can’t be ignored when it comes to utilizing both sales and marketing for maximum impact:

1. The Audience

Your marketing strategy considers an enormous and drastically varying audience, including potential customers, current customers, competitors, media, employees, potential employees, and the general public.

Efforts of your sales team are geared at a specific subset of those individuals who are the actual decision makers. These targeted groups will have very specific pain points they need to solve for, desire information to be delivered in certain ways, and operate on certain timelines.

2. The Time Frame

Marketing never stops; your core mission should live on in some form or another, for the duration of your organization’s existence. All efforts on the marketing side support that larger, long-term vision.

Various aspects of your sales efforts are generally much shorter-lived, and can change course quickly. Landing a new customer or hitting sales numbers for the quarter is a short-term initiative and mindset.

3. The Goals

Speaking of goals… by its very nature, sales goals revolve around numbers and profits: number of customers, average size of customer, turnaround time, profit margins, total sales, and more drive this work.

In contrast, marketing goals are typically more holistic and strategic in nature, and can plug into the varying needs of your organization, wherever they may lie. Your marketing team may be looking to position you as industry experts in a new vertical, launch a new product, or support HR’s recruitment initiatives.

Inherent Dysfunction

These differences can cause dysfunction; if your sales team wants to take on a less-than-ideal customer, or offer a twist on a service that doesn’t fit within your long-term vision in order to hit this quarter’s sales numbers, this is a stark contrast from the goals of your marketing team.

What makes one sibling happy, won’t always make the other one feel the same. So, while they carry the same genes, they’re not the same. But like any siblings, they need to learn to work together.

Best of Both Worlds

Disagreements will happen. But that doesn’t mean they should be kept in silos. When they work together, they’re both stronger than they are working alone.

Are you working towards bringing your sales and marketing efforts into better alignment? We can help! Let’s grab a drink and talk about how to maximize the impact of both through an integrated approach.

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