The divide between sales and marketing that Gary Vee highlighted gets expressed in many ways. But most often there appears to be some stereotypical gender divide sitting implicitly behind the clash of sales and marketing.
Is this more fantasy than reality? The latest EMR marketing salary survey attracted a roughly 60:40 split of male and female respondents – but this does not stop it being imagined as a gender divide time and time again. Also consider that Gartner suggests sales is still very much a man’s world. Food for thought.
- As one commentator put it ‘sales are from Mars and marketing from Venus’.
- The marketing department quickly becomes decorative (as in ‘the colouring in department’) against the essential manly drive of sales.
- It’s the ‘balls-out boys’ and ‘have-a-go heroes’ facing off against the ‘tits and teeth department’.
- Or the breadwinners pitted against the cost centre.
- And sometimes it’s the hunters – sniffing blood and closing in for the kill – against the gatherers – strategically taking the long-term view by planting and nurturing crops (aka leads).
Behind such rabid imaginings lies a very real divide in the relationship between sales and marketing.
Let’s forget the name calling – it’s time to find common ground rather than over-emphasise differences.
What’s needed is marketing alignment.
So, you hit the supermarket – you’ve got half an hour to do the weekly shop before you need to pick up the kids.
Place your pound in the slot and off you go – the clock is ticking.
You’ve chosen the trolley with the wonky wheels and, instead of gliding through the aisles, you’re going nowhere fast.
This is a metaphor for sales and marketing alignment (so at least some good has come from it): when all four trolley wheels are aligned you can navigate your way around Asda in no time.
Put like that sales alignment is a no-brainer: so why do we still feel we need to crack heads?
Because so many misperceptions are still in play.
thinksmarketing has a superiority complex.
And marketing thinks sales neither gets nor respects what it does.
- Sales are instantly measurable and quantifiable.
Its activity is directly tied to revenue.
Some aspects of marketing can be tough to measure.
Activities such as branding are not directly tied to revenue.
hasdifferent KPIs, metrics and motivators to marketing.
Marketing is much less likely to receive compensation for its part in securing sales.
isaccused of not following up on leads generated.
Marketing is accused of not generating the ‘right’ leads.
- Sales teams and marketing teams often sit separately.
And they also often meet and report separately.
- Marketing and sales often share opposed views of how the sales funnel works.
And there can be a lack of synergy in their respective definitions of what is a qualified lead at each stage of the funnel.
- And, of course, both departments can play the ‘blame game’:
‘Mistakes were made (but not by me).’
There’s a lot to pick your way through there.
But better to be eyes wide open and have a good idea of what needs to be tackled. That’s the first step in your road towards effective sales and marketing alignment.
So… where to next?
Tune in – more coming in our Sales and Marketing alignment series soon.