85% of sales and marketers don’t like each other. Salespeople describe their colleagues as “arts and crafts”, “academics”, and at the very least occasionally “irrelevant”; marketers describe sales folk as “simple-minded”, “incompetent”, and plain old “lazy”.
If it sounds like sibling rivalry, that’s because it is. Much like siblings, marketers and salespeople know that they are opposite sides of the same coin and that the other isn’t going anywhere. Ever. However, if anything, this sense of inevitability only serves to heighten the rivalry. Without sales, marketers would have no foot soldiers to take care of the leads and customers that their materials create, making their jobs pointless. Without marketers, sales would have no collateral on hand, no brand to sell, and no promotion asides from networking.
Basically, without the inevitable symbiosis of sales and marketing, we would all be worse off.
Where, then, does this leave the creatives behind marketing and the extroverts behind sales? Simple: it leaves them with a mutual understanding that working together well, hard as it may seem, is a necessity.
Perhaps the easiest and most productive way of stopping your sales and marketing teams from fighting like cats and dogs is by bettering the sales/marketing relationship and combining energies to make marketing materials that really work.
I want to let you in on a secret: as a marketer, it is impossible to make effective marketing materials without input from sales. Marketing specialists, in general, do not reach out to customers in person. They do not go to meetings with irate clients. They do not have to grin and bear it when they find themselves unable to sell a product because they don’t have the resources on hand to be convincing. In short, marketers can be creative as hell, but they will never be as thirsty as sales.
Unsurprisingly, it is also impossible for sales to create truly effective to the point of being profound marketing materials because, and I’m going to be blunt here, it’s a completely different skillset, and mental and physical toolkit. This, in fact, is the annoying part of being in a symbiotic relationship that both sales and marketing have issues with: you really need the other to be effective in your own right.
Not too sound like too much of a cliche, but both marketing and sales are stronger when together. Use your (sales) force.
P.S. So, what happens when you throw the branding department into this yin yang marketing-sales mix? Basically, in my head, if marketing and sales are bickering siblings, branding specialists are that cool cousin that stays with you over the summer and lets you borrow his leather jacket and BMX bike so you can show off to your friends (as long as you don’t mess it up). Brand-ers, you’re definitely in a league of your own, we’ll give you that.