Sales Vs. Marketing: The Battle

William Black

Having worked in both sales and marketing roles independently, I have been exposed to what motivates both areas, and to their ultimate goals.

Until recently, it was quite simple. Both parties worked autonomously. Sales did their prospecting and selling while marketing drove awareness, and if by chance a successful lead was generated, it was passed to sales to close the deal.

In the last few years, however, marketing—particularly digital marketing—has been generating leads quicker than a salesperson can smile and dial. Marketing automation, better analytics, and the explosion of social media have all contributed to the success of digital marketing as a selling tool.

This has created an issue. Marketing now holds quite a bit of power in the success of the sales department. In addition to the stress of hitting a target, the last thing a salesperson wants is someone else in control of their earning potential.

A recent report by InsideView and Demand Gen shows that many sales and marketing professionals still have conflicting ideas about the value of each other’s role:

“55% of salespeople surveyed agreed marketing isn’t accountable for pipeline.”

“16% of marketers surveyed agreed they could do a better job selling than their sales colleagues.”

The report also showed, however, that both parties were on the same page regarding the challenges of aligning the two departments:

Source: Demand Gen

Sales and marketing must work as one and trust each other in order to achieve the best outcome of the partnership.

Some marketing departments are now measured by their contribution to pipeline, which helps to unite both teams.

Studies have shown three striking benefits of the alignment:

1. Revenue growth

“Organizations with tightly aligned marketing and sales achieved 24% faster revenue growth and 27% faster profit over a three-year period.”                        (Source: SiriusDecisions)

2. Customer retention

“Companies with aligned sales and marketing teams experience 36% higher customer retention rates.” 
(Source: MarketingProfs)

3. Closing deals

“Companies with aligned sales and marketing teams are 67% better at closing deals.”    (Source: Marketo)

As digital transformation sweeps across the B2B landscape, having your sales and marketing departments working as one finely tuned machine can only be a good thing.

For more on strategies that align business teams and boost your bottom line, see “How To Increase Engagement, Sales With Customer Communities.”

This article originally appeared on William Black – Blog.

William Black

About William Black

William Black is a partner service advisor and marketing specialist for the PSD organization at SAP. His specialties include digital marketing, social media, and marketing strategy. Connect with William on LinkedIn and Twitter @WBlack_Mktg