It is oftentimes difficult to think of sales & marketing as independent functions, when they are most often displayed together, joined at the hip with that ampersand and presented as a cohesive, happy couple. Think William & Kate. Chip & Joanna. Sales & Marketing. Awww!
Beyond the catchy name, a company’s success depends on the strength of this union. To succeed in today’s competitive and digital world, companies need these two functions to operate as partners who support each other.
In a more submissive sales and marketing relationship, marketing operates only as sales support. Usually, this means that marketing creates collateral for the sales team and helps with tactical items (updating social media pages, sending a newsletter, etc.). They check things off the list, do some of the blocking and tackling, but not much more to drive the business forward.
Why does this happen? Many times, companies underinvest or undervalue marketing. Marketing is viewed as a “nice to have” and not a “need to have” and their focus shifts to managing the efforts of the salesforce. Bring in the orders. Address marketing when time allows or your annual planning is ramping up.
Sometimes the potential of marketing is unknown. They don’t always know what to request.
What should they request? In my past work in overseeing both sales and marketing for a leading manufacturer, I saw the power of marketing truly partnering with sales. That meant collaborating on targeting, crystalized the best messages, and investigated new opportunities.
Today, sales and marketing (whoops, make that Sales & Marketing) is all about communication and a strong partnership. Working together to get the right message to the right target as a means to the best results. That is the secret to how they live happily ever after.