Why Can’t Sales and Marketing Just Get Along?
No two departments or disciplines in a business need each other as much as sales and marketing. Yet they are often engaged in near armed combat. How come?
One big reason is a reactive versus proactive mentality.
Salespeople tend to be reactive. When the customer says "Jump!" the salesperson says, "How high?" Their daily agenda often consists of answering questions, solving problems and putting out fires. Their weakness is an unwillingness to plan, thinking it unrealistic because plans change fifteen minutes into the day.
Marketers, on the other hand, tend to be proactive. They think in terms of plans, programs, campaigns, strategies and tactics. A plan that changed every fifteen minutes would send them into a panic. Their weakness is a tendency to be too theoretical, to take insufficient stock of the practical realities of working with customers in the trenches of sales.
But salespeople who resist planning get stuck in the mud. Marketers who resist practical thinking create elegant programs that don't work. Successful customer creation and retention require a mix of sales and marketing skill sets. Salespeople and marketers should welcome the tension between them, because that is what makes them each effective.