The silent war between marketing and sales

July 26th, 2007 by Tom Elrod

I stumbled across this great blog by Kirk Crenshaw about how marketing and sales are at odds with one another. We come across this all the time where the sales team feels like marketing is not providing leads worth acting on and the marketing team feels like the sales team doesn’t put any effort into acting on the leads they provide. When in truth, both sides are right. As Kirk states, the real problem is “lack of communication” between both sides. Usually this is never addressed directly within an organization and is left for the smack talk at happy hour.

One of the big reasons for this communication disconnect is that neither marketing nor sales have visibility into what the other is doing. I think one of the reasons for this is that they are using completely different tool sets to get their job done which provides no integration between them. For example, in a typical situation where the marketing team is launching an e-mail campaign, how do they know if it brought the sales team any leads of value? Can the sales team even see that a lead came from a particular marketing campaign?

There are tools that can provide this level of integration (hint, hint). However, they are only part of the picture. The generals from both sales and marketing have to acknowledge the gap between their two teams and that they are on the same side. Only then can the sales machine really begin to hum (fueled by marking of course). The key is communication which has to happen from the top down.

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