Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing.I write a lot about tying marketing goals to sales goals. For more on this, read Tuesday's post on
I used a variation of this response when I answered a question from a fellow marketer who was asking what one thing he could do to improve his marketing. His response was that he “agreed that marketing was a function of sales…”
Hold on a moment! I never said marketing was a function of sales. I am saying that marketing and sales need to have an equal partnership. Each are accountable for fulfilling their part of the arrangement.
Marketing is accountable to sales for supplying opportunities that will allow them to reach the goals. Marketing is also accountable for making sure they have the materials they need to get the sales – e.g. case studies, presentation materials, white papers, and other collateral.
On the other hand, sales is also accountable to marketing. They need to agree on the definition of an “opportunity.” By agreeing to that definition the sales team is committing to 100% follow up on the opportunities that marketing supplies.
In addition, sales needs to commit to making the sale. They need to agree on a reasonable percentage of opportunities that they can close based on industry norms and market conditions. If they are not reaching those goals, they need to look inward and improve their own abilities.
Does this mean that sales is a function of marketing? Of course not, they partners in driving the business forward.