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Eternal Battle: Marketing + Sales

Let’s set the scene. You’re in a meeting room and at one side of the room is the sales team, and the other side is the marketing team. Notebooks filled with stats are at the ready, arguments are sharpened and blame is set to be placed. Questions such as “how come we aren’t getting more sales” and “why aren’t we getting more leads” can be heard through the door. When the meeting finally comes to a close, both teams are left feeling frustrated with the other, and nobody’s work gets easier or better. Everyone goes back to doing the same thing until they meet again.

Sound familiar?

Arguably, there are few battles as persistent and well known in the workplace as sales and marketing. When you have departments so closely related to, and reliant upon each other, there is bound to be turmoil. But does it have to be that way? I would suggest that the very reasons that have them in conflict could be the what could make them great working together.

Both Sales and Marketing need to see increased revenue month over month to be recognized as successful in their job. The difference comes in the KPIs by which they are measured (leads vs conversions), but the end goal is the same. It stands to reason that any parties who are responsible for achieving the same goals can offer something to each other.


The marketing team needs to take a big picture look at the company, what the goals are (as far as target regions, clients, and industries), and its overall visibility in the marketplace. It needs to consider the specific marketing techniques that will get the goals met, whether that be social media, sponsorships, email marketing, video, print, radio, or even goofy things like TV or programmatic banner ads.

This big picture look is helpful for the sales team because, if done successfully, there should be a constant stream of leads that are coming into the funnel. As the marketing team becomes more and more successful, the leads become warmer and warmer and the sales become easier and easier to achieve.


The sales team has a much more targeted focus. They dig into the psyche of the customer - getting clear on exactly what makes them tick and what they need. Sales needs to have a deep understanding of the triggers for each level of decision maker - as often there are many people in the chain of making a purchasing decision.

The targeted focus is helpful for the marketing team because, without that, marketing is just making things up! Marketing is infinitely better when they can create specific ads using the same language as the customer uses. The better the information that sales can give to marketing - the better marketing is able to perform.

The Union

While it’s easy to blame the team across the table, it’s much more productive to consider how you can work together. Take some time in the next meeting to share insights instead of hurling insults. I’m pretty sure you’ll end up with a wildly better outcome.

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