Sales and Marketing should be kept separate

Summary : When the two are combined, the strategic parts of marketing often get short shrift. This often leads to feature-oriented product development which is almost always a disaster. At the same time, sales should have input to marketing but you don’t want to see sales get bogged down with marketing at the expense of losing focus on their most important jobs: developing relationships, as well as identifying and developing momentum towards closure in each account.

In general, sales and marketing should be kept separate. This is true in almost all cases, with the one exception being sales-support marketing.  When the two are combined, the strategic parts of marketing often get short shrift.  I’ve see some companies so dysfunctional that they expected sales people to do the marketing.  One can see this when sales people are expected to provide marketing reports.  Key signs are when sales people are expected to answer questions like how big is the market, who are the top suppliers, what features should be in the next product.  This often leads to feature-oriented product development which is almost always a disaster.  At the same time, sales should have input to marketing but you don’t want to see sales get bogged down with marketing at the expense of losing focus on their most important jobs: developing relationships, as well as identifying and developing momentum towards closure in each account.   When I look at some of the best run companies, sales doesn’t exist in a classical sense.  Account management is used instead, while marketing is spread all over the map.

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