When meeting with clients, one of the frequent conversations is how we, as a marketing team, plan to drive sales, engage the sales team more fully, and better measure our efforts.

In other words, how do we MARRY sales and marketing. How do we create a long-lasting and meaningful relationship between the two departments that not only increases the bottom line, but also engages the company’s internal resources and employees. In many companies, the sales and marketing departments are still only dating and haven’t fully committed to each other.

Here’s a sample scenario I’ve seen happen with some clients:

Sales comes in to Marketing’s office usually in a rush and unannounced, taps on the door and asks (pleads):

  • Do you have sell sheet for this product?
  • Can do you an event flyer for this expo?
  • Can you quickly work up a PowerPoint presentation for a new client meeting I have tomorrow?
  • I need 25 of those really nice polo shirts you ordered, like now?

Many times, these unexpected (but welcome) requests are rush projects and lack the forethought that Marketing likes to put into her work. So, Marketing gets up from her desk and scrambles around trying to makes Sales happy.

They put aside their long-term and planned projects that are (hopefully) part of broader marketing strategy and quickly (but lovingly and willingly) try to put a sales package together that looks like it hasn’t been thought up or assembled five minutes ago. There is no real cohesion, strategy, or underlying message between sales and marketing. They haven’t said their vows yet.

Another scenario that occurs is when Sales and Marketing haven’t even met yet and they are still going about their business single, with no inkling that they need each other. This is actually worse than the former scenario because there is NO marketing message to support the sales effort. Sales is on its own using material that they DID ON THEIR OWN and are basically relying on their skill, talent and likeability to generate business.

We love you Sales. We love your passion, your tenacity, and your ideas. We want you knocking down our door to get our marketing materials. We want to meet your needs and help you “bring home the bacon!” But in order to truly meet those needs, we need a plan. We need you to “put a ring on it” and together we need to commit to a long-term marketing message, identity, and strategy. Then we need you to help us make it happen. We cannot do it without you.

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