August 7, 2018
Updated: January 7, 2020

How Marketing and Sales Drifted So Far Apart

Marketing and Sales traditionally operate as separate universes. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

By bringing both worlds closer together, Marketing and Sales can share information and insights that will result in customers feeling they are receiving solutions to their challenges and not just another sales pitch. Understanding this requires looking back to see how we got here.

Moving past “Mad Men”

Originating in the “Mad Men” era, marketing success was traditionally measured by consumer awareness. For digital media, this meant “eyeballs,” or views. The greater the brand awareness during this journey, the greater the chance that the awareness will lead to purchasing.

In today’s world, awareness is not enough; Marketing spend must be directly related to increased leads and ideally, sales. Technologies such as digital marketing and marketing automation systems have provided marketers with data and analytics that provide increasingly granular insights into which content will be most effective at motivating prospects to buy.

Falling into the ‘black box’

Unfortunately, most marketers lack data to give them insights on the effectiveness of content once Sales is engaged with a customer. The bottom of the funnel is a black box. So Marketing spends large amounts of money with no way to measure a return on that investment. Worse yet, even with that investment, there is no guarantee it will turn into insights that will connect with buyers.

Marketing can and should interview Sales to get more information about what content is effective, but this process isn’t scalable for large (and especially global) sales organizations, or for organizations that sell through indirect channels. Marketers needs technology that measures the effectiveness of content so that they can invest in content that impacts revenue.

Separate silos slow revenue

Sales, on the other hand, operates as a separate silo. Success for Sales is measured in closed deals and for sales leadership in metrics such as average deal size, average sales cycle, and time to ramp up new reps. While Marketing is ideally positioned to help Sales reach those goals, there are inherent roadblocks. Often each function measures success by different metrics, so despite good intentions to work together, a communication breakdown is often inevitable. Sales often sees marketing content as too abstract or not relevant while Marketing sees Sales as underutilizing content that is intended to help them broaden their message.

In both examples, nothing is achieved except general discontent between Sales and Marketing, a disastrous scenario which could slow revenue from growing. Companies can learn how to stop that if they understood the benefits when Marketing and Sales share technology to help create value for their customers.

What are the results when Marketing and Sales work together successfully? Read Showpad’s new report, Sales as the Forgotten Marketing Channel. In it, you’ll learn how the partnership of Marketing and Sales can create a more meaningful relationship with your buyers and increase your opportunities for selling.

Sales as the Forgotten Marketing Channel ebook