Marketing and Sales – Working Better, Together

Collaboration illustration

David Johnston has a problem. He’s the owner of a 40-employee MSP. He started the business 15 years ago because he thought that, since he was so good at sales that he regularly bumped up against his employer’s commission cap, he would go into business for himself. He weathered the recession, and he’s kept up with the changes in technology, but the business has stubbornly refused to grow beyond where it is now. He’s stuck.

Sure, he’s a great salesman, but there’s no real strategy behind it. He frequently sees his customers buying services and equipment from others because they “didn’t know he did that”. His ads aren’t instantly recognizable because the brand is here, there and everywhere. His outreach to prospects is scattershot. He’s always running in response to the next thing, the next lead, the next customer problem.

“Marketing makes sales
easier and more profitable.”

In his mind, marketing is the same thing as sales, so he has no strategy. They aren’t the same, of course, though good marketing and sales teams work closely together. Marketing is supplying ammunition for the sales team and the sales team reports back on how well the ammunition performed.

“Marketing makes sales easier and more profitable,” says sales training guru Laura Posey, president of Simple Success Plans. Marketing unlocks the door, introducing your company and products. Then you, the sales person, can spend your time solving your prospects’ problems – and closing the deal.

It’s a process

Marketing and sales frequently take on different aspects of a particular task. Each is most effective when they have a continuous conversation, polishing, reiterating and adjusting for the marketplace. The process is one of constant, open communication and constant improvement.

So, what is it that sales does and what does marketing do? Below is a list of what each side does. There’s a great deal of overlap, and there should be constant for best results.

Marketing and Sales comparison chart

It isn’t a pair of silos, working in isolation. At the best companies, it’s collaboration, with constant back and forth, open communication and a strong measure of trust that, together, create strong companies.

So what can you do for your company?

Start with getting sales, marketing and management in the same room. Articulate company goals and how each team can support the effort to attain those goals. Collaborate on defining a lead-generation strategy.

Let each team articulate its challenges and where it needs input and support from the other. Keep it positive – if it degenerates into name calling and finger pointing, your efforts will stall.

Set regular meetings with all three groups to be sure everyone is on track, steps toward goals are being made, to provide feedback from all parties, and to work out any issues that have arisen. Take advantage of automation, such as SalesForce, Marketo or Hubspot, which can help you make decisions based on real data.

Neither sales nor marketing are rocket science, but by working together, you just might shoot the moon.

If you’d like help with boosting your sales with marketing that supports your team, contact me at 804.382.0594 or by email at and let’s talk.