Sales and Marketing Are Now Integrated, Aren't They? - Customer Relationship Management

Well,not exactly,and the likelihood of their actual integration is not really that great for the present. But they can and should be aligned if you’re going to deal with the world as it now is. At least as far as your strategy goes.

Before I explain why,I want to clarify something. Sales and marketing remain two distinct disciplines. Sales is the art and science of getting a customer to purchase something; marketing is the art and science of getting the attention of a prospective customer and keeping it until they buy something,and then after that. Marketing doesn’t include the purchase,but if done well,it convinces the customer to go ahead and make the purchase. While the disciplines remain distinct,the two teams need to work as a single team to accomplish the objectives of a 21st century organization. That means they have to have a unified vision. They should know who the real customer is and whom they envision as the customer over the next few years. Their efforts from lead to cash,so to speak,need to be coordinated and working in conjunction as if they were a single department with the same objectives,not two departments with conflicting objectives.

I’m not trying to put salespeople or marketing people out of work by rationalizing the two departments. While there is no reason to consolidate and do what is now politely called a “reduction in force,”since salespeople still have to sell and marketing people need to grab customers’ attentions,there is a need to make sure they are working together as a coherent team while still discharging their individual functions.

Don Peppers,in a document co-developed by Peppers and Rogers Group and Microsoft Dynamics called “Sales and Marketing: The New Power Couple,”points out that traditionally sales departments and marketing departments have been separate entities and even have different operating processes. Sales people are focused around short-term results such as making their quarterly quotas. They are measured by number of sales calls or the number of presentations,so quantity in a short time anchors their KPIs. They get rewarded by commissions on sales,not long-term business development.

Marketing departments have both long-term and short-term objectives. They develop initiatives around brand building that take some time. But more often than not,when they spend their marketing dollars on something other than a campaign,they are told that their spending better generate leads. Brand building is fine when you have the luxury to do it.

I’ve seen the evidence of that and how marketing departments get around it too. I’m the co-owner of a training company called BPT Partners,LLC, long with Bruce Culbert,Jeff Tanner,and Bill Howell—all contributors to this book. We certify those we train in CRM strategy and social media. Our business model is that we get sponsors to handle the venue,meal costs,transportation costs,and so on. Those sponsors are typically,but not

always,CRM software companies. The marketing departments of those companies make a decision on what they are looking for. It is one of two things,or both. First,lead generation. They have access to the people attending the training,who often represent Fortune 1000 companies and are qualified by their attendance. The other is brand building by association. The trainers are CRM industry heavyweights. There is a benefit to having an association with thought-leaders. Even if the only real benefit is their association with thought-leaders,the marketers still justify it by saying it is for “lead generation.” As Don Peppers puts it in the “Power Couple” document,“In the long term,marketers are spending time on branding and positioning,which is valuable but can be perceived as ‘the soft stuff ’ in a numbers-driven culture.” That’s why they say “lead generation” even if they’re doing it more for branding. Lead generation is not soft stuff.

All in all,sales and marketing are driven by different imperatives but need to be aligned because ultimately company success is a product of mutual alignment for those two departments.

What should it look like? One final piece from Don Peppers,a chart that I think reflects exactly what aligned sales and marketing organizations need to be doing—with one modification on my part,which you can see in italics in the table. The rest is Don Peppers’ take on it.
Table:The Alignment of Sales and Marketing
The Alignment of Sales and Marketing

But even the successful alignment of sales and marketing doesn’t negate the reality that the customer has changed,as I’ve spent pretty much this entire book trying to get across. What does that mean to sales? What are Sales 2.0 and Marketing 2.0? (Man,I’m getting 2.0ed out and there are still quite a few chapters to go.) How do they differ from their predecessors? Ask and ye shall get response.


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