This details the reasons for conflict between sales and marketing and how to effectively to work together at different stages in the company life cycle. Based on Harvard Business Review article co-written by Phil Kotler of Northwestern University.
Global Consumer Brand & Product Marketer
The Sales & Marketing Interface Why can’t they just get along?
Sales-Marketing Interface: Why Does It Exist? Marketing blames sales for poor execution of their “brilliant” marketing plan Sales insists Marketing sets the price too high and/or uses too much of the support budget in advertising. They believe money better spent with customers Marketing believes Sales is too myopic – focusing on individual customers and not the end- user/market segments Sales believes Marketing is out of touch with what’s really going on with customers – doesn’t listen well
Why Sales & Marketing Aren’t On The Same Page? Two Main Issues: Economic Issues: Cultural Issues: Who sets the retail and/or customer acquisition Sales & Marketing usually have different price? education and skill-sets; fact-based vs. relationship selling. Do we spend ad/promo dollars against the ultimate consumer and/or customer and who Performance metrics usually different. decides the mix? Marketing: $ sales and margin % by product lines Sales: $ sales and customer margin % Does the product create value vs. competitive Definition of short vs. long term results offerings or is it just “me-too”. Lack of communication between groups. Who decides where we sell the product? Big-box Sales and/or marketing resources aren’t readily vs. specialty vs. 2-3 step distribution. available to meet desired corporate objectives. 3 Source: Kotler, Rackham & Krishnaswamy
Sales-Marketing Conflict: Can Hurt Firm’s Performance Sales/Marketing working on same things – decreases efficiency and effectiveness Cost of sales can be higher than needed due to this replication of effort and inefficiency Sales & Marketing not on same “messaging” page with customers – result is confusion and lost sales opportunities Can result in longer sales cycles to get replenishment orders Can result in lost distribution of current items if sales/marketing don’t work together Lower chances for commercial success of new product launches if marketing doesn’t take into customer planning/planogram cycles
Sales/Marketing Relationships Need To Evolve Over Time Undefined Defined AlignedDo Nothing If: If the company is small Company’s products/services are Company lacks a culture of shared fairly well defined. responsibility Have good informal relationships Traditional marketing and sales roles Sales and marketing report separately Marketing is still a sales support work in this market to the General Manager function – usually MARCOM. No clear reason for change Customer purchase cycles are fairly shortTighten up the Conflicts are evident Although roles better defined, Develop a common process forSales/Marketing duplication of efforts and things managing /measuring revenueRelationship If: Duplication of efforts or things continue to fall though cracks generating activities – sales or falling through the cracks marketing Market is commoditized and highly Sales/Marketing compete for price competitive resources and/or support $’s. Product development continues through the sales/launch process Product life cycles are shortening due to advancing technology Move to Defined Move to Aligned Move to Integrated 5 Source: Kotler, Rackham & Krishnaswamy