Sales versus Marketing

For many businesses, coordinating sales and marketing messages is a daunting task. What senior management wants to communicate to customers is often at odds with what is actually communicated by sales and those close to customers.

We have found this to be a common problem among many organizations. There is a simple test to determine whether marketing and sales are aligned. It is to compare what is stated on a company’s website, Facebook page and marketing brochures versus what is actually being said by salespeople. Try this with your own organization.

For instance, here is an example of poorly coordinated messages we recently found within medium size printing company.

Company Web Site
Sales Force
Full range of marketing services
We sell printing
We are responsive 24/7
Company hours are 9 to 5
Complete range of printing products and services
We sell short run cut sheet offset and digital printing
Full range of vertical market print solutions
We sell brochure, booklet, catalog and direct mail printing
Data driven personalized print solutions
We sell direct mail with names and addresses

A key question is, “why this even matters?”

For growing companies, getting marketing and sales messages aligned and integrated leverages the capabilities and marketing spend of the company.  With everyone on the same page, customers have a better chance of knowing what a company is selling and what makes it different from everyone else. We seldom see growing and successful companies in this economic environment who are not getting this right.  

Getting this right is the responsibility of senior management. John D Rockefeller said many years ago, “Don’t blame the marketing department. The buck stops with the Chief Executive.”