You Complete Me: What Sales Wishes Marketing Knew (and Vice Versa)

You Complete Me: What Sales Wishes Marketing Knew (and Vice Versa)

How can sales and marketing work better together?

Here’s something you already know: Sales and marketing is in a continual tug of war. The tension is often palpable. Sales feels that marketing is fluffy and ungrounded in reality, and marketing feels that sales isn’t doing what it should to make its work successful.

As with everything, communication is key. Yes, sales and marketing are different functions, but they’re intrinsically interdependent. One without the other will always hamper a business’s success.

Articles, presentations, and papers abound on how sales and marketing can work better together. In fact, there are even tools—software and systems—that help make workflow between the two more seamless. All these resources have value. But when we reached out to our networks recently to see what practical tips one side had for another, we got some interesting feedback from sales folks:

  • Salespeople would really like materials that are low-cost enough for frequent use. One person complained that the sales packet the marketing team gave her is so costly that she was asked to use it only for “really key prospects.” She’d rather have something she can give to everyone.
  • Another salesperson asked for realistic messaging. He said that often the messaging his company’s marketing department delivers is so over-the-top positive that he feels like it sets up prospects for disappointment.

Both practical points from the sales world are good ones, and gave the FrogDog team—mostly marketers, of course—solid food for thought. If you’re in marketing, they should give you something to chew on as well.

Suspiciously, marketers were silent when asked for practical tips for salespeople. (Now, that’s not like the marketers we know!) A few off-the-cuff thoughts from some of the FrogDog marketing folks:

  • Sales teams will always hear interesting tidbits in the field and in conversations with prospects that marketers don’t. Salespeople can pick up early trends in what prospects are thinking about and what kinds of issues are influencing their decisions. Please share! It’s hard to create innovative marketing strategies and campaigns without field insights.
  • Invite us in! If there’s a sales meeting—internal with the sales staff only, or externally with a prospect—that you think marketing should sit in on, include us. We can be silent listeners, we promise. And the insights we’ll gain from the process will help us create truly strong marketing. (Bonus: We’ll pester you less for insights and data! Well, a little less, anyway.)

We’d like to hear your practical tips for making sales and marketing work better together—that goes for people in sales and people in marketing. What could the “other side” do or consider that would make your life easier and work to the collective good of your organization? Write in and let us know your thoughts.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

Posted: Dec 06, 2011
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
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