The Insane Relationship Between Marketing and Sales

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Over the past several years I have written about the need for marketing and sales to be on the same team – as I am a believer it is a key attribute of a company’s success. There are some who believe this is a problem that has been put to rest. Unfortunately, that is not often what we experience when we work with company’s marketing and sales teams. And I was struck that this is still a much-needed conversation when I read an article on MarketingProfs, “Three Strategic Marketing and Sales Mistakes to Avoid in 2017.” The 3 mistakes described below can be avoided if the relationship between marketing and sales is redefined:

  1. Not Aligning Sales and Marketing Goals
  2. Lacking a Plan
  3. Thinking That Sales Growth and Momentum Will Continue

I agree with all three of these as they contain some of the key motivations behind the creation of North Star’s proprietary sales amplification process called SalesAmp.

  1. Aligning Marketing and Sales Goals

North Star’s CRO, Ted Williams, recently wrote about how marketing and sales often feel like they are on different teams. A perspective shift is required to unify both teams, so they are working towards the same goal of driving revenue.

Marketing’s role is to help sales sell. It has been shown repeatedly that what gets measured gets done.  If marketing is not measured on their impact to filling the sales pipeline for sales, it will not be a priority.  Marketing is often measured by the number of prospects they can get into the top of the funnel but not how they are moved through the pipeline. Sales does not have the time or the wiring to be nurturing leads that are not ready to buy. So, prospects just languish without someone’s focused attention.

Marketing and Sales Funnel

The Gap in the Traditional Marketing and Sales Process

  1. Lacking A Plan

By nature, marketing wants a plan and sales can often fight a plan, defaulting to a preferred off-the-cuff organic approach. This disconnect is where we find marketing can bring tremendous value to sales. Sales is often all about the latest great idea and it can be a bit of a shotgun approach. Whereas marketing is often seeking to develop a plan that is more rifle focused and stuck to.

SalesAmp’s 7-step process defines marketing’s role and responsibilities and clearly defines when sales steps in.

The article also mentioned a key challenge was understanding if sales used the content marketing developed. Sirius Decisions estimates that 30% of marketing content is used by sales. YIKES, that is a lot of time and money spent on the other 70% that is not used. We have seen time and time again, if you involve sales in the initial stages of content development, they will use it. We have also found success when you don’t leave dissemination of the content to sales, instead develop campaigns where marketing sends the content out on each of their individual behalf.

  1. Thinking That Sales Growth and Momentum Will Continue

We see this time and time again and part of the challenge starts with leadership.  We have never heard of a company that decreases a sales team’s quotas year over year. It is always about exceeding last year’s goals. But what we have seen become particularly challenging for sales is that since around 2009-2010, there is a real hesitancy on sales leaders’ parts to add head counts and the increased time required by each sales rep to focus on existing clients or other non-selling activity. This approach is not a long-term strategy for continued growth. Because we see this consistently across industries, we focused on creating a process that allowed the “same head count, same sales team, same hours in the day but more sales.” Expecting your sales people to keep outperforming the previous year’s revenue will eventually come to an end if nothing changes. There needs to be a change in how marketing can support sales so your existing sales teams can sell more with the same hours in the day.

Two main reasons sales momentum can’t continue at the same pace

At North Star, our mission is to redefine marketing – leveraging all of its power for sales. That’s why we developed the Sales Amp program. It bridges the gap between marketing and sales by effectively marketing each and every sales rep in an organization. Sales Amp allows all of the difficult, time-consuming work to be expedited significantly. By utilizing the latest inbound and outbound marketing techniques for each sales rep, prospects are engaged and nurtured with the correct information, so that when the sales team does engage, their time is spent on the right prospect at the right time. Every time.

For more information on North Star Marketing’s SalesAmp program, call or email Ted at +1 (401) 294-0133 or