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Are You Team Sales or Team Marketing?

Have you ever heard the term sales or marketing used interchangeably? Have you used them interchangeably? The answer to these two questions is probably a big, fat yes.

The funny thing about it, though, is that these terms don’t mean the same thing and a company won’t do as well without one or the other.

Sometimes these departments are combined in smaller companies and that is perfectly fine. The important thing is, the person or people in charge know how sales AND marketing work together to generate more revenue.

We’re going to take a quick look at the differences between these two departments and then dive into how they can work together to bring in the big bucks! Keep reading for more information!

Sales vs. Marketing: Which One Wins?

You can simply think of sales and marketing like this: marketing gets a product, service, or company out into the public eye. Marketers focus on satisfying the consumers’ needs through their product, service, or company.

Sales, on the other hand, more or less focuses on the needs of the seller (cash.) Salespeople work toward selling a product or service to a person that already knows about it because of marketing. Their focus is also ‘closing the deal’.

As you can see, these two titles or departments do have similar functions that could possibly be interchangeable. However, can you imagine a large company’s marketers trying to do both their job and making the sales calls? Or vice versa?

It would be a lot to handle for one department or the other, which is why they are broken down as such. To answer the above question about which one wins–neither does. They are both integral parts of a company’s success.

The Epic Battle

Someone outside of these two departments can see their similarities and how they might work well together. If you ask a marketer or a seller, they will tell you how much better their respective department is.

A lot of this is due to lacking communication or the fact that 90% of content created by the marketing department is never used by the sales team. These two facts alone can wreak havoc on revenue for a company.

Marketers feel like their work is undervalued and sellers might feel like they’re constantly bossed around. It makes for a sticky situation that hurts everyone.

A Dynamic Duo, Nonetheless

For sales to be successful, people need to know about the product or service from marketers. Marketers are successful when salespeople can easily close the deal or make the sale and when a brand becomes a well-known name.

So, what does a ‘well-oiled’ sales and marketing team look like? Let’s take a look at outbound sales–for this example, we’ll use an email campaign.

The marketing side will handle things like the voice and positioning of an email blast, basically the general feeling that should be elicited upon reading. Marketers make sure that the overall voice and tone of the email is consistent with other content available.

While marketers position the company and brand, the sellers need to be aware of not only the positioning but the pricing. Sellers too often get wrapped up in making the sale or getting the commission and don’t realize the importance of price integrity.

Using content that is out of context with other materials is a sure way to confuse possible leads. It gives an appearance of being unorganized which will inevitably lose the sale before sellers have a chance.

Sellers, on the other hand, take the email that was pieced together by marketers and put a personalized touch on it. They make their new contact feel as though they’re old friends. Sellers build relationships.

Although this example might be over-simplified, it gives a good idea of how things should work.

How to get Your Team Working Efficiently

Communication was mentioned earlier–and communication is truly key. If the sales force doesn’t realize there is new content or doesn’t like existing tools, they’re not going to use it.

Likewise, if marketers don’t know sellers aren’t using the material, they don’t know what’s working, what’s not, or what to change. Have regular meetings to discuss this type of information.

Allow team members to cross-train for a week or two. This will give both sides insights to the other one’s problems. Cross-training allows for sellers and marketers to see how ‘the other half’ lives, functions, and will give a new appreciation for their job. (Most marketers don’t like selling, and most sellers don’t like marketing.) This training activity will also allow everyone a different perspective on the customer who should be of utmost importance.

As a manager, you also have the opportunity to set goals that require action on both teams’ parts. These goals that require action from both sides will hopefully spark conversation and partnership. A group goal could be as easy as marketing finding x-number of leads and sales following up with a set number of them.

This goal setting ensures that work isn’t wasted and that leads are always contacted. The more leads contacted the more potential for positive answers (more revenue!)

The Bottom Line

If your company is large enough to have both a sales and marketing team, having them work together is important to see revenue growth. If having both teams is nothing new to you but you’re pulling your hair out trying to get them to work together, attempt a few solutions offered.

As a salesperson, cold-calling is a royal pain. Receiving ‘no’ as the answer over and over is draining. As a marketer, doing the research and putting together material only to have it go unused is frustrating.

The thing is, the marketers know which leads are worth investing time in; sales has the personal touch to close the deal and make the sale. Both are important in developing an efficient system which generates more viable leads and in turn, more revenue.


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Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, a churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at