The ONE thing that marketing and sales cannot do without

Brad Farris’ book Marketing & Sales: A Love Story illustrates how marketing and sales are interconnected. When they work together, stand back because great things are about to happen!

sales and marketing image

But another strong relationship needs to exist, and that is the relationship that the marketing and sales departments have with company leaders. Without the strong support and trust of company leaders, the marketing and sales departments might as well pack it up and call it a day.

Part of it has to do with money — marketing and sales cost money (nevermind the fact that they can make the company money) and the boss needs to support their efforts with a budget that makes it possible for them to succeed!

If sales are lagging and marketing wants to conduct research to help clarify some targeting issues, leaders may say,”No, this is not the time to spend money. Our salespeople aren’t working hard enough — that’s the problem!” And, as Brad pointed out in the book, historically, that was might have been the case. But now sales people need the insights that the marketers provide just to get in the door. Market research can provide great insight as to why sales are lagging, why prospects aren’t responding, and what needs to be done about it. But getting these answers requires expertise … which means money.

Or, maybe the brand needs to be established or refreshed in order to be more relevant to our target prospects … are the leaders willing to spend the money, are they able to face the uncertainty of making a change? Salespeople may say that they need better materials to sell the company’s products or services, while leaders say, “What’s wrong with what we have? These are perfectly fine brochures (they worked for me when I was selling in 1989).” 

And if sales aren’t lagging, leaders might think “if it’s not broken, let’s not fix it.” But the one constant is change? Will this winning streak always last? Marketing and sales have great insight into this question, and their leaders need to listen.

When leaders tune into the signals that they are getting from their marketing and sales teams they can be catalysts for growth — but when they don’t they turn into obstacles to growth! In fact, a survey by MarketingSherpa of B2B marketing professionals showed that most of the barriers that exist for marketing are internal, and not external.

So … getting back to Brad’s book, marketing and sales are indeed a great partnership! In fact, they play a vital role in the growth of company.

But unless they are allowed to do their jobs, unless they have the credibility and currency to do their jobs, they cannot be effective. 

Here’s what you as the business owner can do to help marketing and sales work their magic:

  1. Let them make their case. I’m not saying that you have to say “yes” to every single idea your sales and marketing people have to say, but at least extend them the courtesy of listening. They are likely more in touch with your customer base than you are.  
  2. Give them time. Marketing and sales need time to simmer. It may take five lunch meetings with a prospect before they sign on the dotted line, or three postcard mailings before you start seeing results. Don’t expect anything to work overnight because it won’t.
  3. Give them credit when the plan works — and understanding if it doesn’t. Both marketing and sales are not an exact science. You might lose some before you start to win. Try to focus on the big picture and celebrate every victory instead of dwelling on defeat.

Is your firm struggling to find growth? Where should you be pointing the finger? If you aren’t getting good feedback and leadership from your marketing and sales team then they need to feel the heat; but stop for a minute and consider — how are you part of the problem?

How do you enable your sales and marketing teams to “do their thing?” 

Photo credit: angelandspot

Love Story eBook Slider

Bridget Ingebrigtsen

Bridget Ingebrigtsen owns Write On Command, a company that provides writing and editing services to businesses and not-for-profits. Bridget describes her six-year stint as Anchor Advisors' writer/editor as being "mutually beneficial" -- she helps Anchor Advisors keep their written projects on track and Anchor Advisors helps her keep her business on track. When she's not running her business, Bridget is running after her four children, two dogs and the latest in entertainment news. Connect with Bridget on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.


  1. tiroberts says:

    Awesome post, Bridget.

    I agree that strong relationships are pivotal when it comes to running a well oiled business. Relationships, marketing and sales all run together, in that order. Once I grasped this concept it was much easier for me to know what I needed to focus on and I began to see the benefits almost immediately.

    Thanks for sharing your insights with our bizsugar community. 🙂


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