Why Marketing shouldn’t treat Sales as a customer

Getting alignment between Sales and Marketing has been a problem for a long time. I’m a big advocate of finding simple ways to make both work together toward a common goal, but in some companies the gap between the two groups is so big, you wonder if they are from entirely different companies. One technique that I hear used from time to time is that Marketing should to treat Sales as a customer.

The customer is always right

Treating Sales as a customer leads us to the old saying, “the customer is always right”. Therefore whatever Sales wants, Sales gets. Rarely does the sales team drive the strategic direction of the company. They deliver our products and services to market, and are expected to produce a level of profitable revenue to sustain the business. Where this goes dreadfully wrong is when there is no single point of contact for the ‘customer’. Individual salespeople become many different customers. It’s further compounded when Marketing isn’t conducting the strategic activities that prove their command of the market. Many times Marketing are too wrapped up in tactical activities that add questionable value to the business. They aren’t doing the important strategic activities that positively impact their business. It’s no wonder that marketing budgets are the first to get cut. Treating Sales as “the customer” isn’t the answer. You know what Sales wants – they ask you all the time. But do really know what Sales needs?
David Daniels

David Daniels


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