Sales vs. Marketing: Who’d Win in a Fight?

by Wes Lieser

As I was watching this year’s MLB All-Star game, I couldn’t help but think about the similarities between baseball and business. The All-Star game, for example, takes 25 people from different teams and cultures, and puts them together to achieve the common goal of winning the game. It doesn’t sound much different than what companies strive to do in the business world on a daily basis.

Still caught up in All-Star game fever (even weeks later), baseball clichés have been ringing in my head during my workday, solidifying the comparison.

With every challenge that came up, I reminded myself to “take it one game (day) at a time.” I found myself thinking that I’m here to do “whatever I need to do to help the team (company) win.” While it may not show as clearly as a run appearing on the scoreboard, every little win counts towards the common goal.

Even with these phrases running through my mind, one in particular stood out to me: “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

My sales and marketing background made this cliché ring especially true to the relationship between those two departments. Imagine your company’s departments are baseball teams. Which department, between sales and marketing, would you consider your offense, and which would you consider your defense?

The easy answer, keeping my favorite cliché in mind, would be to choose the department you feel brings more value to the company, and call them the defense. Everyone wants to win the championship, right? But before you make that snap decision, think about this: how do you expect to win a championship without winning games first?

I often find myself in similar conversations depending on whether or not I’m talking to a sales professional or a marketing professional. I find that both sales and marketing fully understand the value and services they bring, without necessarily taking the time to think about the value the other brings to the table.

Sales thinks they don’t need marketing, and marketing thinks they don’t need sales…

I can already see the smirks forming, but by denying this common disconnect, we lose the ability to understand it and, in turn, solve the problem.

When sales and marketing seem to be on different pages, the solution is Marketing Automation.

Marketing Automation is a tool that allows your sales and marketing departments to not only work together, but more importantly, work together efficiently.

One of the benefits of Marketing Automation is that it allows marketers to effectively score leads before turning them over to sales. With lead scoring, marketers analyze the data they receive from potential customer, identify quality leads, give them a score, and turn them over to sales. What salesperson wouldn’t want to be armed with a little extra ammunition going into an initial sales call? Instead of sales simply “dialing for dollars” and making what feels like thousands of calls per day; why not make more strategic, targeted calls with a higher likelihood to close?

It’s truly the best of both worlds. Marketers get to identify customers, analyze data, create content and strategy, while sales does what they do best…close deals.

It comes down to looking at the cliché not as “offense wins games, defense wins championships,” but instead simply, “The best TEAM wins.”

Does your team use Marketing Automation? Let’s talk in the comments below!

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