Why Salesmen hate Marketers

The war between Sales and Marketing has always existed and has always been one of the those water cooler discussions. And yet it’s probably fair to say that the future of your company lies in your ability to make the two work better together. The reason these two departments do not gel well is due to difference in job roles and yet have the same objective.

Marketing Acts Superior

Many marketers have business degrees, so they think they’re better than sales reps who don’t. However, business degrees are of limited use in sales situations – because very few business schools offer courses in sales, let alone majors or degrees.

Since what’s taught in b-school is (frankly) a mix of accounting and biz-blab, the superior air of the MBA’d is of little help to sales guys.

Marketing Doesn’t Believe in Sales

Marketers are often taught in b-school that good marketing makes a sales force unnecessary. As Peter Drucker put it: “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous” and “the right motto for business management should increasingly be ‘from selling to marketing.'”

However, unless a product is a plug-and-play commodity or you are a manufacture of higly differentiated product, your only differentiator is how you sell it.

Marketers should understand that they are there to support the sales team, not to replace it.

Marketing Thinks Selling Is Easy

Marketers think that they can create so much demand that selling consists of taking orders. However, many “demand creation” activities don’t create all that much demand–especially in B2B, where customers generally ignore ads, brochures, and such. Some marketers may as well take the credit from Salesmen considering they made the selling easier by creating a pull.

Anyone who’s ever sold knows exactly how difficult it can be.

To get rid of this problem, have the marketers make sales calls, so they can see how hard it is. If they aren’t able to do it, they will at least respect the people who do.

marketing vs salesMarketing isn’t directly measurable

Marketers generally get paid when they produce leads, brochures, white papers, and so forth–even if none of that activity results in a single sale. They successfully get themselves measured on the deliverables, rather than whether the deliverables have a measurable financial impact.

For this, try compensate marketers on the ability of the current sales team to generate revenue and profit from the sales leads that marketing produces.

Marketing is Strategic?

A Brand is a reflection of its people, products and services. If those are good, the brand is good; if not, the brand is bad. Branding activities help but how Sales isn’t strategic?

Marketing Wastes Money

Needless to say, Sales is perfectly capable of wasting money (big time). However, there’s also no question that marketers often expend cash on fancy brochures, advertisements, and trade show junkets that have little or no business value. And, let’s face it, the more that’s spent on marketing boondoggles, the less money there is for commissions.

If such budgets are decided along with Sales people, they might cut it down to 50% as they would better  know which marketing activities customers respond to.

Marketing Pretends It’s Engineering

Ideas but not execution is their religion! While marketers often attempt to set a firm’s technical direction, most of the time, the marketers have never even spoken to a customer–and have no idea what’s technically feasible.

Let your engineers do the engineering. That’s what you pay them for.


Disagree? Make your case in a comment below!