Marketing and Sales: A Dysfunctional Relationship?

What Happens When They Don’t Play Nice

Robot Fight: Dysfunction between Marketing and SalesOne of the telltale signs that marketing and sales departments aren’t working well together is finger pointing. It’s the ugly blame game that can spiral down into a no-win situation. Marketing continues to come up with its own lead nurturing campaigns and sales continues to complain about the quality of the leads. Middle ground is sometimes hard to find. Here are some of the reasons why marketing and sales don’t see “eye to eye.”

Signs that the Marketing and Sales Relationship is Dysfunctional

Different Goals & TIME FRAMES

Sales is focused on the close and keeps a sharp eye on the clock. Time is money. ┬áMarketing is typically focused on establishing automation, generating leads and creating campaigns that drive prospects into the sales funnel. While it seems like the two departments have similar goals, there is a disconnect on time frames of when to achieve them. This can be exacerbated when high level decision makers don’t schedule time together to iron out the details on how the hand-off occurs between departments.

Disagreement on Measurement

According to influential thought leader Peter Drucker “what gets measured gets done.” Measurement may not be the issue but on what specific metrics are actually important. Marketing and sales may be measuring different things based upon their goals. The dysfunction lies in the gaps between the two.

Cultural Rifts

Is one department more favored over another with upper management? If marketing and sales aren’t on the same footing it can cause unnecessary communication rifts. This is particularly destructive in highly charged environments where office politics are allowed to run amok.

No doubt there are probably many other telltale signs of a dysfunctional relationship between these two key functions. Rather than belaboring the problem, next time I’ll share some real-world tactics on how to improve the working relationship between marketing and sales. Yes, it can be done.









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