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Top 10 Reasons Sales Hates Marketing

A perennial bromide of business advice is "align sales and marketing." That advice is generally doled out with an accompanying dose of finger wags and tut-tuts about inter-departmental squabbling.

However, my experience tells me that sales professionals aren't interested in "getting aligned" with marketing. Instead, they insist that marketing groups must undergo some major changes BEFORE they earn a seat at the table.

With that in mind, here are the top ten complaints that I hear from sales professionals about respective marketing groups, along with suggestions (some from me, some from the sales pros) about what needs to change.

Warning to marketeers: You aren't going to like this post.

CLICK HERE for the first reason Sales hates Marketing »
NOTE: The comments to this post are addressed in:

Top 10 Reasons Marketing Rolls Their Eyes at Sales Reps


REASON #10: Marketeers act superior.
  • Description: Marketeers often have business degrees, so they think they're better than sales reps who don't need a degree to sell.
  • Why It Rankles: Business degrees are generally useless when it comes to sales and marketing, since what's taught is a mix of accounting and biz-blab.
  • What's The Cure: Require MBAs to spend at least six months in Sales before being allowed to work in Marketing.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #9: Marketeers want to eliminate Sales.
  • Description: Marketeers are taught in business school that good marketing makes a sales force unnecessary.
  • Why It Rankles: Unless a product is a plug-and-play commodity, a sales rep is always a necessity. Especially in B2B.
  • What's The Cure: Make it clear in the charter of the marketing team that they are there to support the sales team, not to replace it.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #8: Marketeers believe selling is easy.
  • Description: Marketeers think that they can create so much demand that selling will consist purely of taking orders.
  • Why It Rankles: Most demand creation activities don't create demand, especially in B2B, where customers generally ignore ads and collateral.
  • What's The Cure: Have the marketeers make sales calls - or field inside sales calls - so they can see how hard it is.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #7: Marketeers are goaled on deliverables.
  • Description: Marketeers get paid when they produce leads, brochures and ads, even if none of that activity results in a single sale.
  • Why It Rankles: If sales pros don't make sales, they don't get paid and, if it goes on long, they get fired.
  • What's The Cure: Goal and compensate Marketing on the ability of the Sales team to generate revenue and profit from Marketing's leads.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #6: Marketeers think they're "driving Sales."
  • Description: Marketeers see selling as only one tactic in a grandiose strategic campaign.
  • Why It Rankles: Sales reps know that marketing is only a service function to the sales team, which makes the uppity behavior annoying.
  • What's The Cure: Make it clear that Marketing is subservient to Sales by placing the CMO under the CSO.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #5: Marketeers pose as "strategists."
  • Description: Marketeers think they're "brand managers" who should be directing all activities throughout the company.
  • Why It Rankles: Brand is a reflection of product and service. If good, the brand is good; if not, the brand is bad.
  • What's The Cure: Only reward marketeers for behavior that directly results in a measurable increase in revenue and profit.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #4: Marketeers waste resources.
  • Description: Marketeers expend money on fancy brochures, advertisements, and trade show junkets.
  • Why It Rankles: The more money that's spent on Marketing's boondoggles, the less money there is to pay commissions.
  • What's The Cure: Give the sales team veto power over all marketing activities that exceed a fairly small amount of money.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #3: Marketeers pretend they're engineers.
  • Description: Marketeers try to set the technical direction of the firm's products and services.
  • Why It Rankles: In most cases, the Marketeers have never even spoken to a customer, so they're clueless about what they want.
  • What's The Cure: Let the engineers design the next generation based upon customer input. Keep marketing out of the picture.
CLICK HERE for the next reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #2: Marketeers force technology on Sales.
  • Description: Marketeers pressure the sales team to enter reams of customer data into the CRM system.
  • Why It Rankles: The sales team knows full well that most of that data isn't going to help generate more sales.
  • What's The Cure: Set up your sales tech so that it always increases the amount of time that sales reps can spend selling.
CLICK HERE for the final reason Sales hates Marketing »

REASON #1: Marketeers pass along lousy leads.
  • Description: Marketeers provide lists of leads that are either unqualified, or unqualifiable.
  • Why It Rankles: When Sales complains, the marketeers make it personal, accusing the sales team of being unable to sell.
  • What's The Cure: Fire any marketeer who can't consistently provide leads that the sales team - with its current skill set - can't sell to.
Well, that's it. I hope it helps!

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