Sales is Marketing; Marketing is Sales
The Myth of “Alignment”
There is a lot of talk about “Sales and Marketing” alignment. The term ‘alignment’ is actually a misnomer and is the reason there is a big disconnect between sales and marketing teams. Whenever you HAVE to say something is aligned, it is because there is not really in alignment.
In our view — and that of many progressive and fast growing companies — sales is marketing and marketing is sales. They are one and need to operate as one.
Sales is Marketing
In short, sales is the delivery vehicle for marketing’s message. If you are a sales person at a B2B company every sales situation is unique. Think about all the different permutations that you face: industry, buyer, solution, configuration, stage, requirements etc… Every time a rep — a good rep — gets in front of a client, they are pitching a slightly different story and value message based on all the great messaging and content that marketing has created. The sales person is really acting as a marketer in each and every single sales situation.
And from the buyer’s perspective, the message they receive from the company is actually coming from the rep. Their perception of the value and solution is all being shaped by the rep.
Marketing is Sales
The key purpose of marketing in B2B is supporting sales. Talk to any CEO of a B2B company and ask them about the role of marketing. They will tell you one thing — marketing needs to drive sales. If you are in a B2B firm, marketing is all about supporting sales, making it easier to sell and helping the sales team close more business. Now there are many ways that marketing does this from driving demand, to creating collateral to hosting conferences.
Marketing has its fingerprints in every deal in the form of a generated lead, a piece of content that closed the deal, or a great campaign that brought the prospect to an event.
All for One and One for All
In successful organizations, marketing and sales operate as one. There is less and less separation and distinction. Their goals and mission are the same. This means in some teams, they report into the same organization. They have the same KPIs and OKRs. And moreover, there is no talk of alignment — there is just an understanding that sales is marketing and marketing is sales.