Sales Marketing Optimization

Excerpt from Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing
Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy (Founder and Principal, Strategic Insights, Inc.)

Harvard Business Review, July 2006
Special Double Issue on Sales July-Aug., 2006

"You'd think that Marketing and Sales teams, whose work is deeply interconnected, would have discovered something similar. As a rule, though, they're separate functions within an organization, and, when they do work together, they don't always get along. When sales are disappointing, Marketing blames the Sales force for its poor execution of an otherwise brilliant rollout plan. The Sales team, in turn, claims that Marketing sets prices too high and uses too much of the budget, which instead should go toward hiring more salespeople or paying the sales reps higher commissions. More broadly, Sales departments tend to believe that Marketers are out of touch with what's really going on with the customer base. Marketing believes the Sales force is myopic—too focused on individual customer experiences, insufficiently aware of the larger market, and blind to the future. In short, each group often undervalues the other's contributions.

This lack of alignment ends up hurting corporate performance. Time and again, during research and consulting assignments, we've seen both groups stumble (and the organization suffer) because they were out of sync. Conversely, there is no question that when Sales and Marketing work well together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower."

Strategic Insights works with organizations to enhance growth strategies by optimizing the sales-marketing interface. Our methodical, in-depth approach reveals the gaps between how your sales and marketing teams would like to interact and where they are today. We start with a detailed and systematic evaluation of the relationship between the two groups in your organization using some of our exclusive assessment tools. This is followed by specific recommendations and a detailed action plan for sales-marketing linkages and enablement. We work with your sales and marketing teams at different levels to help them connect effectively from planning to execution.