I walk the fine line between helping companies improve their sales processes and being a lecturer in Global Marketing and Sales Management. Most of my business comes from referrals, and frequently it isn’t the Sales or Marketing teams that ask for me, it’s the FD or the CEO, and it usually starts with a question.

A year ago, the questions were mostly about negotiations (probably due to the word Brexit being used every day on the news). This year companies seem to have decided that whatever happens, happens: so, have been revisiting their internal challenges. It’s about getting fit for the future whatever that might look like.

One of the questions that has resurfaced tends to be from slightly frustrated Directors, “If Sales and Marketing people are the “Experts” on communication, why don’t they talk to each other?”

It’s not just the cross-functional challenge, however, sometimes the internal culture is just wrong. I know what you’re thinking “Oh No, Andrew has gone over to the soft and fluffy side using words like culture again” But bear with me…

Get a load of engineers in a room: one makes wheels, one makes axles, one makes brakes. They will talk to each other and share best practice resulting in improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Get a load of sales people in a room and its different. There is only one who is going to be the top salesperson of the month, and they will do anything (including dragging orders forward, not passing on leads etc.,) to be the one. I’m not saying competitiveness is a bad thing, but it needs to be about competitive teamwork not competitive individualism. Marketing teams can be just as bad, although they tend to be more analytical in their approach. Customer service is frequently seen and measured as a cost centre (how can we reduce this functions cost) rather than a profit centre (how can we improve the bottom line).

Sending sales and marketing teams on one a one day “team building” course just isn’t going to do it (especially if you don’t invite customer service because it’s not in the budget).

Sales and marketing alignment goes – or should go – much deeper. If you’d like to learn more then please get in touch.


By Andrew Wilcock, an expert in Lean Six Sigma Sales Process


August 31st, 2020 | Categories: Industry Insiders

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