Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing – Day 212

Sunday 09:25, Old Bethnal Green Road

I recently came across a fascinating article in Harvard Business Review on the divide that exists between sales and marketing. The article, Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing, examines a variety of industries and identifies where your organisation sits in the alignment spectrum between these two crucial roles, and of course provides recommendations on how an organisation can close the gulf.┬áIf you’re in a sales or marketing role or just curious on how well your sales and marketing teams co-exist, take the first test and see whether your sales and marketing teams are undefined, defined, aligned or integrated. I did it for my previous employer and got defined, so lots of work to do there.

The topic touches on several organisational aspects and resonates strongly with me and my reason for embarking on this MBA program, that is, to better understand organisations and improve them in any way I can. As I’ve been in a commercial role for the last five years, closing the divide between sales and marketing is something that lies very close to my heart.

Throughout my career I have seen both sales and marketing teams working in silo and not understanding or wanting to understand each other’s needs. I’ve seen sales managers exceed targets with hardly any lead generation input from marketing, and I’ve also seen marketing embark on strategy and plans with no revenue impact whatsoever. However, when the sales and marketing functions work well and share a common strategy, the results have the potential to make a huge impact in an organisation’s operations.

This summer I’m hoping to write a mini-research project on this topic, but it seems not everyone is aware of this divide. The other week my old team took me for my leaving drinks and I mentioned to one of the sales guys what I had proposed to do my research on.

‘What war!?’, he exclaimed.

It was an interesting comment and it comes to show that if you’re not even aware of a particular challenge, then you have a long way to go before you’ve overcome it.

Here’s a link to the article:


Sales and marketing war