Is it marketing or is it sales? This is a classic question that I run into all the time in my world. In this episode of the podcast, let’s dig into what the distinction is between marketing and sales. What’s the role of marketing and what’s the role of sales and why does it even matter? Well, let’s start with what is marketing? Marketing is the effort of getting someone’s attention and motivating them to take your call to action. We believe in a large definition of marketing. It’s anything that interacts with your customer. Unfortunately, that definition alone leads to some blurry lines. Really, practically in most organizations, marketing is all the external factors that help a customer become a customer or help a customer stay a customer. Sales is enabled by marketing and contains the actual transactions that move a business forward. Many times in the B2B world, there’s a relationship that is managed in the sales department, like with an account manager. Why are these distinctions important? In an organization, depending on how large it is, knowing who’s responsible for what is important. It helps people focus on the right activities, and it helps people be evaluated based on what they’re doing.


It helps us know what we’re tracking and who’s doing what. But it is a collaborative relationship, and when it’s not a collaborative relationship, there will be issues. How can marketing and sales work together? I view marketing as enabling sales. So marketing should be listening to sales, but sales should be also listening to marketing. It’s a little bit like a marriage. In a healthy marriage, the husband and wife talk and they lead together. Sales might say, ‘Hey, this messaging is not working,’ and marketing shouldn’t be like, ‘Well, I know more than you.’ Sales might say, ‘I need a brochure.’ But marketing might say, ‘instead of a brochure, what if we built a website?’ That way we can control it and make A and B testing and things of that nature. It’s important for both parties to play nice with each other. Let’s talk through the life cycle of a brochure and how might the two work together. Sales might say, ‘We need marketing material.’ When we go out to the marketing place, marketing should respond and say, ‘Absolutely. Let’s help you make that so that you have all the tools you need to be successful in selling.’


Marketing and sales should then be able to collaborate on creating that for sure. Sales should be able to say, these are common objections that we face. These are our customers’ common needs that we can fill. And this is the gap in the marketplace that we’re filling. Marketing should be able to say, okay, if this is the objection or this is the gap, this is how we can say that in a manner that helps people see the need if they’re not immediately aware of it. Then marketing can put it all together in a package that allows us to quickly and clearly communicate who we are, but in a way that intrigues the end customer. Marketing can then handle the design, the photography, the writing, the printing. Then sales has this new tool that they can go and use to sell more stuff. Over time, there should be updates to this, and then sales is going to be able to say, Hey, this is working well, or This is not working well, and this is why we think that is, and this is what we hear from our customers. It’s a collaborative relationship, and that should be the same across videography, websites, marketing strategy, all of those types of things.


This is similar how we work with our customers. Our customers are doing the sales and we are equipping them to make those sales happen. What happens when conflict arises? Conflict might arise because sales might feel like marketing is not bringing them good leads, or marketing might feel like sales has unrealistic demands or is not using what they need or make. An important thing is, as a leader above both of those, is that you help them work out those conflicts and work together to solve the problems of the business. When each department knows what they’re responsible for and what each is getting graded on, this can mitigate lots of tension. Are you in marketing or sales in a small organization? I do both of those roles for my team, but my team helps me build all the tools that I need to go enable sales. So are you in marketing? Are you in sales? I’d love to hear from you about something from a marketing department or a sales department that has made your job easier. If you’ve got a great one, send me an email at Thank you for tuning into the Content Machine Podcast.


I hope to see you on a future episode.


Recommended Posts