Sales & Marketing: A Tug of War

There has always been a known rivalry between the sales and marketing departments within companies. Why is that? Well, when sales are plummeting the marketing team may shift the blame on the sales team. If the sales teams are struggling, they may place the blame on the marketing team for being out of touch with reality. In a recent article by the Harvard Business Review, the two strains that were identified between the sales and marketing teams were economic and cultural. In the end, the lack of harmony between both teams makes a major disservice to the entire company. If both teams work closely together, there would be a significant increase in the overall success of the business. There are four types of relationships when it comes to the relationship between sales and marketing: 

  1. Undefined 

This type of relationship is mostly independent as neither department is aware of what the other is doing. Communication and interactions are very limited unless an issue arises that would require both teams to engage in a resolution.

2. Defined 

A defined relationship on the other hand establishes the ground rules between the two teams to minimize any potential conflicts. The communication between the two teams is more transactional and focus on problem-solving. 

3. Aligned

An aligned relationship is the best type of relationship as boundaries are clearly set and while both remain independent, they work together towards a common goal. There is also a clear understanding of the roles and functions of each department which in turn alleviates friction. 

4. Integrated

The integration of both teams is also an ideal relationship type, although it may become complex at times. Here’s why: If both teams become fully integrated then there is a likelihood of confusion and lack of clarity in functions and performance. Both teams can become increasingly involved in the other’s functions as metrics are developed and shared, however having a shared goal decreases the competitive nature and separation of both departments. 

In the end, the best results are achieved when there is unity and integration across all business units to achieve a common goal. Both sales and marketing are interconnected, therefore, it is only beneficial to work together in order to become successful.