The conflict between sales and marketing is no less classic than between sales and production. Once upon a time, in another country, “planners” and “marketers” liked to fight, who can be called second cousins of today's marketers and sales people. What is the basis of the conflict? Yes, everything is the same: the divergence of ideas about the real (or possible) needs of the client, production capabilities and market capacity. Using these categories, marketers are trying to bring leads, and sellers are getting money (while we are only talking about the essence of the process, we don’t go into details). But, as you know, “the map is not a territory”, and two functions working in the same bundle may have a radically different vision of business.
To find a consensus, for a start, let's recognize that not only the sales department brings money to the company. Sells more CEO, creating political agreements at the top level. Sells anyone who makes a cheaper resource. For example, Eychary - hiring better, stable and predictable employees. Technical support - pushing the client to think about the need to purchase some option or a new product. Earns everyone who saves. Accounting earns, qualitatively forming reporting on profits and optimizing taxes. Lawyers earn money by preventing losses and winning lawsuits (there are even those who have specific KPI sums).
Marketing in the company is also engaged in a lot of people. But no one, except for marketers, does not create clients for the company as such.
No matter what anyone says, we live in abundant abundance. "Rule 34" fully applies to the consumer market too. Therefore, it is not enough just to come up with a new product. In the load must sell a sense of uniqueness, independence, and similar things. Krutani Spiner - become a free and extraordinary-minded person.
Total: sales without marketing is utopia, marketing without sales is absurd, and the conflict between them is a consequence of lack of information, competition or general chaos in the company.
2 signs of conflict and 3 ways to solve it
Obvious signs you yourself know everything. At meetings, the general or commercial director asks a reasonable question:
- Where is the sale?
To which sellers respond:
- Advertising (packaging, planogram, assortment matrix) is not the same!
- We led you lead! Why are you more ?! There is a stream of customers. And your business is to keep, sell and sell!
Everyone has seen, everyone knows. And this is not always a conflict in the hot phase - maybe it is just a demonstration of the role stereotypes prevailing in the company.
But when it's time to grab his head:
- The chief of sales and the chief of marketing categorically do not enter into dialogue and in every possible way dodge from participation in joint projects. If one goes to a meeting, then the other finds a reason not to go.
The sales department and the marketing department acquire pronounced properties of hostile microgroups. Communicate with each other only through managers and in the most formal form. Invent their slang and their memes, teasing hostile side. Of course, corporate parties are sitting at different angles.
- The volume of imitation of vigorous activity in the company is increasing dramatically, with sales and marketing being the main generators of clearly political initiatives. Suddenly it turns out that new procedures are needed, additional stages of coordination are needed, and indeed it would be good to involve as many participants as possible in the decision-making process.
What to do with it?
Ignorance is the root of all evil. According to my observations, at least half of conflicts in companies arise due to lack of information. Everyone in the company sees sellers selling. And what are marketers doing, can someone clearly say?
So: explain what you are doing and why you are needed. Invite everyone to your gemba, for example. This is when employees of one unit become employees of another for half a day, going to gemba (Jap. Is a place of value creation). Try yourself in different working roles - from junior assistant manager to head of department. Then they reflex, write a short presentation and share their thoughts on how to improve the work of the studied department. Especially spectacular is obtained if you swap top managers and production. In the case of marketing and sales, you can also count on a beneficial effect.
Naturally, no gemba does not eliminate the need for marketers to "sell" their projects within the company. Show the value for each segment of CA, coordinate the use of resources of individual functions. The method can be any - the one that is appropriate in this company. Communication sessions, personal meetings, mailings.
Helps banal openspace. Microgroups first grouped by interest and look at each other askew, but eventually merge. I remember a similar situation from my practice. Two parts of one department temporarily had to settle on different floors. It has been a couple of months. I began to receive letters "from the office team 490" with complaints about the "office team 255". And vice versa. Moving to one big space cured everything in a couple of months.
You can still cross-pollinate KPI - this allows…
... use each other's energy for peaceful purposes. Marketing spends, but earns. Sales earn, but spend
If you think about it, it becomes obvious: the marketer is also responsible for profits, and sellers are also responsible for the number of clients (the ones who were born from the leads given by marketers) and for ARPU (after all, does the seller influence the check size?). So - to help us KPI or MBO. The only question is whether the company has a sane and competent HR in order to properly decompose, rank, control and evaluate all this.
By the way, about the role of marketers in the evaluation of KPI. I have met quite viable models of distribution of responsibility and evaluation of results, for example, the following:
What do you need to make the above model work?
- Some dictatorship in the company.
- Iron will of the head of the marketing department.
- Full clarity in the head of each employee about what he will receive from the implementation of KPI.
A clear position of the head "Marketers are strategists, and sellers are tactics, but they both exist for the sake of sales."
I must say, it happens in a different way. This is a popular marketing-by-sales-by-sales scheme. Here, of course, we are not talking about strategy. At best, we can talk about the functional mix "PR + little analytics". Worst of all in this case is that marketing receives a “double message” from the tops: you are, in general, a service unit, but from time to time you will have to demonstrate all helicopter view.
- A strange question: do we need every lead to sell?
Why is it important that strategists remain strategists? To feel this, let's ask ourselves the question: is it necessary that the number of leads be equal to the number of sales?
Well, of course, it is necessary, you say! And what are the options? The more sales, the more effective leads and cheaper advertising in the end. If everyone who has contacted your company has bought something from you - the sales department works perfectly. But marketing does not seem to work perfectly. Tactical advantage is evident: revenue is growing. But missing something more complicated, right?
Where are those customers for whom our product is too expensive? Customers who are fanatically devoted to our competitors, but who decided to try an alternative? Finally clients haters? In short, if there is no “divine mistake” in the marketing concept, some roughness - perhaps, introduced specially - then the ground is not created for the life-giving holivars and information channels. The authors of which, as a rule, become the very "cut off" clients.
Example: Apple. Without a doubt, the most common brand of smartphone - at least in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Does this mean that apart from iPhones in the capitals nothing is for sale? No, of course. Someone can not afford it. Someone fundamentally chooses Android. Someone buys replicas. And all these people together generate opinions, reviews, comparisons, reviews, etc. gigabytes of information firmly deposited on the consumer subcortex.
I will say more: you can deliberately add small fragments to the configuration of the product. Here in front of me is the mixer Bosh. In order to set the maximum power, you must first turn off the mixer. That is, the switch is designed as follows: "maximum power - stop - 1 - 2 - 3 speeds ...". It would seem - what prevents to start with the "foot"? Yes, just that then the product would have turned out perfect. The thoughts of millions of shoppers would have nothing to cling to. Adherents of the brand would not be able to demonstrate their commitment by buying a model with a slight flaw, but the right brand ...
So here. The logic of the seller the necessity of all these notches denies. The better the consumer quality of the product, the better it sells. The logic of the marketer says: no, the process can not develop linearly, we need a constant foundation for future sales and a reason for hyip. Thus, every lead is not required to lead to the sale. Now. It can be converted to sale later.
- Whose side is customer, business and hired management, and why marketing is a totalitarian thing.
How do sales and marketing relationships affect other participants in the process? Everything is obvious.
The client does not want to know anything about any contradictions and collisions. He buys packaging, i.e. design and service. The question is how well the seller will convey to the client the value invented by marketers.
Business owners, it would seem, on the sales side. For one look at the budget is enough to understand - marketing is spending, sales are earning. On the other hand, it is not worth summarizing - it is unlikely that someone will succeed in a truly large-scale and successful business without strong marketing support. In Russian realities, an owner, especially a company participating in the operational management, often leaves behind a key marketing function - to create demand and determine for whom the company works.
The main trick is that all the parties mentioned are dancing to the tune of marketing. Clients - saturating their needs, real, and more often invented. The owner - getting a strategy for product promotion, which could initially not think. And management - faced with the need for operational support of those trends that marketers considered important and relevant for sales.
What is the result? The most important condition for moving forward is a normal relationship of marketers with sellers. If you think that everything is fine with you in this regard - do not be lazy to talk with the staff and make sure that this is true. HR will provide invaluable diagnostic assistance if it is on staff. Together with him, it will be easier for you to track unhealthy symptoms, for example:
- departmental functionaries intersect;
- their leaders tell unpleasant things to each other;
- most of the cross-functional projects "sales + marketing" for some reason do not produce results;
- employees are starting to talk about “communication failures” as the main working problem;
- In each department, a critical mass of employees who feel professional stagnation has accumulated.
So, marketing is the sales engine, and not only. Only attentive and careful attitude towards it can drive a business, bring customers, make shareholders happy and take care of the nerves of managers.