Tuesday 2¢: Hug Your Salesperson

As marketers, when we are not “making shit up” as my wife describes our craft, we spend much of our time pouring over data, defining personas, deciding our metrics, yet maybe there is someone down the hall that can help, in this Tuesday 2¢, I suggest you hug your salespeople.

The genesis for this post is a marketing survey that Robert Rose shared last week, stating that only “46% report their content marketing and sales teams are highly aligned” – this led me to tweet and post on LinkedIn my surprise, as I wondered aloud what the other 54% of marketers were aligned to.

The reaction was interesting and demonstrated the divide between sales and marketing that Robert’s article alluded to. The sales folks felt the solution was that sales should be empowered to create content and there was a little push back from the marketing folks on the suggestion that they are there to serve sales – and plenty of excellent comments in between.

With all the claims of change, social selling, new ways of working, I’m actually reminded of a simple quote from Peter Drucker, from decades ago:

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

Peter Drucker

Or as Key Account Sales Strategist, Janice B Gordon put it in her interview with me on Rockstar CMO.

My advice is that it doesn’t matter what you call building a relationship with customers, or who does it, sales or marketing as long as it’s happening

Janice B Gordon


I can only speak for marketing and when I do, I talk about the three goals of marketing, Awareness, Revenue and Trust (ART) and my advice as a consultant to marketing teams is, if you are in marketing and not aligned to a metric that the C-suite cares about (like revenue), you are in for a tough ride and let’s be honest, a short tenure.

What’s clear is that sales need to realize they are in marketing, especially in today’s LinkedIn connected world of social selling, but also that marketers need to realize they are in sales. I don’t mean that we need to sales people into creative marketers and marketers into stone cold closers, we should play to our strengths.

This is not something to be entered into at the exclusivity of all of our good marketing practices, let’s not get sucked into the tactical need of the next deal or jump on the PowerPoint and collateral hamster wheel, but we appreciate the mission and shoot toward a common goal.

Aligning with sales doesn’t just make you relevant to the business (and possibly avoid getting fired), but connects you with the people that have actually met the buyer (not sketched them on a whiteboard), have seen first-hand the reaction to your messaging as they stood up to present it, have the stories that other organizations, like your customers want to hear and who are measured by the primary business metric. Revenue.

So, this Tuesday – hug your salespeople.

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