In business, the space between sales and marketing is often filled with familiar echoes and empty talk. On one side of the aisle, marketing “professionals” level scorn on sales folk, claiming they are pompous, overpaid, unable to uncover the simplest of client needs, and unreceptive to much-needed marketing advice. On the other side, sales “professionals” rail against their marketing counterparts, calling them naive, unaccountable myth-promoters, who should just shut up and do their job, generating leads.
The unproductive rhetoric surrounding this exchange is more than slightly reminiscent of the partisan bickering we’ve come to expect from Congress. And it’s time we move on to a more functional business model.
Here’s a fool-proof construct: Markets are nothing more than clusters of customers and prospects; these people have needs which can be explored, understood, and addressed with empathy; products and services should be engineered to satisfy customer needs; messages should be written and delivered to convey the real value added by the products and services; and everyone in the organization should examine their actions in terms of customer satisfaction. If we did those remarkably simple things, then both sales and marketing people would have a lot more success. And we’d hear less of the familiar echoes that separate us.
Of course, the same model could be applied to Government: Of the people, by the people, for the people.
Come to think of it, Lincoln was right.