I spent my early years in Product Management working at mid-sized device firms in which Sales and Marketing departments were constantly competing, bickering, or even at each other’s throats
If you think about raw start-ups… before we have a product to sell, EVERYONE is in Marketing… including the technical crew and R&D staff… folks that would never Dream of being in “Marketing”. Yet all are either trying to figure out what customers really want or how to build what we already know will win with customers. Can you think of a better definition of Marketing for a start-up?
As the start-up launches its first product, both Sales and Marketing are equally crucial and remain interdependent and connected.
Marketing is important for raising awareness of the company, its products and services, and for building a positive image and reputation. Marketing also identifies and targets potential customers generating leads. A company that has a strong marketing strategy in place is more likely to attract both customers and investors.
On the other hand, Sales is the process of closing the deal, converting those leads into paying customers. Of course without Sales generating revenue, the company will not be able to sustain operations. A strong Sales Department is critical for the growth of the company and its ability to survive.
The challenge to Management
One way to think about the relationship between sales and marketing is that marketing is responsible for generating interest, while sales is responsible for converting that interest into revenue. A healthy company needs both functions in order to grow profitably.
The challenge for management is to foster a positive and productive work environment that allows sales and marketing to produce synergistic growth results.