I recently re-read an old, but yet still very relevant article by Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham and Suj Krishnaswamy from the July-August 2006 issue of Harvard Business Review. Entitled “Ending the War between Sales and Marketing,” the article talks about the chasm that normally exists between sales and marketing functions within most organizations and how to resolve the conflict.
Coming out of this very deep recession, I imagine the “blame game” has been going on in many organizations throughout the world: with disappointing sales, marketing blames the sales force for poor execution and follow-up to campaigns they ran. The other side of the argument has sales blaming marketing for being out of touch with what they need-whether it is incorrect messaging, pricing, or leveraging the wrong go-to-market channels for lead generation.
The authors of this article define 4 types of relationships between sales and marketing:
I encourage readers of this blog to take a look at this article. In particular, take the self-assessment test in the article that will help decide the state of your sales and marketing alignment. I did it for MindTree and concluded we are ‘Defined’. As a next step, I plan to ask our sales and geo heads to do the same and give me their assessment rating. From this, I am hoping we can agree on measurable next steps to move MindTree towards being ‘Aligned’. This will require a more formal communication process; and identifying a liaison, who can work between the two groups to educate, share feedback and resolve conflicts.
How did your organization rate? I’d love to hear from you.