18 April 2006

Indicators (more)...

While on the subject, one of my strongest held observations is that sales and marketing must be steered from two different minds. It is probably the first thing I look for when talking to a prospective client. Yes, even before measuring the scale of the company, its web site, competitors, or the color of the carpet. Is the head of marketing really the sales manager?

This may seem obvious to many, but sales is short term, very measurable and immediately accountable. Marketing is a relatively long-term project, with consistency and agility – and metrics are difficult (but not impossible). Unless you have employed Sybil as VP of Sales and Marketing, I can almost guarantee your group is struggling.

This does not mean that your VP of Sales cannot be well qualified as a marketer, or that your head of Marketing is a former sales person. In fact, cross-pollination is great, it leads to mutual respect and the kind of cooperative glove in hand relationship you want. There will likely always be a small speck of adversarial attitude between sales and marketing, but I think this can be healthy if kept in check and civil.