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June 09, 2009

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Jack Lula

I enjoyed this article Andrew and it will be one I will reference in the future as it succinctly covers topics which I have personally experienced on both the side of sales and marketing.

What I believe is often the case is that it is not the fault of sales or marketing per-se, but lack of overall strategic direction that can create these divides between sales and marketing. That can be as simple as the two groups being effectively managed to different goals, or something more complex and innate such as compensation plans that in effect create different goals.

If companies take a simple view of sales compensation that sales people will do "what is right" such that they maximize their earnings over time, then they may create an environment where short term marketing goals are at odds with short term sales goals. Human nature will cause most (not all) sales people to gravitate to what pays me now, not what may pay me later, even if the long term payment is larger and has a reasonable expectation of occuring. Even a successful marketing campaign may have a long term pay off. Alternately, it may provide a significant "corporate" benefit that is not obviously beneficial to the individual sales person.

Ultimately, it is about goal alignment which needs to be set at the highest levels of the company, and all underlying departments, processes, etc. must support those goals. Any disconnects will undermine the overall success.

Jack Lula

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