Twenty years ago, a newly published self-help book by Dr. John Gray stormed the best-seller lists. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships outlined the author’s ideas about why it is such a struggle for so many men and women to meet each other’s needs and develop more satisfying personal relationships. Whether the result of biology or culture, Gray explained, males and females often have different communication styles and modes of behavior. The failure to recognize and accept those differences leads to resentment, conflict, and an ultimately dysfunctional relationship. But how does this theory apply to business?
Picture this: Marketing runs a promotional campaign and hands over a stack of leads to sales. The sales team immediately dismisses them as poor quality and either demands better leads or simply ignores them and continues cold-calling. Potential leads go cold, marketing lead generation budgets are squandered, sales misses their quota, and nobody is happy. Sound familiar?
It’s a scenario that is a lot more common in corporations today than many of us would care to admit. The fact is that communication problems between marketing and sales are often so fundamental and so persistent that in many cases their relationship can only be described as dysfunctional.
Frequent disagreements, competing objectives, misaligned compensation ...