I spent most of my career in marketing, although for four years I was in sales. So I've seen both sides.
Back in the mid-1990s there was a great divide between what marketing did and what sales did and often people in the two departments were at odds. Much of the tension stemmed from the handoff of leads generated by marketing to the sales staff, who owned them until close.
However, in the new digital era, the great divide between sales and marketing is rapidly disappearing. Skills and responsibilities that were once clearly defined are now making a transition to allow for more agile and creative interaction.
I had an excellent conversation with my friend Greg Alexander, CEO of Sales Benchmark Index, about how marketing and sales can work together more effectively. We discussed the new buying process and what this means for salespeople, marketers, and their management teams.
In my simplistic first stab at this, I offered that marketing must create the content that salespeople need to be successful in the selling process. It could be found in a repository somewhere, or it could certainly be available freely on the web, but the important thing would be that the salesperson knows where it's located and how to access it. This means that what the marketing team creates is important throughout the entire sales process, not just for initiating the process at the top of the funnel, as was ...