Sales vs Marketing – Why Marketing Always Wins


Marketing teams are all too familiar with the daily sales versus marketing battle. The fight does not have to be perpetuated for it to continue raging because the stakes are highly personal for marketers. Winning means being rewarded with increased responsibility, autonomy, and recognition. These prizes not only advance marketers’ careers, they also allow them to remain passionate about their roles. An us versus them mentality permeates the culture across every variety of marketing from branding to digital. But in a marketer’s mind, the fight is hardly fair.

The marketing team’s perspective is that they will always be the obvious winner!

Marketing Generates Leads

The explanation is simple. Without marketing, there are no leads for the sales team to convert. Marketing’s ability to generate prospects from numerous channels is what drives revenue. Word of mouth referrals fostered by positive sales experiences supplement the pipeline of leads, but cannot sustain organizational growth alone.

Marketing content attracts, informs, and nurtures leads throughout the entire customer lifecycle, making it the lifeblood of any organization. Sales often overlooks this point, assuming marketing efforts bring in leads and then hand them off at the most critical moment. This could not be further from the truth. The content that marketing creates walks alongside consumers before, during, and after their work with the sales team.

The First Touch Point

A brand’s first touch point with a consumer is of the utmost importance. It sets the stage for the rest of the interactions that will follow, which means that first impression can solidify or sabotage the sale in an instant. Marketing teams own this touch point, which is proof enough in their minds that they have won the battle. Any marketing professional will tell you that their team puts in the sweat equity to lay a foundation so that sales can jump in and solidify the deal. Data backs this assertion. A recent study from App Data Room shows that 70% of the buying process is already complete before a prospect engages with sales.

Consumers view marketing as more trustworthy than sales because of this early engagement. Marketers and consumers alike are skeptical of the sales team’s need to hit their quotas. They perceive the hardline tactics and variable messaging that sales uses as a smarmy way to achieve their own objectives without regard to what is best for customers and the business overall. Because the marketing team does not have individual financial incentives to muddle their objectives, their messaging has purer motives. Marketing’s sole motivation is to delight prospects by offering products and services to solve their problems.

The Data Proves that Marketing Wins

Marketers have no shortage of data to cite as proof of their victory. Audience engagement rates with their digital content tell the story of the connected consumer that is interacting with branded online content across multiple platforms. Similarly, cross-channel attribution metrics testify to the breadth of touch points needed for a prospect to convert into a sale. Industry-specific KPIs further emphasize marketing’s critical role in advancing organizational success.

What is At Stake?

Financial motivators do not drive marketers’ hard work (although they obviously will not refuse them). Marketing professionals are more concerned with recognition, peer perception, personal achievement, and additional opportunities. A victory proves their internal worth and external value to the rest of the company, as well as prospective future employers.

Like sales, marketing also has pride on the line. They want to be recognized for their toil and must believe that all the testing and reworking they execute has a practical value. A victory is proof that their efforts are not hypothetical theories or machinations. Winning gives value not only to marketers themselves, but their work as well.

To avoid the battles and create a collaboration between the sales and marketing team, you may find this org chat template helpful:


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Topics: Sales vs Marketing