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  • Writer's pictureNick Marsh

TURF WAR! Why keeping sales out of marketing occasionally does make sense

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

And why it should be one that concerns you. In short: money. Lost money.

Within an SME, (we work primarily with SMEs), a given team member may have to wear several hats as the company struggles to get off the ground or grow. That is almost inevitable unless that business decides to outsource from the very start which is an added expense.

So, many opt to do their marketing themselves with varying degrees of success. But companies grow and the danger is that the initial team forgets, misses or ignores the point when hats should be redistributed.

As customers are involved in both, the common result is sales and marketing get confused when they are quite distinct. This is why if your marketing is being run as a spin off of your sales department what follows should indeed concern you.

How a person becomes a prospect

At some point, every one of your customers was utterly oblivious to your existence and that of your product. Many more stay that way.

Moving from unaware to paying customer is far more complex than you might realise. The sales part of that journey only begins when they have at least decided that your product might be something they need. Moving from that to the purchase is the job of sales.

Sales converts prospects into customers. Everything before that point is the job of marketing: turning relevant members of the public into prospects.

How a tweet is not marketing

Sales isn’t necessarily easy, but sales is made easier following the efforts of marketing. Assuming the marketing is effective. That is the part that trips a lot of people up.


Like in a political party vying for success, a company’s message must sound the same, wherever you hear it from: the price; the packaging; the way you deal with complaints; how you reach out to customers, old and new; the way its members communicate with the public, and of course, its advertising, to name the most common.

These all form part of the message that the public will be registering and slowly forming an emotional response to. It all needs to be in harmony: not one bit out of tune. And all in a clear message saying what you will do for your prospect, in a language they will understand.

That is not something you can do on the quick and you cannot realistically expect sales to be able to do marketing well and sales well. One, the other, or both will suffer and even if you feel your turnover is good, you will be losing leads that could otherwise become customers. And that takes us back to line 1 of this post: lost money.

What’s the solution for an SME?

If you are still trying to get your company to perform while letting sales (or any other department) run your marketing, know this: eventually that will be a hindrance rather than a saving, if not already the case. If you want to learn how your sales and marketing can work as separate areas bringing out the best in one another, rather than hampering one another, give us a call and we can at least shed some light.



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