Academic Neil Rackham’s calling for marketers to take charge of the sales function (MWlinks.co.uk/MarketerSales) sparked debate – here are comment extracts.
I agree that there are qualities found in both occupations but to put marketing people in charge of transactional sales is a jump based on the assumption that marketing people understand all steps of transactional sales and that salespeople are but steps away from dragging their knuckles on the ground. Perhaps a team approach might be the best first approach so marketing gets a taste of sales and sales people understand the rationales of the marketing campaign.
I believe the statement ‘sales people are not strategic enough’, disregarding their professional level, refers to the fact that sales people deal only with parts of the strategic marketing mix (parts of the classic four Ps) …so they can’t have a strategic ‘big picture’ view on the whole marketin mix (the marketing strategy which includes sales strategy).
Having been in sales for many years I tend to have to give way to the fact that marketing do have a longer view ahead on the business horizon, but what does make both sales and marketing a ‘fused success’ is joint metrics for success and compensation parameters. So what is wrong with marketing leading the sales and marketing business unit/division? Pharmaceuticals have done it like this since I can remember.