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Sales Make it Happen

Salespeople Aren't Marketers!

When sales leaders and senior managers push their sales teams to "market" on behalf of the organization, something is wrong. Salespeople aren't marketers, and successful marketing doesn't require salespeople to step into the role of marketing.

Professor Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the founding father of the study of management, thinks marketing and sales are antithetical. In fact, he believes they aren't synonymous or even complimentary, as most people think.

According to Drucker, the aim of marketing is to know and understand the company's customers so deeply that when they see the company's product or service offering, it so clearly fits what they want that they are ready to buy. There is no selling in this scenario - there is only a customer ready to buy and a company that either stands in the way or facilitates the purchase. In an ideal world, selling becomes superfluous.

In the business-to-business environment, the job of the marketing group is to fill the top of a company's sales funnel with high quality, bona fide prospects who are ready to become customers! Assuming your products and services meet the actual needs of your customers, failure to fill the top of the sales funnel points directly at a problem in the marketing department. The marketing folks may not truly understand what their customers want and need, or the marketing messages may not directly impact what the customers want to accomplish, fix or avoid.

When the marketing department does its job successfully, selling, in the traditional sense, becomes superfluous, as Professor Drucker states. So, are we one day to look forward to the demise of the professional salesperson? Hardly. The good news is that successful marketing changes the role of the salesperson in the organization. Next week we'll explore how this change can elevate sales as a corporate function.

--- from the desk of a retired, successful leasing company president.