Marketing and Sales: Conflict and Cooperation in Consumer Product Organizations

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Some might consider sales and marketing synonymous, one task split into two. However this could not be further from the truth. Sales are activities that lead to closing the deal and signing an agreement or contract. Marketing is the courses of action implemented to reach and persuade prospects (Lake, n.d.). The relationship between these two departments is analogous to the sibling rivalry of Siamese twins, joined at the hip and constantly arguing. Different in culture and personality, marketing and sales are traditionally at odds but cannot successfully perform their assigned tasks without the other. To avert the negative impact that arises from this conflict vigilant observation and swift action is necessary. Only in this way can a company's management can control the situation between the divisions. Particularly for a consumer product company, as the average level of consumer savvy increases, the importance of the sales and marketing departments working in sync becomes even greater (Dewsnap & Jobber, p.874). The conflict between sales and marketing is essentially a consequence of the two groups viewing the world differently. This impedes communication and integration of the departments (Martin, n.d.). One of the clearest ways to comprehend the different views is a thorough understanding of the culture conflict between sales and marketing. Each subdivision has its own agendas, priorities and opposing ways of performing its responsibilities. An example of this is the acceptable length of time it takes to see results. Salespeople see planning in terms of short term objectives to meet customer demands. Marketing personnel use long term, strategic plans that focus on future profit, its longer time horizon a necessity. While a salesperson sees an acceptable time of accomplishment at approximately three months, a marketer would be willing to wait three years (Lipe, n.d.). Further instances of culture conflict between marketing and sales are with accountability and...
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