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From the Trenches

BFF: Marketing & Sales?

Mike Sweeney | May 9, 2008

My apologies on the use of the modern acronym.  For those who don’t know, “BFF” stands for “Best Friends Forever”.  Now, on with the post…

I was recently re-reading a post from Brian Carroll in his B2B Lead Generation Blog, titled “Collaboration Huddles and 35 Other Ways to Improve Sales and Marketing Teamwork”.  Although I can always grab something useful from Brian’s posts, within his list of 35 I immediately stopped when I read #15:

15. Get the marketing team out in the field with the sales team regularly.

Scary thought, huh? Sales folks like to operate independently, and don’t want anyone in marketing looking over their shoulders.  Marketing folks like to write case studies and press releases about customers, but they don’t really want to be responsible for the actual acquisition of said customers.

Having spent the first 10 years of my career purely on the marketing side of the business, and the last two years playing a hybrid sales/marketing role, I am here to tell you this is a great idea.  The sales team needs to see that the marketing team is actually experiencing how a prospecting meeting flows, how business pains are identified, and most importantly how the sales team determines which leads are qualified vs. unqualified.  The marketing team needs to see first-hand that it is in fact impossible to ask 32 questions to qualify a lead, and that not every lead driven by marketing is a blue bird.  As we all know, the truth lies somewhere in the middle when it comes to the sales and marketing.

Just do it.  Send the marketing folks out with the sales team occasionally.  At a bare minimum get everyone in the room together every once in awhile.  I’ve been on both sides, and until you walk in the other man’s shoes, you can’t become a complete marketer.


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About Mike Sweeney:

As Right Source’s co-founder and CEO, Mike Sweeney creates, plans, and implements our vision, mission, culture, and strategic direction as well as serving as an advisor to our clients. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing strategy, including digital, content, and marketing technology. You can find Mike on X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn, or read his other posts.