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Marketing and sales department can’t save a bad company

As sales and marketing alignment is ever rare, the long standing battle between the sales and marketing team of every company remains evident. However, besides converting prospects to customers and generating revenue, both departments have one more common ground, “marketing and sales cannot save a bad company”.

Worthy of note is the fact that the excellence or failure of an early-stage business or an established corporation depends on the contributory effort of its entire workforce which includes marketing, sales, strategy, finance, human resources, technology and equipment, and operations.

However, in most cases, as argued by marketing analysts, when a product is having problems, the quick finger is usually pointed at the marketing and sales department.

“Marketing & Sales can’t save a sh*tty company. Lots of companies think they have a Sales & Marketing problem, but they actually have a business strategy problem,” said Chris Walker, CEO Refine Labs in a LinkedIn post.

“They blame their marketing team for not driving enough pipeline, and fire their team or agency, when in reality it’s because nobody actually wants their product. This type of company has a deeply rooted business strategy problem that Sales & Marketing can’t solve: They sell a commodity (undifferentiated) product into a crowded category. They don’t do customer research so they try to be everything to everyone aka nothing to no one. And just expect that people are going to magically buy. Less than 50% of reps hit quota, but instead of looking
inward and admitting they have a business strategy problem, they just fire their VP Sales and bring a new Sales leader in who’s set up to fail.”

Sometimes, when a product is having problems, its failure or continuous success is not entirely dependent on the capacity and capabilities of the sales and marketing team, especially when there are structural issues that need to be acknowledged, and problems to be identified.

On a similar premise, William Stevens pointed that the business strategy problem can as well be described as a leadership competence problem.

He noted: “Too often there are leaders who are so wildly out of their depth who think the business exists to serve their ego. They’re free to think that and they’re free to go
out of business. The Planck Principle doesn’t just apply to academia. Some of today’s leaders are simply unfit to lead and need to realize they’re accountable to the collective success they desire. Not just scapegoating and taking disagreement as a personal affront.”

Sallie Keys, Marketing director at RISETEK Global posed that some companies lack in-depth awareness and connection to their own products, services, and customers to know if what they are providing is truly serving their customers and making them happy.

Keys pointed: “So much of it goes back to whether or not you know what you’re offering as a company and where you’re headed. I think it’s also important to continually revisit the company’s purpose, ie. ‘What are we doing as a company? Why are we in existence?’ Products and services should be an emanation of the company’s purpose.”

Martina Lundgren, a marketing communications director believes that it is about doing some ‘serious’ workshopping – recreating the strategy with all the players in the wider management group, and spending some serious time on how to actually execute on it afterwards.

According to Lundgren, it’s not easy, “and in times of recession or economic down-turn, it is so easy to turn to marketing or sales to find scapegoats, instead of moving closer together, taking the responsibility of fixing it and moving forward. But it’s also exciting, and there are plenty of opportunities as well.

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