The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

We have all heard the phrase, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Think Batman and Robin. Think chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The parts are distinct but their differences are what make their partnership successful.

A perfect example in the corporate world is the relationship between sales and marketing. In reality it is rare to find the ideal balance between the two that results in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

In small companies marketing and sales are often considered the same department with no real distinction between the two. This makes sense in an environment where every employee wears many hats and creating a strong customer base is a higher priority than long-term marketing strategy. In many peoples’ minds there is a thin line between marketing and sales anyway, since both departments have the same end goal; to promote the company to customers and to generate more sales leads.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, in many large companies, the sales and marketing departments are often isolated from each other. Sales account managers are often in the field while marketing remains in house, and the only interaction between the two is at the company picnic.

To illustrate how marketing and sales can help each other by working with each other while maintaining distinct roles, I’d like to share a quote I found on The Daily SEO Blog concerning how marketeers can improve their customer-focused content:

“When you focus on the customer and you think about what their interests are, what they need, and what they’re challenged by, suddenly the opportunities and choices for sharing value and making a connection with them are much greater.”

From a marketing perspective this sounds like a great idea. Focusing your messaging on exactly how and why your company helps its customers is the most effective way to build relationships. If that also sounds like a good sales strategy, you’re right. Sales managers spend the majority of their time speaking with customers and are in the perfect position to gather this information. Sharing this information with the marketing team will help them provide strong messaging content and laser-focused outreach. By combining their strengths to identify customers needs and how the company provides a solution, marketing and sales can become stronger together than they are separately.


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