I have seen many small businesses make the mistake of hiring a salesman to do a marketers job. They require a very different skill set and should be defined as such.
Sales and marketing are tightly linked, complementary disciplines. Too often in startups I hear that the one sales guy also does the marketing. Now, if the startup can’t afford to separate the functions that’s one thing, but sales and marketing are two distinct functions. When I see a single person with the title VP of Sales and Marketing it often means the company takes a German approach — beat down the door with sales people and don’t bother with marketing.
Here are a few reasons sales and marketing should be separate functions in startups:
- Lead lifecycles are so complicated with visitor, prospect, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, opportunity, and closed deal stages that it requires specialized knowledge to optimize each one
- Marketing is often more measured in their approach which provides a nice yin to the yang of sales people that tend to embellish what can be done
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