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“It’s more essential than ever for sales and marketing to work together,” says Neil Rackham, an author and strategist who tracks the relationship of the troubled corporate siblings. “The Internet has put a lot of sales activities over to marketing. Half of decisions are made before the customer starts talking to the sales person.”
He and longtime collaborator Phil Kotler will sit down for a conversation about the evolving partnership at the upcoming 2013 Global BMA Conference in Chicago.
The May 30 fireside chat is titled “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing: New Battlefields or a Lasting Truce?”
Rackham, known as the professor of professional selling, will bring the perspective of the sales force to the conversation. Kotler, author of seminal text Marketing Management and the recognized father of marketing, will represent his constituents.
“We arm wrestle a bit, and we discuss what comes out of that,” Rackham says of the pair’s conversational style. “There is a lot of alignment between our ideas. We have got into almost-fistfights, but there are usually a couple of people hanging around to break it up.”
In this case, that referee will be Mike Moorman. The managing principal at ZS Associates will perform what conference organizer Gary Slack calls “light moderation.” After all, the days of an all-out brawl are probably over.
Sales departments rely on their marketing counterparts to start the conversation with customers early, Rackham says. Marketers identify the opportunities in which sales should invest. They anticipate challenges. “The smart players are getting sales and marketing together for opportunity-management systems.”
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