Ownership of the funnel
– why clear demarcation of territories is unhelpful, even dangerous
Sales is responsible for immediate, this week/ this month and marketing looks at next month, next year and next life! Funny, but this is the kind of thinking that has ruined customer relationships, reduced sales role to deal management and restricted marketing to a role akin to a scriptwriter in a Bollywood movie; lucky to see his name featured in the credit-roll, if at all.
What is needed is a realization that both sales and marketing have long term and short term objectives/ goals and they need to collaborate in long to medium term growth in prospects, opportunities and leads. They each have a stake in ensuring the leads convert into orders and in promoting usage and thus customer satisfaction, loyalty and word of mouth.
Sales fights the battle, but today marketing is no longer just an enabler but active participant. The battle is not joined only on the day the salesman negotiates the final purchase with the customer but, on the days and months leading up to that day where the customer has moved from a state of no awareness to awareness to interest, evaluation and purchase. Marketing, sales and even customer support: they all play a role in these stages.
The engineer in me likens the various influences on a purchase process to the addition of lots of vectors. As we know, the maximum that you can obtain in a vector addition of several vectors is the sum of the magnitudes should the vectors be all in the exact same direction. Enough said.