What’s a VP/Director/Manager of Sales & Marketing?

I know what a VP/Director/Manager of Sales does, I know what a VP/Director/Manager of Marketing does, but I’ve always been somewhat perplexed about what a VP/Director/Manager of Sales & Marketing does. Over the years, whenever I meet someone with a ‘Sales & Marketing’ title I usually try to have some conversation about their job to find out more about their role. Without exception the person in that role is a salesperson with primary responsibility for sales. A quick review of current VP/Director/Manager of Sales & Marketing job postings confirms that the requirements for these positions are primarily sales related.

Based on my anecdotal research, the Sales & Marketing organization is really a sales organization with a small marketing functional area in a secondary, supportive role usually responsible for primarily two types of deliverables:

  1. Lead generation – generally a more tactical function than you would find in a full-fledged marketing organization. Focus and performance measurement is on driving the volume of leads into the top of the sales funnel needed to eventually and hopefully produce the required volume of sales from the bottom of the funnel.
  2. Sales collateral – production of tactical collateral such as brochures, datasheets, product overviews, case studies, etc. used during the sales process.

"The Sales/Marketing Manager is like an amphicar (amphibious car). Great idea, but what you really get is a highly ineffective car and a highly ineffective boat." – Mark Goff

The marketing functional area in this type of organization generally doesn’t have the bandwidth, budget or management support for a market-driven approach or a more strategic marketing role. However, the marketing functional area in these organizations can add more value and some strategic direction to help sales be more effective and productive:
  • While the performance measure for lead generation is on volume into the sales funnel, marketing should add research, analysis and segmentation to drive more targeted and relevant leads. Sales will appreciate not wasting time and effort chasing 100 leads with a 2% probability of closing versus focusing on 30 more targeted leads with a 10% probability of closing.
  • For the collateral, marketing should add value to make the materials more appropriate for the intended audience and provide guidance to sales for using the materials more effectively:
    • Strategic messaging aligned with the value your stuff creates for customers should be used consistently in the materials.
    • Develop the materials to align for use at the various stages of the sales cycle. It’s not ‘show up and throw up’ as many salespeople are inclined – guide salespeople on which materials to use at each stage of the sales cycle to help move the buyer to the next stage.
  • Company website – if you haven’t already, take control of the company website and make it a marketing vehicle that all business websites should be.
In spite of marketing usually being in a tactical, supportive role reporting to a VP/Director/Manager of Sales & Marketing, there are several ways for marketing to add more value, help sales be more effective, improve results and ultimately raise the stature of marketing in these organizations.

Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2009 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC. http://marketing.infocat.com

1 comments:

Melissa Paulik said...

Mike,

I also see this in organizations that have marketing roles with marketing titles and responsibiies, but these roles report into sales. Marketing and sales need to work closely, but anytime you have one report into the other, I think you're asking for the same kinds of problems.

Melissa Paulik