Sales drives revenue and with good marketing alignment and a strong sales team it drives leads into the funnel faster than if you were to do it separately. Today on the Funnel we discuss my own personal story, exactly how sales drives revenue, how to get things started, and how teamwork makes the dream work. As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me and i’ll do my best to answer all your concerns.


What we’re going to cover:

  • My story.
  • Sales drives revenue.
  • How to get started.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work.



My story.

Sales without marketing.

“I worked at a pretty good sized company. I managed there and I was the VP of sales there. Well as time went on I had a long series of conversations with one of my sales managers in particular about sales and driving business and we got on the subject of marketing. And it was brought to light that we didn’t have a huge investment in marketing.But as we moved into the mid 2000’s it became apparent that this internet was pretty widespread and business was being conducted online and it occurred to us that that we needed to build a marketing team, and invest in marketing.”


Marketing manager.

“So, we laid out a job description, did some research on pricing, (in terms of salary) and put a small plan together. It wasn’t anything great because I really didn’t know a lot about marketing other than the fact I needed it. So, I set out to find a marketing manager. Long story short I interviewed and hired my former partner Lindsey Kelley as our first marketing manager.”

“Now, marketing managers will tell you that they should be on equal standing with the VP of sales or maybe there should be VP of marketing, but I will tell you that putting it under a single umbrella, making it the responsibility of the Sales VP changes the whole dynamic.”


My learning curve.

“One of the things I wanted to really focus on was my understanding of marketing, I didn’t want to pretend to know everything so I deferred to Lindsay quite a bit in terms of what was needed. The first thing was to refresh of the website, get good content, getting a hold of all the content that’s sporadic and disparate throughout the company. Everything from stuff that’s been printed on the shelves to the stuff that sales reps made themselves and handed out.”


Bringing the two sides together?

“I brought Lindsay into the fold, brought her to a couple of meetings and she’s very smart, very bright, very good at her job and very outgoing and strong and some sales reps took offense to that. ‘You don’t know anything about sales’ and it went back and forth. First thing i did was i immediately put stop to that. Then Lindsay and I put a plan together and we began to slowly integrate sales and marketing.”


No quarter.

“It was my job to have no quarter. In other words sales reps weren’t going to run over her and she wasn’t going to run over them. We were going to have a meeting of the minds, there were things that Lindsay was good at, there were things the sales managers and sales people are good at, we’re going to bring the two sides together, we’re going to hash that out. We had meeting after meeting, pretty regular cadence with the managers, pretty regular cadence with the reps.

That was my role to support her in her efforts. And the outcome was fabulous and really worked to our advantage.”

Sales drives revenue.

No chicken or egg.

“Well the truth of the matter it sales drives revenue, that’s not going to change. We in the sales department drive revenue; there is no chicken or egg on this but we need help driving that revenue.”


We need help.

“A solid brand and solid marketing brings instant credibility. People go to your website and they check out your stuff. You leave a prospects office they’re online looking at your company’s website, they’re trying to figure out who you are and what your company is about. If you have really good stuff and a really good reputation that’s going to make your job easier as a sales rep.”



“We need sales to help us with top of the funnel and just as importantly middle of the funnel. A good marketing department does both, pours them into the funnel and then nurtures them right down to the middle and hands them off to you. Make no mistake about it, a good marketing department, good marketing alignment, helps.”


Get on the same page.

“Marketing alignment comes from a deep understanding of how we do our jobs. It comes from an understanding of walking in somebody else’s shoes, and understanding the marketing perspective will bring tremendous value to you as a sales rep.”

“Your role in the sales management side is to take control of that relationship. It’s not the other way around. In most organizations sales are the big sticks, they’re the ones driving the revenue. They control the outcome, not in a negative way but in a way that puts you in a leadership position. So, you need to help marketing be successful instead of making them your adversary.”

How to get started.

“I’m going to tell you why it’s hard because people have a negative attitude towards sales. Some of it is an earned reputation, look at all the sales movies out there, they make salespeople look like pigs. The really good reps who do their job professionally with integrity they don’t make movies about. So you’re walking into a situation where marketing people have a very bad attitude about salespeople.”


Sales management olive branch.

“Sales management, sales leadership, needs to set the tone here. You need to reach out to the marketing leadership team, increase your knowledge and understanding, walk in their shoes, ask how you can help them with their job. Why? Because field knowledge is important to them to get it right and if the company is spending lots of money on marketing and website and leads, why wouldn’t you want to help them get better doing that?”

Ask how you can help.

“Starts with management. Starts with you meeting with marketing, what can I do, how can I help you, where can I bridge the gap here? It doesn’t really start until somebody reaches out and says how can I help you, I need to understand how this stuff works. Then you start bridging the gap between your salespeople. That’s how you get started.”

Teamwork makes the dream work.


“Working together, helping other people, them helping you, it works. So how do you do that? Start with management meetings, lay out some plans and some opportunities and start slowly combing marketing into your meetings. Or bringing salespeople in for their opinions and getting feedback from marketing, maybe scheduling some ride a longs.

You don’t just throw a marketing manager in your meeting and let them get eaten alive by your sales team, you set it up. You start by building a few relationships in the room, you make them comfortable, you hold your reps accountable for how they treat that person in a professional way.”


Social events. 

“We used to do these events with sales reps with  all kinds of fun stuff like a bowling night, ropes course, things like that. So, invite marketing along and make them a part of the team. Social events are the best way to get that teamwork thing going.”



“One of the things that I was adamant about was the sales trip. Now you earned the trip for selling stuff. Marketing was a big part of the revenue that was driven to us but we created some KPI’s for marketing and we asked Lindsay to come along the trip with us because she was just as big part of that team. It was worth it. It worked.”



“Provide recognition to them for a job well done. So, if you sell something based on the lead that came in through the website why not thank the marketing team? ‘hey I got this and I sold it thank you so much this was a great lead let me tell you why it was a great lead’. Recognize the effort, celebrate their effort.”

“Look at that marketing department as an opportunity to help you sell more. And as a manager, as a VP of sales, it is your job to figure out how to make that work for your team. And how to integrate and comb them into what you do on a daily basis.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.


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