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Playing Nice

How to get your sales and marketing teams to work together

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This story appears in the November 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Whether you've finally managed to grow your to thepoint where you've got separate and teams oryou're working with an outside marketing agency and asmall-but-scrappy band of salespeople, you undoubtedly cling to thesame vision: The marketing folks will create greater awareness anddemand through careful planning and execution, while the sales teamwill be out on the streets closing deals. Now if you could only getthem to stop bickering and work together...

When it comes to workplace interaction, few relationships are asfraught with tension as that between the sales force and themarketing department. While it is possible to eliminate theus-vs.-them mentality, the of many firms is greatlyreduced by the infighting of this potentially oil-and-watercombination. While the overall goals of both departments are topromote the company's products, services and image, theyachieve those goals in very different ways: Marketers needstatistics and hard information in order to do their jobseffectively, but salespeople often rankle at gathering such databecause they feel it takes too much energy away from their salesefforts. The result is often resentment in both departments, whichleads to decreased productivity for everyone.

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