One Simple Farming Strategy to Align Marketing & Sales

The Analogy

Marketing is planting and raising the crops. Sales is harvesting the crops and cashing in. It's that simple. So why do businesses have so much trouble understanding they need both working together?


Because successful farming is very difficult.


The basics of farming include field selection, preparing the soil, planting, cultivating, fertilizing, protecting from pests and disease, harvesting, and selling. But if you fail at any one of them there will be no payoff.


Likewise, the interplay between marketing and sales is important to yield a rich harvest. Marketing is a long term investment. Marketing is generally responsible for the upstream portion of the sales funnel –plowing, planting, watering, and cultivating the crop. Sales is short term. Sales is generally responsible for the downstream portion of the funnel –negotiating, harvesting, and selling the crop.


The Problem

But for pretty much all of business history, these two functions have struggled to work together and leadership has struggled to get them to work together.


The Strategy

One simple strategy, based on farming, will help. Try it in your business and if you need any assistance, let me know.


  • Strategy: Like a Farmer, Focus Marketing & Sales On The Same Goal – Harvesting A Bumper Crop. Marketing's job isn't to just focus on great advertising or websites or media posts and sales' job isn't just to focus on closing a deal for a commission. The goal for both is to develop and harvest a bumper crop for the business. Align marketing and sales to the same end goal.


The Difficult Reality

Marketing is long term, sales is short term. Plowing, planting, cultivating, watering, and getting a corn crop to maturity takes several months while harvesting only takes a few weeks. This difference makes the problem difficult to solve. The challenge for leadership is to recognize the long term nature of marketing, the short term nature of sales, the full "growing" cycle from awareness to closing the deal and then align incentives to the end result: cashing in on a bumper crop.


If you need any assistance working through this issue and getting your own strategy, let me know. Always here to help.