Posted by Bethany Handy ● May 5, 2014

10 Quick Tips on Getting Marketing and Sales Departments to Play Nice


Marketing and sales are like two sides of the same brain. One side (marketing) is creative and artistic, writing copy and working on advertising campaigns. The other side (sales) is practical, analyzing the industry and reporting on important trends in numbers and consumer relationships. Each side needs the other in order to function, but sometimes they don’t see it that way. With a few simple guidelines, you can get your marketing and sales departments to work together toward a common goal, making them see the ying in each other’s yang.

  1. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Encourage a day of training where marketing learns about sales and vice versa. The two departments may appreciate each other more if they know exactly what each does for the other.
  2. Eliminate the Phrase “That’s Not My Job” This phrase is used often between departments that don’t get along. Make it clear that this is not allowed. Encourage compromise and resolution in these disputes.
  3. Provide a Neutral Battle Ground Designate a manager that employees can go to with disputes. If no one is qualified for the job, provide a database that everyone has access to where they can voice problems and opinions. An unbiased person reads or listens to these issues and gives a reasonable resolution that is then enforced.
  4. Recognize Excellent Performance on Both Sides This is a great way to encourage positive behavior among both departments. When you recognize excellent performance, you give everyone an example to look up to and give both departments a reason to recognize each other for the same.
  5. Encourage Friendly Competition Put together teams that include both marketing and sales people and charge the entire group with a goal. Each team will have to work together to achieve that goal and win an incentive.
  6. Create a Common Break Area Your employees will all enjoy a few minutes of down time on occasion. Providing a neutral break room where socialization is encouraged between the departments helps to build relationships that encourage them to work together.
  7. Provide a Social Arena Throw a holiday party that includes both departments. Celebrate birthdays together. Organize team events where the sales and marketing departments have to work together; such as a company softball team or bowling league.
  8. Don’t Allow Negative Sentiments Gossip and arguments that are allowed to persist cause the worst problems. Quell this behavior as soon as you see it and make it very clear that negative sentiments will not be tolerated.
  9. Encourage Appreciation Between Departments Have the sales department recognize the employee of the month for the marketing department and vice versa. By giving them this task, you encourage each department to find things that they appreciate about the other and recognize that they do.
  10. Follow Through Most importantly, follow through with any policies that you implement. Consistency is imperative when encouraging cooperation. When you establish a routine that you stick with, it will become the norm for those involved.

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