Sales Is Still from Mars and Marketing Is Still from Venus

“Sales is from Mars and Marketing is from Venus” has been used on a number of occasions when describing the gap between sales and marketing.  The marketing automation, lead generation, and lead nurturing industry and their gurus have spent the past two years talking about “sales alignment” and how we can bridge the gap between the two sides.  Obviously I am one of those people.  I have sat in both seats and have felt both side’s pain.  And I do believe marketers have made big strides. There is so much information (including from me) on how we can fix this divide that I truly believe we are in a better place than we have been in the past.

On the other hand, there is one thing you can’t solve: the fact that you can align all you want, but sales is still born and raised on Venus, and marketing is born and raised on Mars.  You are different people and your relationship will always have its ups and downs (and in some cases, all downs).  So I decided to have some fun and help everyone understand each other’s differences:

*My buddy at HP was telling me how a sales optimization consultancy had done a study where the best sales guys got Cs in school.  The rationale being that school is NOT good training for sales guys whose key skill is convincing people verbally and school is better-suited for reading and writing.  Technically a C average is a 2.0, but I couldn’t do that.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Awesome chart! Whether you’re from Mars or Venus, the truth is that we all have to figure out how to work together. Can’t we all just get along?

  • That list is way wrong … I’ve never even watched Heroes!

  • I had to throw something in there.

  • Some interesting comments in the chart, but the whole venus and mars thing has been a bit overdone. I just tuned in recently at the suggestion of some mutual friends and like the upbeat, having-some-fun approach. Having come from field ops from sales into marketing over many years I think there are some ways in which marketing can visit Mars more often and be accepted. You are correct in the “making great strides” comment, but we all can do better. Since you have been on a sales quota, you understand. Most B2B marketers do not understand. A wise man once told me that Marketers need to think and act like sales people to cross that great divide, but also to get accepted by the Martians. Dissecting what that actualy means would be an interesting conversation.

  • Just had to say…I read the chart out loud we thought it was so funny…and true!

  • I absolutely love the form of communication. I have to say sometimes sales encourages other members of the company to join in the yelling ;).

  • This is amusing, though I believe Sales and Marketing are actually coming together, perhaps not voluntairily, however all the kicking and screaming in the world is not going to stop it. We are seeing Marketing taking over tasks in the sales process that used to be handled by Sales, for example the first meeting has been completely replaced by the web site. SEO and SEM is replacing endless cold-calling. We see Sales performing tasks that should be handled by Marketing, creating content and positioning during the sales process. As we see Marketing move further down the funnel and Sales being forced to follow process due to the implementation of SalesForce Automation systems I believe you will see Sales and Marketing working very closely together. The leading indicator, which I am already seeing is Sales becoming part of the Marketing department, and vice versa. When you start to see that as a regular situation, you will see the canary in the coal mine that will indicate the change.

  • Stevie D

    Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but when I saw this, my first thoughts were:-


    Another stereotypical, NA centric piece of “quality” that whilst proclaiming to be funny, is written from such an obvious point of view, I wonder just what the purpose is. ?

    Just what value is there in perpetuating the myth that just because it goes on in your sphere of knowledge, (hint) that must be what happens elsewhere.

    As a point of fact, outside the USA, many many thousands of companies “get this” already… and have moved on.

    There – I’ve said it. The piece is not funny, or even true.

    (rotten fruit ready to throw)

  • Fun stuff! You’re definitely right that there will always be a gap (maybe not quite Venus/Mars sized) between the personalities drawn to sales and those to marketing. However, there’s more hope than ever for a “meet me on Earth” (halfway?) understanding between the two.

    How? Sales 2.0. The new edition of Sales 2.0 for Dummies is coming out soon and has lots of great information about how Marketing helps Sales drive better results. CEO David Thompson also gives a webinar about marketing that truly works for sales. See for the Marketing Automation Summit on BrightTalk.