Physics is not necessarily intuitive.
Relativity explains how big objects in the universe interact with one another. Stuff like gravity. Quantum Mechanics explains how very small objects interact and work with one another. Things like wave and particle theory.
The important thing to realize about physics is that you often need Relativity and Quantum Mechanics to get things to work in the real world. Want to send a spacecraft to Mars? Chances are, you need both.
Marketing and sales are the same way. Marketing is about the big picture and creating momentum at scale. Sales is all about closing deals, one at a time. And they seem completely different but you need both working together to drive your business forward.
Sales and spooky (marketing) entanglement
Spooky entanglement is an unnerving concept in Quantum Mechanics. In its simplest form this concept, which was first predicted by mathematical formulas, suggests particles can become entangled and connected. For example, if you impact the spin or position of one particle, you impact the spin or position of another entangled particle, even if the two particles are separated by vast distances.
Similarly, marketing impacts perception among customers and potential customers in ways that are difficult to measure and especially difficult to attribute to specific marketing activities. For example, the Coca-Cola logo is recognized by people all over the world. Exactly what marketing activity led to that recognition is hard to pinpoint. And yet, it is real and it is important. Coca-Cola depends on people being familiar with their brand and the products they sell in markets around the world.
So, spooky marketing has a very real impact on what customers perceive and what they buy. But we don’t always know exactly which part of the marketing had the impact.
Wave-particle (sales-marketing) duality
Wave-particle duality is the concept that the many things, like light, can be described as both a wave and a particle.
"We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do." - Albert Einstein
A classic experiment shoots light through a set of vertical slots onto a second screen. Light starts out behaving like a wave as it passes through the slotted screen and then, the light acts like a particle when it strikes the second screen. Marketing and sales activities can often resemble this experiment.
The argument about what exactly constitutes marketing activities (waves) and sales activities (particles) is not always a useful discussion. If you deliver a keynote address, it probably doesn’t matter if it’s considered a marketing activity or a sales activity. What does matter is you finished your keynote, several customers handed you their cards asking you to call them.
When looking at driving demand, accelerating the deal and closing revenue; the activities you leverage may be marketing, sales, or both.
The need for a unified field theory
Einstein spent decades looking for a unified field theory that would unify the predictions of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. He never found it.
Physicists at NASA solve sophisticated technical problems using the theoretical frameworks of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics together with a single-minded focus on solving problems, getting a workable answer and driving outcomes.
That is what we are recommending. Stop fighting about where marketing ends and sales begins. And begin the practical and pragmatic integration of marketing results and sales results in a manner that sidesteps the distracting imperfection of our theoretical foundation while delivering practical business results that just can’t be achieved, any other way.
Figure 1: Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausane, February 3, 2015