Its been a while I have written and that too controversial :). So, here is one to dust off some junk. BTW, I meant “can a GOOD sales guy be good at marketing”.


  1. This is neither to lowlight sales nor to highlight marketing
  2. This is not to take a dig at sales

The general answer that I got was “Big deal. Why not? Anyone can do marketing.” Wow.. I suddenly felt useless for having spent 11 years of my life doing something that anyone can do.

On a serious note, it is true that anyone with a “marketing mindset” can be good at marketing. But, the point here is to see how a sales guy with a strong “sales mindset” can adjust to “marketing mindset”. This is a huge change to take the “feet on the ground” to provide “Air cover”.

I hope you have read my earlier blog on “mindset”. Its very important to really understand what I am talking about there to appreciate when I referred to Mindset here.

Let us look at a few key changes that can help tune this mindset:

Ability to Unlearn – Working with marketing is one thing and working in marketing is another. It is extremely important to get the real picture of what marketing (and all of its components) does, before having a set mind based on the past experience.

Everyone is a customer – For marketing, everyone is a customer or a source of it, be it a prospect, potential employee, partner, or any person walking on the street. Why is that? The answer lies in the end goal of each function.

End Goal – This is THE most important mindset change. While I don’t have to educate you on the end goal of a sales function, it is important for us know that a sale is just one part of the goal for marketing. As a marketing guy, no matter how many leads / deals my marketing activities bring to the table, the final objective will be unmet if I don’t focus equally on activities, such as building the right strategy, creating & promoting the brand, and generating awareness.

I can really go on, but a lethal combination would be to combine the sales instinct with the marketing mindset.

Come to think of it, all of my managers until now (barring one) were from sales background. Each of them have exhibited a certain kind of sales and operations flavor in their approach. During each phase marketing was used as one or few of the below:

  1. Research
  2. Inside sales
  3. Sales support
  4. Marketing operations
  5. Branding
  6. Strategic marketing

As the experts say, “Marketing takes a day to learn, but a life time to practice.” I am sure it is true with other functions as well :).

So if we reverse the question… can a marketing guy be good at sales? What do you think? 🙂