A great brand and superb marketing materials can really help a company establish visibility and credibility with its audience. So, too, PR and advertising can help pave the way to a successful service or product. But do they simply pave the way or are they the mattress upon which sales must bounce?

A fantastic sales rep can close business without the benefit of marketing collateral and a brand promise. They can, although they have to work harder and longer in order to do so. Marketing helps the sales effort.

But make no mistake about it: Marketing does not pull through closed business. It can help, but people, processes and qualified sales reps acting on exquisitely crafted sales campaigns are what really generate most new business.

Most sales consultants know this is true, and so when they meet a potential client they often inquire about the marketing campaign that is in the wings. They also review the website, social media platforms and other such marketing initiatives that are “out there” for all to see.

But rarely, and I do mean rarely, do marketing professionals ask definitive questions about the prospect’s planned sales campaign, which is supposed to integrate with the marketing program. It’s almost as if they are engaged in marketing for marketing’s sake.

How do I know this? I’ve been a sales consultant for 24 years, and I can count on one hand the number of times that our firm has been brought in by the marketers working on a program.

I’m not sure why this schism exists but it does. I also know that clients would be better served if we all just played nicely together.

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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.