I have seen Sales and Marketing fight each other in Orthopedics companies for years.  Why is this?

Sales and marketing don’t get along because:

           — they have different objectives

           — and they don’t understand each other.



First, let’s look at the differences between Sales and Marketing and see why they don’t understand each other.

Both believe that they are more important than the other to the organization. Neither are right.  Marketing can be guilty of not listening to important Sales feedback because they think they know better than Sales. Sales can be guilty of ignoring Marketing because Marketing doesn’t really know the customer dynamics in the field.

Let me try to illustrate the differences. I am going to borrow Gary Vee’s sports example of how Sales & Marketing play the game.


Sales thinks they are special because they win daily. Sales has a short-term focus and is 100% accountability. The numbers are the numbers.  Sales is like the front offensive line of the football team. They grind it out each and every day.

However, Sales needs to understand the function of Marketing. One good execution by Marketing can change everything for you. Sales cannot do this.

Sales, this is why you must value Marketing.  Marketing can strike out over and over again, but then one day, one campaign can change the course of your sales trajectory forever – new branding campaign, a new KOL relationship, a well-executed conference, a new licensing agreement, or whatever.  Grand slam home run. Marketing literally has the potential of a Mike Tyson punch. You must appreciate their potential.

Takehome message:

Sales should respect Marketing’s ability to move the needle in a big way one day.


Marketing thinks they’re special because they are creative, have fancy degrees and have a budget.   Marketing has a long-term focus and very little accountability. The Marketing budget has zero metrics. They really don’t have to win on a day-to-day basis so they don’t get the respect of the salespeople.  However, when they connect, they set up sales for big success.  Marketing gets credit for the Sales setup. Sales NEVER gets credit for the setup, only for delivering the numbers.

Marketing is like the spoiled wide receiver that can win a game with one play, but for most of the game, they’re irrelevant.

Marketing, this is why you must value Sales. Sales cannot tell management that the long-term payback for a campaign is going to be in the future sometime. Sales does not have that luxury. They have to perform on a daily basis.

Takehome message:

Marketing should respect Sales because they grinding it out each day and supporting your salaries and the company.

So, for your orthopedic company to be successful, Sales and Marketing need to work together and they must understand that they have two completely different functions – one short-term, one long-term, and one blocking and tackling, and one the occasional big offensive play.