My new video highlights the continuing challenges of integrating marketing and sales (business development) in the professional services arena. Since publishing my book The Integration Imperative, there has been much progress to integrate these functions. And I'm pleased that the critical topic of integrating marketing and selling is addressed by the 2014-2015 Professional Services Leadership Initiative (PSLI). #SmithSchool
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But professional service firms over-rely on a culture-based Friendship Model of integrating marketing, sales and other functions. The Friendship Model is based on collegiality: one person asks a colleague to help jointly solve a business problem. This kind of collaboration does have merit! Many professional firms appropriately support collaboration as part of their performance evaluations. By itself, though, the Friendship Model of integrating marketing and selling cannot create sustainable market share gains, cannot alone build the “right” revenues, and may not offer the clients substantive value.
Why? Because it’s too informal. Friends are too often pulled away by competing priorities, by lack of accountability and by simply being assigned elsewhere or leaving their role. By only relying on a cultural solution, professional service firms miss out on competing as effectively as they could. The Friendship Model doesn't do enough to harness people formally to work together toward a common goal.
Professional- and B2B-service firms should add structure to break down marketing and selling silos.
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