Jeff Kostermans, CEO of LeadGenensys, asked on Linked-In “If your B2B company had a head of BOTH marketing and sales – do you believe a stronger marketing or a stronger sales background would enable more revenue generation?” See other Linked-In responses here.
Obviously you can not have one without the other. If the person is heading both departments then that person will also be the head sales person. The person all other sales people go to with difficult clients and look up to for guidance. Also a good sales person that knows your product, service and industry are hard to come by and costly to train. So I would seriously look at having the person with more sales strengths that marketing.
Often the value of the service or product comes from the founders and CEO’s but the marketing person is needed to translate and package the value message to the customers via the sales force. A great sales person can easily sell anything to anyone at least once. But great marketing strategy, branding and tactics will drive customers to your company wanting your product or service over and over again. This makes the sales troops jobs easier and builds brand value to the company which increases the longevity of the company and over all value of the company.
One solution is to keep your sales people, have one as VP of sales. Hire a consultant for marketing ideas and hire a lower lever in-house marketing person to implement the marketing tactics. This allows you to have fresh marketing ideas from a person that is always focused on marketing at a lower cost then hiring them. Your sales force is focused on sales and now has new tools and pitch. And to keep costs low the in-house marketing person can implement all the new marketing tactics.