[Disclosure – this blog post contains adult sexual references, though not expressed in a vulgar way, because that would be a poor show.]

I thought I’d open, dear reader, with a warning, as I’d hate to see your double espresso do a U-turn as you read this. The adult reference is not to the title of the well-known song that you will find in the subject line of this blog post (and I can imagine there might be a slightly different audience finding this post as a result) but to an analogy for the difference between sales and marketing.

The rivalry, jibes and sometimes gulfs between sales and marketing is a path so worn away with words that I hesitated before I wrote the post, yet I think my point has merit.

In the old days, you could say that marketing was like sex for 1. A mainly solitary exercise, you would be crafting strategy, messaging and plans in your own company. Sales, on the other hand, was like sex for 2. You were building a rapport with that person, listening and catering to their requirements.

The connected economy has blurred those lines almost beyond recognition. If I’m a salesperson, my B2B customers can do their research online, see how people score what I offer, without ever having to dance with me until they’re ready, and on their terms. I don’t sell to them until they’re ready to start the relationship – unless I understand how to use the same processes to guide them to me.

If I’m a marketer, while I should always have been listening to the market, I can get instantaneous feedback on what I’m putting out there and can collaborate with my customers in real time to give them what they need.

The best salespeople, marketers and customers are those that understand the leveraging power of the Internet and use it to put themselves in the shoes of the other person. That way they can relate to them more, and partner with them better.