101 Sales and Marketing Quotes to Read Before Setting Your Strategy

June 13, 2017

Two Roads Merge in the Distance

Things have changed in the decades since Peter Drucker asserted that “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

While that underlying sentiment remains true, the methods for understanding and reaching customers have transformed dramatically with the advents of digital media and the internet. With so much competition, so much content, and so much noise, no product or service is going to sell itself.

Building an effective pipeline requires increasingly cohesive efforts between sales and marketing. Forward-thinking companies are bridging these previously siloed departments, creating a unified and streamlined approach to uncovering, nurturing, and converting leads.

The 101 quotes below provide pearls of wisdom from some of the brightest minds to contemplate this ever-evolving dynamic. You will find classic remarks that remain relevant, as well as paradigm-shifting nuggets from today’s top thought leaders.

Let these indispensable insights guide your strategy in the age of sales and marketing collaboration.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Quotes

1. “The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.” – Jill Rowley

2. “Sales and marketing alignment is about one shared goal: revenue that is delivered or over-delivered every quarter. There will always be tension, but that tension can be positive if there is a culture of clear expectations and communication.” – Craig Rosenberg

3. “If an opportunity isn't effectively qualified, the sales rep will operate under the mistaken impression that the deal is theirs to win.” – Dave Stein

4. “A bad habit appearing at many companies is to put reps in the unenviable position of trying to hit their quota by feverishly working through as many opportunities as they can. But this isn’t necessarily the ideal solution. Data-driven sales teams are finding that it is usually more effective to spend more time on qualification earlier in a sales cycle in an effort to only deliver the best opportunities to highly paid account executives.” – Fergal Glynn

5. “I do believe the modern sales leader has to be a marketer.” – Matt Gorniak

6. "There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup." – Gary Vaynerchuk

7. “CEOs that build their organization’s processes, technology and culture around the experience buyers want and value outperform their peers. That starts by aligning sales and marketing, not by resolving differences between them, but by resolving differences between them and the buyer.” – Christine Crandell

8. “An empowered buyer is exactly what a sales and marketing organization should be targeting. Sales and marketing should unite to determine who their ideal customer is and how to reveal their latent pain and to move the customer to a place where they are more successful because of the product or service being offered.” – Claudine Bianchi

9. “When marketing automation was introduced it gave marketers this ability to track it… When I can go to sales and say, ‘We’ve actually driven X amount of dollars of revenue,’ that’s a really powerful thing, and it really gives marketing a seat at that sales table.” – Amanda Halle Bates

10. “As marketing converges with customer service and sales, marketing today is more about helping and less about hyping.” – Joel Book

11. “You have to tell a story before you can sell a story.” – Beth Comstock

12. "To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don't close a sale, open a relationship." – Patricia Fripp

13. “Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.” – Jill Konrath

14. “The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as a B2B marketer, you feed the top of their funnel.” – Doug Kessler

Lead Generation and Demand Generation Quotes

15. “Every email is an opportunity to test a different benefit or angle.” – Heather Morgan

16. “The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe, and, the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to prospect.” – Jeb Blount

17. “In today’s business environment, a company’s website is the key to their entire business.” – Marcus Sheridan

18. "Your future prospects resemble your best customers, and that's the place you should start.” – Holger Schulze

19. “Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts.” – Dayna Rothman

20. “Prospects equal options. Master prospecting and you will be the master of your sales destiny.” – Tibor Shanto

21. “Referrals are the best source for qualified leads. However, the worst error most representatives make is to inquire about new introductions while only mid-way in the sales cycle.” – Elinor Stutz

22. “Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously. Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.” – Brian Tracy

23. “We do a lot of one night stands in lead generation and not enough in long term relationships.” – Michael King

24. “Every sales and marketing email must have an offer, no matter how small or inconspicuous.” – Jim Keenan

25. “Train your prospects to pay attention and to open and read emails that you send. Don’t encourage them to ignore or delete your messages because they are of inconsistent or no value to them.” – Bridget Gleason

Modern Buyer’s Journey Quotes

26. “Left to their own devices, the one thing your customers want to avoid is change.” – Brent Adamson

27. "We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis

28. “Customers don't care at all whether you close the deal or not. They care about improving their business. It’s easy to forget this in the heat of a sales cycle.”  – Aaron Ross

29. “If the perceived risk of making a change is greater than staying with what they’ve got, you won’t close the business.” – Barbara Giamanco

30. “If your sales have tanked, maybe the issue is not your lack of sales skills, but you are rushing the knowing and trusting aspect of the buying process.” – Leanne Hoagland-Smith

31. “You can’t propose a mutually beneficial business relationship if you can’t understand their business.” – Craig Rosenberg

32. “When reps take the role of a curious student rather than an informed expert, buyers are much more inclined to engage.” – Jeff Hoffman

33. “Once you have your questions and stories, map them to the buying process – just as your prospects will experience them.” – Ardath Albee

34. “People buy emotionally, and they justify their decisions intellectually.” – David Sandler

35. “The key is, no matter what story you tell, make your buyer the hero.” – Chris Brogan

36. "Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business." – Zig Ziglar

Modern Marketing Quotes

37. “Content is fire; social media is gasoline.” – Jay Baer

38. “Pageviews and bounce rates are KPIs. At the end, we want to measure our users. That’s what great marketers do.” – Adam Singer

39. “Mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches.” – Chris Anderson

40. “Content isn’t king, it’s the kingdom.” – Lee Odden

41. “The customer’s perception is your reality.” – Kate Zabriskie

42. “We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions.” – David Walmsley

43. “Content marketing is more than a buzzword. It is the hottest trend in marketing because it is the biggest gap between what buyers want and what brands produce.” – Michael Brenner

44. “LinkedIn is no longer an online resume. It’s your digital reputation.” – Jill Rowley

45. “The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today.” – Brent Leary

46. “Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.” – Robert Rose

47. “Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.” – Ann Handley

48. “In the digital space, attention is a currency. We earn it. We spend it.” – Brian Solis

49. “Content marketing is no longer a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance.” – Jason Miller

50. “The new wave of marketing is the scientific marketing; it is not the big idea, it is about making course corrections everyday.” – Sharad Sharma

Modern Sales and Social Selling Quotes

51. “Social selling expands on the age-old basics of getting to know your customers and meeting their needs.” – Jon Ferrara

52. “Selling through social channels is the closest thing to being a fly on the wall in your customers, prospects and competitors’ world.” – Jim Keenan

53. “Not personalizing your message is the biggest mistake you can make while selling to enterprise customers.” – Lacey Bell

54. “You need to be able to paint a picture in a conversation. The lost art of sales is the storytelling side.” – Richard Harris

55. “The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has profound impact on where you end up.” – Ron Karr

56. “The No. 1 key to success in today’s sales environment is speed. The salesperson who delivers the most valuable information to their customer or prospect first, wins the game.” – Dave Orrico

57. “After you listen to a strategy or sales technique, try to use it within the hour.  Listening followed by doing leads to mastery.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

58. “You know you are running a modern sales team when selling feels more like the relationship between a doctor and a patient and less like a relationship between a salesperson and a prospect… It’s no longer about interrupting, pitching and closing. It is about listening, diagnosing and prescribing.” – Mark Roberge

59. “Today’s high-performing inside sales rep must have all the best chops of yesterday’s field executive with a heavy dose of digital selling skills and enabling technologies added in.” – Bob Perkins

60. “If you harness the power of innovation, you’ll convert sales complexity into a brutal competitive advantage.” – Tim Sanders

61. “Always be closing… That doesn’t mean you’re always closing the deal, but it does mean you need to be always closing on the next step in the process.” – Shane Gibson

62. “Pay attention and adapt your style to that of your prospect and customer. I work with great salespeople and the most successful know how to connect with a variety of buyers.” – Colleen Stanley

63. “I can’t even tell you the number of meetings I secured as a salesperson by bouncing off of the no and asking two more times for the meeting. Let me repeat: this first no is automatic. It’s an auto-reflex. They are programmed to say no.” – Mike Weinberg

64. “Change the goals of your questions from discovering situations you can provide answers for, to facilitating real core change. Before buyers or clients will work with you, they have to do this for themselves anyway.” – Sharon Drew Morgen

65. “You have to generate revenue as efficiently as possible. And to do that, you must create a data-driven sales culture. Data trumps intuition.” – Dave Elkington

66. “The best salespeople wonder what it would be like to be in the other person’s shoes. They know they can’t play that game unless they continually strive to train themselves in how we as human beings communicate.” – Bob Phibbs

67. “It is now a given fact, in any sales-related seminar or conference you may attend, that traditional sales methods are being relegated to the annals of history. The new, more discerning customers of today have seen to that.” – Jonathan Farrington

68. “Whether your audience is one person in a meeting, ten people in a boardroom or 100 in an auditorium, sales presentations are your chance to solidify your relationship with your clients.” – Colleen Francis

69. “Prospects are making their purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problems and you have the knowledge, resources and commitment to solve them.” – Trish Bertuzzi

70. “Quiet confidence on the part of salespeople goes over just as well as, if not better than, loud talk and bragging.” – Alen Mayer

71. “I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation.” – Bo Bennett

72. “Filter everything you’re doing, saying and pitching and you’ll improve just about every metric you care about today.” – Matt Heinz

73. “It’s about caring enough to create value for customers. If you get that part right, selling is easy.” – Anthony Iannarino

Thought Leadership Quotes

74. “Brands must become architects of community.” – Simon Mainwaring

75. “Marketing is a process, not a decision… and never a magic trick.” – Jonathan Gebauer

76. “Lead TO what makes you unique… not WITH what makes you unique.” – Matt Dixon

77. “Being seen as an expert is a good thing. But you need to be seen as an expert in something clients think they need an expert to help them with.” – Ian Brodie

78. “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” – Sheryl Sandberg

79. “If you’re only thinking big and quick, you’re probably overlooking small and guaranteed options for long-term success.” – Dan Waldschmidt

80. “Listening is not about skills or techniques or calculated movements or gestures. Listening is not about what you do. Listening is about what you intend, what you feel, who you are.” – Gavin Ingham

81. “I’ve seen many sales reps who thought they were being productive by sending out mail. In fact, they were just busy.” – Art Sobczak

82. “What we really need is a mindset shift that will make us relevant to today’s consumers, a mindset shift from ‘telling & selling’ to building relationships.” – Jill Stengel

83. “Procrastination is the greatest dream-killer of all, yet we often don’t recognize how destructive it can be.” – Marc Wayshak

84. “If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.” – Bob Hooey

85. “Create something, sell it, make it better, sell it some more. Then, create something that makes it obsolete.” – Guy Kawasaki

86. “Don’t find customers for your products. Find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin

87. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos

88. “Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.” – Mark Cuban

89. “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources -- not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.” – Daniel Pink

Inspirational Quotes

90. “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.” – David Ogilvy

91. “Arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.” – Dale Carnegie

92. “You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training.” – Tom Hopkins

93. “A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” – Harvey Mackay

94. “If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.” – Jack Canfield

95. “Unwillingness to do what no one else wants to is why people lack money.” – Grant Cardone

96. “The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” – Seth Godin

97. “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” – Mary Kay Ash

98. “Stop saying you were ‘lucky’ when good things happen. Start thinking about what drove your success and duplicate both the activity and target selection process that has helped you succeed in the past.”- John Hirth

99. "Ninety percent of selling is conviction and 10 percent is persuasion." – Shiv Khera

100. "For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough." – Zig Ziglar

101. “Stop saying ‘later.’ You WON’T do it later. Do it or decide not to do it.” – Chris Brogan

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