Launch then Learn? No! Learn then Launch!


Sales and Marketing Executive Insight


Sean Moore, most recently Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ConMed, shares his thoughts on sales and marketing alignment, and career advancement.

Getting on the same Train

Sean has gleaned a number of insights from combining the sales and marketing departments at ConMed under one umbrella. As someone who had carried a bag and managed sales and marketing teams, Sean’s observations were that in many cases, separate sales and marketing organizations can be “like two trains running in opposite directions in the middle of the night.” Sean saw the opportunities that would be available if there were better collaboration between both departments by driving the elimination of the silo mentality.

Prior to the integration, Sean noted that marketing and sales interacted but were missing the true collaboration that comes from joint accountability. How often has a sales team heard a presentation from the marketing team about a new sales tool to help sell the product that was never requested in the first place? Unfortunately this is something that happens much too often in our industry.

Learn then Launch

Perhaps the biggest takeaway Sean had from the whole experience was ‘Learn then Launch vs. Launch then Learn.’ Whether you are doing a new product launch, a promotion, or extension, with true sales and marketing collaboration you learn first — then you launch. It gives you the consistent interaction to create a truly iterative process, fine-tuning along the way. When there are silos you are launching and then learning, which creates inefficiencies in the use of both resources and time.

Collaboration and Accountability

If you think of where the industry is going, a greater number of launches are happening in shorter time-frames than ever before making the efficient use of resources even more critical. Combining sales and marketing creates benefits in collaboration and ac- countability as synergies are built in both the alignment of needs and the commitment to implement. Take for example something as simple as a new sales tool. In a true collaboration, marketing teams are creating the tools that the sales teams have requested, so not only are they on target, the environment has been seeded for buy-in. Since both teams committed from the get-go, the sales team can be held accountable for utilization. And finally, with the push towards increasingly tight timeframes, everyone is aligned and responsible to meet timelines because they report to the same leader.

Advancing Your Sales and Marketing Career

That collaboration, though, is not just for the benefit of the company. It’s for the benefit of each individual. Connecting the dots a little further, here are Sean’s key thoughts in the direction of developing your sales and marketing career.

• Development: Leaders develop people so building your team and preparing your replacement should always be a primary focus. It’s much easier for companies to move you up in the organization if the C-Suite feels comfortable that the person following in your footsteps is prepared to take on your responsibilities.

• Cumulative strength: Your expertise and abilities alone are not sufficient. It’s necessary to advance those of all the people you are leading. Superstars can have a tough transition from an individual contributor to leader. It’s hard to really know that it is no longer about me, it’s about my people.

• Candor is refreshing: Have the emotional fortitude to say what you really think and what you really believe. Make sure you build the muscle to communicate “I’m committed to the company, I’m committed to the overall vision of what we’re trying to do, but this is what I’m seeing, and here is what I recommend.” As a manager, make sure you build trust to create the environment where your team is also encouraged to be candid.

• Creating opportunity: Look for projects and additional opportunities within the organization to learn and grow, especially those to help develop your colleagues. Find ways to create your own exposure to interact with and be recognized by upper management. Become a lifetime learner.

• Be excited about change: People that have a hard time with change focus on the exit of change. Focus on the entrance of change. Change brings opportunity.

• Create luck: If you work hard every day you’re going to create your opportunities and create luck for yourself. Persevere, keep going and enjoy the ride. And remember, we’re actually selling and marketing products that are making people’s lives better. •


Sean Moore was most recently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ConMed, a world-class provider of medical equipment for minimally invasive surgeries and monitoring. He has extensive experience establishing and managing top-producing sales organizations. Sean also has a proven success record generating, negotiating, and winning major national accounts. Prior to ConMed, Sean spent the earlier part of his medical device career at Covidien after beginning in sales at Sherwin Williams. Sean holds a BBA in Business Administration from Trinity Western University and has completed leadership and medical marketing programs and Eckerd College and UCLA Anderson School of Management respectively.