I have talked about this issue continuously since 1996 - the argument goes on to date. The following is verbatim from
Internet Marketing: a Practical Approach [published in 2009].
" ... those who
seek to meet organizational objects from the Internet appreciate that a successful website requires the input from
a variety of skilled professionals. And while it is true that a few amateurs have produced successful websites, it
is a very small number - of amateurs or professionals - who can boast proficiency in all of the skills necessary to
develop a truly effective website. The skills required are diverse. In
my suggested 'dream team' for website development includes: programmers, graphic designers, usability experts, content writers, copy writers and
marketers [Update: in subsequent books I have added: search engine optimization specialists, merchandisers and marketers.
And this doesn't include specialists in the likes of conversion rate optimization, on-site
security, checkout facilities, imaging, video - indeed, the list constantly increases as new
practices and technology are introduced to the digital world].
A group that I missed from that list is the
offline sales staff - who should be at least consulted during the development of any commercial web presence. In
both online B2B and B2C marketing sales staff can have a real impact - for three key reasons, they are:
Experienced staff have been there, seen it and done it. They know the product, the industry, the market and the
customers. To ignore their input would be negligent. Beware, however - the website is a different medium to the
face-to-face contact sales staff are used to, allowing them to develop the content themselves is not a good idea.
Involving 'sales' in the site's development will help integrate the two elements of the organization's marketing.
Too often it is the case that sales see the website as a competitor for customers rather than an ally in the task.
The majority of B2B websites concentrate on lead generation and so when the potential customer contacts the firm
- by whatever means - it is to the sales team that their inquiry should be directed. If they have had a hand in
the development of the site then the sales staff will be better prepared to respond effectively to that initial
For an example of how sales should be involved in online associated selling see
For my views on the involvement on 'IT' in website development, take a look around my other
And just to show I am not the only person in the world with this view, take a look at
Leadership for the Marketing Optimization Team
from one of the experts in digital marketing, Bryan Eisenberg. Don't be put off by the
'Marketing Optimization' aspect of the title - it is really about online marketing.