Most companies separate the sales team from marketing. Operationally, it is okay to do so, particularly since most salespeople have big, big egos and most marketing people would rather not deal with both the individual minutiae of a customer relationship or the hounding pressure of sales quotas.
But today’s web-based world is changing this dynamic and it’s a good thing. For one, it makes the marketer pay less attention to stupid marketing tactics that don’t bear fruit. It makes the marketing effort accountable to some level. There really is no room in an organization for under-performance. It’s not fair to those who work hard or find creative solutions.
For software, depending on the customer, you may need salespeople, who can consult from a one-to-one perspective. They take the middleware marketing materials and convey them to every unique enterprise they encounter. They are also required for negotiations, or “the deal,” if your product can be priced as such or involves additional services.
Marketing can also learn a lot from the sales effort. What pitches work well? What stories resonate? Who are qualified buyers? These questions give a marketer information to hone the marketing toolset and do what they do best: refine/craft messages, identify the channels to communicate those messages, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
This effort increases the propensity of someone finding out about you, hopefully cutting through all the noise, and identifying a person in need.