Power: Ability to act or produce an effect; legal or official authority, capacity, or right; possession of control, authority, or influence over others; a controlling group; physical might; mental or moral efficacy; political control or influence; the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product; a source or means of supplying energy; the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred. From Anglo-French poer, pouer, from poer to be able, from Vulgar Latin *potēre, alteration of Latin posse potent.
Influence: An ethereal (other worldly) fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humans; an emanation of spiritual or moral force; the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command; corrupt interference with authority for personal gain; the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways. Latin influere to flow in.
Importance of sales/marketing: Americans place very high value on market- and customer-orientation. And orientation means listening to, understanding and interpreting, the needs of the customer. Meeting customer needs is the path to success.
Which means understanding and interpreting is the basis for making and delivering products and services. Understanding and interpreting requires proximity to and dialogue with customers. These are the primary functions of sales (account management) and marketing.
In its purest form, sales/marketing listens, interprets, then passes back into the organization to those responsible for the product/service portfolio. Who, in turn, pass back to colleagues in product development. Who, in turn, pass back to research and development.
From this perspective, everything flows from sales/marketing back into the organization. This puts sales/marketing in the lead.