I love Peter Drucker’s comment that marketing and Innovation are the two most important parts of a business. Note that he doesn’t include sales there at all!
Obviously sales is very important. But without marketing how do you know who to sell to, how much to sell it for and what you can sell them more of, or differently?
Deming is another who’s philosohpy and principals I share. An article from the Los Angeles Times shows his importance as one of 50 people who most influenced business in the 20th century.