Sales and Marketing go hand in hand in order for any company to be successful. Both practices aim at driving revenue, but it’s how they go about it that makes them different. Marketing efforts enable your Sales team to go out and actually sell your product or services. Marketing includes such things as branding, advertisements, email newsletters, offers and promotions, and even philanthropic efforts. Sales includes more boots-on-the-ground initiatives, such as cold calls, demos, client meetings, networking, and business-to-business initiatives.
When they are working together, the Sales and Marketing teams are the backbone of making your company grow. No company can really succeed without some element of each. In very simple terms, your Marketing approach is how people learn about what your company is selling and your Sales approach involves getting people to actually buy it. You need both for one to enable the other.
The Sales & Marketing Funnel:
One of the most common images when explaining what Marketing does and what Sales does is by looking at a Sales/Marketing Funnel.
Marketing efforts make up a lot of the upper funnel focus. Marketing activities, such as advertising and community involvement or events have the goals of getting your company’s name out there so that consumers or businesses actually know that you exist. Once people are familiar with your company, your Sales effort is aimed at teaching them more about your products or services.
Marketing programs can include email newsletters, digital ads that click through to your company’s website or product, or inviting people to an event or encouraging them to sign up for an offer. Once a potential client has an interest, they move into the consideration phase. This is where your efforts in gathering customer testimonials, reviews, and more specific targeting in terms of promotions and offers will pay off.
As potential clients move down the funnel, they are more open to being reached through your Sales efforts. This is where they are receptive to receiving more detailed information on features, benefits and pricing. If your Sales team is trained in what to do during this phase, they know how to move potential clients from “interested” to “closed”.
Identifying Your Customer
A Sales team is only as good as the product or service that they are selling and their ability to clearly identify the client that they are selling to. You can have an amazing product, but if you are focusing on the wrong target, your company won’t get anywhere.
This is where Marketing comes in. Marketing teams can help you identify your target market. They will work together with the Sales teams to come up with a target demographic – whether that is a type of person or a type of business. In either case, you want to know who is most likely to be interested in buying your product or service and which group is going to drive the highest revenue for you.
Note that who your customer is today does not mean that your customer tomorrow can’t change. As changes in the economy occur or as you refine your offering, you may decide to focus less on one type of potential client and concentrate more on a different type. Your company probably can’t be all things to all people, so it’s important to have a strategy and work with your Marketing and Sales teams to determine the best target market and how to reach it.
Your Marketing team uses this information to create ads, promotions, and campaigns that target those specific customers. They will tailor the language and imagery on the ads to appeal to those customers, and will advertise where those customers are most likely to see the ads. Leads from these marketing efforts will make the efforts of the Sales team a lot more efficient.
Your Sales team will use the same information to tailor their pitch, demo, and approach to fit those potential clients. They will use any leads as an introduction to seek direct contact with potential clients
Once you know your customer, you can tailor your products and services to match their needs.
Creating Sales and Marketing Goals
While Sales and Marketing teams do have the same overall objective – to increase revenue – they do, however, have different short-term goals. Marketing teams don’t handle the final negotiation pricing or close the sale, but rather they aim to drive traffic (either to your physical business location or to your website), drive newsletter sign-ups, and drive response to promotions. Statistics are important in order to know which approaches are the most effective in terms of cost per lead or cost per sale.
Sales goals are set in terms of pre-determined unit or dollar value targets. They can also include “facilitative” targets which, if reached, will greatly increase the likelihood of reaching the ultimate unit or dollar goal. These could be targets such as:
- Make 100 cold calls per week
- Have 15 client meetings per week
- Make 5 written proposals per week
Sales and Marketing teams work in two different ways but by working together, they cooperate to achieve one objective.
Create a Strong Strategy to Succeed With Both
Marketing and Sales can only work well together if they are working towards the same overall objective and are enabling one another. If your Marketing efforts are driving potential clients to your business but the Sales team is not equipped to deal with the volume of leads or to knowledgeably offer information or work with the client’s purchasing process, then you are wasting your Marketing dollars.
When both teams work in conjunction with each other, that is when you will really reap the rewards of investing in Marketing and training your Sales team. Take the time to work on strategic campaigns that have specific goals and a Sales and Marketing plan to help your teams achieve these goals. Hire the right talent, and this should be no problem – Sales and Marketing professionals are well versed in creating campaigns that help them reach their objectives.
Lastly, incentivise your teams. Every employee loves working towards a goal and if reaching the goal means a bonus or commission, even better.
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