Revisiting the sales and marketing conversation
In October 2015 we shared an article called “5 Ways Marketing Departments Help Marketers Catch Butterflies.” An article multiplied by ten was recently shared with us, entitled “What is the meaning of sales and marketing and its advantages?“And, I must say, it does a pretty impressive job of breaking down the differences, responsibilities, and links between the roles of sales and marketing. Why revisit this now? Because it’s never been more apparent that the relationship between sales and marketing is It remains as misunderstood as ever, especially with advances in marketing technology.
making things clear
Many in the business world, especially those who rely on sales and marketing for success, don’t really have a concrete understanding of exactly what sales and marketing is. is it so. Yes, the two are linked, but they are not the same. Sales departments trust marketing; Marketing departments and strategies exist to fuel sales (notice I didn’t say “do” dirty). He wouldn’t engage in marketing if he had nothing to sell, and his sales strategy would be far less informed and successful were it not for his marketing efforts. Yes, many old school marketers (or ambitious small business entrepreneurs) are quite capable of launching businesses on their own, and may even have some proven marketing tactics up their sleeves, but few have the time, the skill. , or technological resources to effectively capitalize on the true potential of your market.
A common mistake older, more established businesses make is assuming that salespeople are savvy at marketing and marketers are savvy at making sales. In some cases this may be true, but certainly not across the board. In trying to conserve capital, many of these companies will try to combine their sales and marketing departments, essentially assigning their employees two job descriptions, and that’s often a bad move. It’s no accident that more recently established companies, tech giants, and organizations that employ a large number of millennials are sweeping their marketing efforts.
As the ten-fold article explains, some of the key responsibilities of a sales team include:
Building a relationship
The mark of a great salesperson is the ability to cultivate a personal relationship. Many consumers who have remained loyal to the same brand, dealer or salon for years will say that they appreciate the personalized attention they receive there. It is not the responsibility of a marketing employee to follow up on a seller’s existing customer once the lead has been delivered, nor is it his or her responsibility to convert a lead into a sale, “close the deal,” or make sure the customer remain a customer. for many years. Aside from having an outstanding relationship with a qualified seller, product quality and an overall great experience are the main things that will drive customer retention.
On the marketing side, the main efforts are:
Conversion (from anonymous to known)
It’s not a marketer’s job to create awareness or excitement about their brand, product, or service. If they are expected to use their energy to make sales by nurturing leads and relationships, then how can they be expected to have time to do the legwork that brings those leads to the table in the first place?
The marketing department builds awareness, generates engagement by creating information that will prompt audience members to take action, and targets and tracks engagement by encouraging audience members to provide contact information or start a free trial or consultation (turning them from a cold prospect to a known customer). potential customer or potential buyer). It’s important to note here that the retention function of a marketing department doesn’t really overlap with the retention efforts of a sales team.
On the sales side, customer retention refers more to the seller’s efforts to use the customer relationship to continually check in with the customer, try to engage them in more discussions about additional products or services they may be interested in and seek customer references. friends and family. However, from a marketing standpoint, retention refers to maintaining a higher level of ongoing engagement (through targeted marketing based on buying preferences, interests, and history) so that the customer relationship Don’t stop at the initial purchase. Those email newsletters you get after you become a customer somewhere aren’t random: they’re purposeful and often tailored to things you’ve seen or expressed interest in. A sales team simply doesn’t have the knowledge, time, or often the resources to execute these types of strategic campaigns.
The fine-tuned coexistence of everything
The ideal sales and marketing relationship is symbiotic. Marketers and salespeople work together to determine what consumers need and how to deliver it. Sales and marketing must motivate, inspire and feed each other. They must collaborate and coexist. In the corporate food chain hierarchy, sales and marketing should not be viewed as rivals or equals, but rather as counterparts. One really can’t exist without the other, but their skill sets are not the same, especially today where advances in technology require the modern marketer to have a very specific, honed, and competitive skill set that most others do not. sellers just don’t need to. have.
For this reason, many marketers are introverted, analytical, and deep-thinking people. Whether they’re crunching numbers and analyzing data, compiling reports on trends and conversion rates, or writing amazing ads and creating beautiful websites and collateral, they need to focus intensely on what’s working, what’s not, and fine-tuning their creative efforts. respectively. Typically, a marketing department will have creatives, analysts, and more tech-oriented people (who dive into the numbers and algorithms behind advanced marketing tools).
In contrast, however, many salespeople are extroverts: they light up a room, have excellent “social skills,” can relate easily to others, and have the ability to pick up on social cues that might actually help them close a sale. Salespeople often have a broader focus, preferring to spend their days with appointments and meetings, activities that build relationships, rather than sitting behind a desk doing what a marketing department does best. For this reason, many sellers have administrative assistants to help them with follow-up, paperwork, appointment scheduling, phone calls, proposals, and calendar management. This type of functional assistant role is less widespread in the marketing realm.
share your thoughts
Be sure to read the full article (and let us know how it compares to our post) for additional insights into the relationship between sales and marketing teams. Join the Conversation: Based on your experience, what have been some key components of a successful sales and marketing partnership?