One of the essential truths of business is that marketing and sales must compliment each other to be truly effective. They are opposite sides of the same coin; the yin to the others yang.
In its simplest form, marketing must effectively communicate key messages to generate leads; sales must continue that process and convert the leads to sales.
But it’s so much more. Marketing must create the right kind of leads that have high potential for sales reps to convert into long-term customers. Sales, on the other hand, must support the marketing strategy, follow up on leads in a timely manner, and communicate back to marketing in a closed-loop fashion to identify what’s working and what’s not.
When both sides work as a team, the synergy can be powerful. But when sales and marketing ignore each other – or even worse, work against each other – the business impact can be devastating.
Marketing is the light in the dark
Marketing is everything an organization does to reach and persuade prospects.
Marketing is the process, investments and activities that build relationships with people who have some level of interest in your company’s products or services. Marketing involves identifying prospects, communicating the benefits of your company, and then nurturing those prospects through ongoing education and communication until they are ready to become leads.
Marketing is not a one way street though. Good marketing teams deploy analytics to measure the response to ads, engage prospects on blog posts on the website, and gather leads and map the responses. They are ready with the maps telling those areas or age groups where the product or service might sell more easily. This data can be used by the sales team to effectively guide the distribution to those areas.
Marketing also identifies the customer at a high level with segmentation and targeting. During product development, marketing department has the more important role to play.
The sales department as a sales force
Here’s an analogy that I like. The marketing team is the Commander in an army who develops the strategy and game plan to conquer the market. The sales force is the army that makes things (read sales) happen.
And marketing doesn’t stop after a sale is complete. It extends on both sides of sales, pre-sales and post-sales.
Sales is the process and activities related to communicating with leads one-on-one and converting them into customers. This process includes qualifying them, understanding their real wants and needs, presenting a solution, overcoming objections and closing the sale.
There needs to be a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing for the success of organization. Some people argue that sales is the real job and marketing is an expense. According to that school of thought, sales generates revenue, marketing is an expense. That is rarely the case.
Sales and Marketing have the same goal, to get generate sales and increase revenue. Their roles are different but they are on the same team.
This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of CAM Magazine.
Chris Hippler is the President of Capital Letters and specializes in developing marketing strategies, websites, and online marketing. He writes this column specifically for CAM members and can be reached at 734-353-9918, or www.capitallettersmarketing.com.