Multinational companies with powerhouse sales teams and strategies but have nonexistent marketing plans are common.
Why? Sales and marketing have been used almost interchangeably through the decades, and it’s commonly perceived that both are performed by the same people.
Well, we’re here to put this notion to rest. Let’s settle this issue.
To understand the key differences between the two, we need to find out where their positions meet. The two roles complement each other; having one without the other can hamper the growth of your business.
Let’s take a closer look.
First, Let’s Talk About Marketing
The goal of marketing is to drive interest to your products and services by communicating their value to your target audience.
Essentially, you want to influence people to act through strategies that will bring awareness, provide information, and trigger the need for your products.
This can be done through:
- Outbound marketing – strategies that aim to deliver your message to a wider audience such as TV and radio advertising, cold calling, and email blast,
- Inbound marketing – strategies that attract potential customers through targeted and valuable content, driving them to interact with your company. This includes blogging, SEO, social media marketing, and opt-in email marketing campaigns.
But What About Sales?
The goal of sales teams is to do more than just ‘sell’ things. Their strategies lead qualified prospects to make the purchase decision by communicating vital information necessary to close the deal.
This can be done through:
- Identifying leads – determining whether the leads from active marketing campaigns can be transferred to the sales-qualified leads,
- Connecting with clients – initiating contact with the sales-qualified leads through strategies such as sales calls, emails, product demos, and delivering pricing quotes,
- Maintaining customer relationships – identifying where the prospects are in the sales funnel and building a relationship with them through ongoing communications.
Where the Two Meet
When you compare it to fishing, the marketers cast the net and catch the fish while the sales team preps them for consumption.
The purpose of marketing is to identify who your ideal customer is, to bring awareness about your products, services, and your brand, and to call people to act.
However, marketing team strategies only lead customers on… they don’t close the sale.
Sales teams are more focused on providing services to individual clients by identifying their needs, communicating product benefits based on their pain points, and guiding them through the sales process.
Whether it’s in the pre- or the post-sale stage, cultivating relationships with qualified customers is essential in driving business growth.
Aligning Marketing and Sales Strategies
Working in silos is so 2018. Today, effective companies have well-aligned strategies built through constant communications between varying teams.
The same goes for marketers and salespeople. Because their goals are more closely intertwined, communication and collaboration are essential. Analyzing data from both teams, developing complementing strategies, and delivering the same message through all channels will lead to increased sales and customer retention.