It is vital that both Marketing and Sales departments work closely together to give the consumer a joined –up message and ensure the company can deliver what it promises. Marketing is the first broad step to make sales effective. It is creating the environment in which sales can operate. Both functions are necessary and mutually dependent.
What’s your role and how does it fit with others in your organisation?
It is important that both Marketing and Sales Departments work closely together to give the consumer a joined –up message and ensure the company can deliver what it promises.
First let’s consider what is the difference between Sales and Marketing?
Marketing is the first broad step to make sales effective. It is creating the environment in which sales can operate. Both functions are necessary and mutually dependent.
Marketing create prospects or leads for sales to follow up. But your sales team needs a good sales technique and strategy or their closing rate may let you down.
Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects, to make them aware of the product and the brand. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract.
Marketing defines the activities used to reach and persuade your prospects that they can trust you, you are the company for them. It’s the message that prepares the prospect for the sales. It consists of activities such as advertising, public relations, brand development and marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.
The sales process is usually an interpersonal interaction. It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. Pre-internet it used to be anything that engaged you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance. Nowadays of course many sales are direct and online, and this relies heavily on marketing and brand awareness to create the correct conditions.
Closing sales online is a very important factor in the construction of a transactional website. Clients must have access to a customer service department, all objections must be able to be answered, and many sites have an FAQ section and online advisors to overcome common objections.
Studies show it takes many contacts to move a prospect or potential client to the close of the sale. As we are all increasingly surrounded by marketing and selling messages, the number and quality of contacts needs to increase, to achieve a sale.
It takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect from one level to the next. The number of contacts is a function of many variables, but the higher the price and more complex the market and product, generally the more contacts are required to close a sale.
Marketing campaigns begin the process of those customer contacts. Clients rarely purchase a product on their first introduction to it, unless it is a low cost consumable. If marketing is done effectively the prospect moves from a cold lead to become a warm lead. When the prospect hits the “warm” level it’s much easier for the sales professional, or website, to close the sale.
That is why it is important that you have a process that combines both sales and marketing. They must be giving an identical message to the prospective client, and must not contradict each other.
In fact marketing cannot be carried out in isolation from any part of the business. The marketing department needs to work closely with operations, research and development, finance and human resources to check their plans are possible. Operations will need to use sales forecasts produced by the marketing department to plan their production schedules.
Sales forecasts will be an integral part of the budgets produced by the finance department, and will affect plans for deployment of labour for the human resources department.
A Research and Development department will need to work closely with the marketing department to understand the needs of the customers and to test outputs of the R&D section.
There are few more dangerous scenarios in business than a marketing department operating on their own, devising plans and making offers to prospective clients that cannot be delivered by the rest of the company!
So to improve sales performance, first make sure Sales and Marketing are in close liaison!
Exercise: what is your marketing department’s plan for this month or year, or next year? How do they communicate their message to the sales force?