Sales. Marketing. These are two dynamic functions of business.
The people working in these capacities are extremely talented and make things happen – products and services get sold.
Often, Sales and Marketing are very separate inside a business. This is unfortunate. When Sales and Marketing align to work together, it is truly a force to be reckoned with.
A productive marketing strategy is a resource for vetting communications and tools to competitively position the business. The devil is in the details when mobilizing the marketing strategy. A robust sales effort continues those communications by demonstrating value, understanding customers and maintaining relationships. This is true of both outside sales and inside sales. Both Marketing and Sales play key roles in communications with prospective customers in a market.
Sometimes, communication from the business to the market falls short or loses its luster in the hand-off between Marketing and Sales…or Sales and Marketing.
In Marketing, there is much consideration on the use of tools (social media, search marketing, email marketing, TV, radio, print, outdoor, networking, events, etc.).
The creative or the content is then determined.
Now, on to execution.
In the hustle and bustle of promotion, how a lead-to-sale process will actually work is often not thought through. And what about the customer experience? If Marketing washes its hands of communications here, then the communications are no longer deliberate. Any equity that has been built will be in vain – a waste of resources.
In Sales, it’s about leads (the number of leads and how qualified the leads are) and maximizing the average sale or customer value (developing a prospect or a customer coming in; minimizing customer attrition; getting referrals from customers; delivering a remarkable customer experience…).
In the scurry of developing and maintaining customers, the overall competitive position of the business is forgotten. If Sales communications do not reflect the position that the marketing efforts established, the risks are: competing solely on price, the loss of a sale or the loss of a customer.
When Sales and Marketing align, the communications strategies stay fluid. Marketing gets market intelligence from Sales. Sales can be instrumental in executing Marketing initiatives. Marketing can support Sales with its own market intelligence. Marketing can producing sales tools and contribute to lead generation.
Business leadership can support the alignment of Sales and Marketing by getting creative on the measurement of business momentum or business growth.
We’re really at a cross-section of Marketing, Sales and Business Culture here. I have seen businesses with aligned Sales and Marketing functions, and have helped facilitate it with some clients.
It’s pretty awesome to see it all in action!