Marketing and sales are often thought of as two correlating sectors where one is void without the other. Without marketing, your business would not generate the brand awareness and not accrue the needed leads or prospects to cater your service or products to. In the same token, without a sales strategy in place, don’t expect the hard earned leads to convert. In some businesses, staff members are trained both in sales and marketing; in others the two comprise of separate departments.
What is Marketing?
At its most basic, marketing comprises of any advertising and promotional strategies implemented to generate more exposure around a company, brand, product or service. Traditionally, this was done through the printing and distribution of flyers, banners, posters, brochures, catalogs and other physical and tangible mediums. Other common approaches include having an ad printed in a magazine or newspaper or having a commercial produced and broadcasted on a radio station or television commercial.
Being that this is the digital age and the Internet now comprises the bulk of human interaction and communication, more companies are going online to make their business known to the masses. Most businesses now have an online presence where they market their company through social media, email marketing and SEO. Mobile advertising is also another form of promotion that allows companies to spread messages through SMS text marketing or instant messaging.
What is Sales?
Sales are the direct contact with a potential customer and getting him or her to proceed with a purchase or a product or service. Sales can be conducted via one-on-one meeting, video conference, networking or via cold call. Unlike marketing, the sales process usually involves a more personal approach and having some sort of live interaction or contact with the prospective buyer.
Why Sales Almost Always Fall Through Without Marketing
Traditional sales tactics like cold calls often fail to yield the desired return of investment. Most people, in fact, will be outright annoyed by an unsolicited call from a salesperson whom may be seen as a wily snake oil salesman. This is why it is recommended that calls or other sales approaches only be made to prospects who had some sort of exposure to your company through your marketing efforts.
Some marketing and sales consultants use a three tier system in turning a casual prospect into a long-term customer. This is often divided into the following stages:
- Cold Phase – This is the first category and the one that everyone within a targeted demographic starts in. This stage is about getting the person acquainted with your company; this may include getting the person to sign up as a member of your blog, social network group or subscribing to your newsletters.
- Warm Phase – This is the next level and may include inviting the prospects to a conference call, seminar or training session to better get them acquainted with your brand.
- Hot Phase – This is the final stage and the point where you attempt to close the sale by making direct contact with the prospect either through an on-site meeting or through a call where you can make a sales pitch.
Marketing and Sales Go Together Like Bread and Butter
Businesses should take careful consideration to recruit staff that has a background in both areas. For companies that keep the two as separate departments, then it is pivotal that the two frequently interact and communicate their intentions. Another idea to consider is to partner staff members together whose skills can complement one another. If you have someone who is really strong at sales but lack the marketing experience, then pair that person with someone with an experienced background in marketing. This way, each person may also pick up some additional skills from the other side in the process.
A successful business is only achieved when you are able to find the right balance in marketing and sales. If you are strong in one area but not so much in the other, then you can’t just hope to compensate by being especially good in your particular speciality. This is why it is imperative for businesses to employ marketing and sales trainers to ensure that every recruited staff member has at least some level of understanding in each area.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Greg Habermann