often I see job positions or titles that try to blur the lines between both marketing and sales. This can be a very problematic stance for companies. While having similar objectives the approach to the two different fields is very distinct.
Sales is often a people first field and requires a number of characteristics that aren’t necessarily important to be successful in marketing. Sales requires strong instinct on the fly with the ability to react quickly and think on their feet. In many cases this type of mentality is well suited to crisis management or Public Relations, but does not translate well into marketing.
Marketing on the other hand is a very analytical and methodological field that requires constant attention to detail with very deliberate actions taken. In many cases in smaller companies marketing is almost entirely driven by the sales team and often the people with analytical mindsets are absent from marketing discussions.
This does not mean that sales are not important in marketing discussions, but they are an interdependent area that requires close working relationships between marketing and sales to produce synergistic results that both drive leads, and sales as well as revenue growth.
In many cases marketing is the precursor to sales. it is what drives customers to the door and creates opportunity for sales to close easy deals. That is assuming marketing is done right and reaching the right audiences. driving leads that never lead anywhere doesn’t help sales and is huge problem for marketing.
This brings up the point is that sales leading marketing can be a disaster for the very reason is that sales works at a very different point in the sales funnel. Sales is about building relationships, and converting leads. Generally cold leads have an abysmal close rate, especially in long sales cycle B2B where the sales cycle can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Often marketing picks up potential leads from the very beginning. this is also in the informational search phase where the client is far from the point where they are ready to talk to sales, but are gathering information and researching products or services. This is generally before the pain points are fully clear. The objective here is to supply the information and bring them closer to a decision point while also capturing their pain points
This is also where marketing teams often falter even when given free rein. they lack the ability to track a lead adequately from the initial interaction through to the close or loss of sale. when properly supported this can drastically change the effectiveness of the marketing team.
This fundamental difference in perspective is the number one reason why any marketing team needs to have experienced marketers participating in the discussions not just sales. Ultimately the strategy should incorporate and be led by the marketers for the highest chance of success.
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This post was written by cgaffney