Marketing is not sales. Sometimes businesses will seek out a sales role to fill but will advertise it as a marketing manager position to widen the scope. Maybe ‘marketing’ has a better reputation than its ‘sales’ counterpart, to promote a better job title for attracting better candidates? Marketing, when performed well, will work harmoniously with sales (and other departments) and one cannot succeed without the other.
Unfortunately, when a business sees revenue drop, one of the first departments to experience budget cuts is marketing. Will an angler sell his fishing rod if he’s unsuccessful at sea? Most likely, s/he may want to find out what nearby lakes are getting the highest yields of the desired type of fish, try different lures, test results, look at competitors’ success, etc. Sound familiar?
Experienced marketing professionals review current business practices and find new ways to generate leads – to move the lead down the marketing funnel over to the sales team to finalize the sale. Successful businesses define specific roles for marketing and sales and how they support each other to maximize results.
4 Ways Marketing is not Sales
- Research: Marketers research and create marketing plans to attract, influence and motivate specific audiences to respond. They define step-by-step guides, leveraging metrics and data, to reach potential customers and long-term business goals.
- Streamline: Effective marketers review department practices to find ways of saving time and advancing business processes. They link activities across departments to add efficiencies and consistency to customer experiences and interactions with a brand and business.
- Boost Brand: Marketing strategists create brand strategies. They develop sound practices to strengthen the brand’s reputation amongst its various markets. A part of marketing’s role is to make it easier for customers to find, connect and buy. A sales team helps them through the final buying process.
- Increase loyalty: Every team member can contribute to building customer loyalty. Customer relationship management tools are usually managed by marketers and used by other staff, especially the sales team. Some businesses minimize the importance set on building the bond between company and customer. Telecoms seem to be notorious for this. Yes, it is cheaper to retain your current clients than to find and secure new customers. tl;dr don’t offer special discounts to new customers only – it may anger your current customers and motivate them to take their business to your competitor.
Solve a Problem, Sell to the Customer
Achieve the most marketing growth by using your sales pipeline / marketing funnel. This is a valuable link between your potential buyer and the specific steps they take to become a first-time customer. Content development, communications and types of information you produce should help to educate, inspire and delight your targeted audiences. This is how to transform iyour general leads into qualified leads that are ready for your sales team to move them through the purchasing decision.
Your sales team works best when they are equipped with product knowledge, and prepared to answer questions and overcome sales objections.
Growing businesses usually start by managing sales and marketing together with one team – and sometimes with one person. Where a marketing executive will use research, data, trends, multiple sources of information to develop a long-term plan with actionable activities and check points along the way. A sales executive will focus on how to gain the most business for today – meeting quarterly revenue targets. They are typically driven by commissions and short-term gain.
Be profitable in your marketing.