Businesses use marketing to increase sales in the long term. While marketing and sales are associated with companies, they are not the same thing because they both play a crucial part in the success of most companies. This means that it’s important for a business owner to understand how they work together.
What is marketing?
Marketing is all about attracting individuals to your store, website or chatting to them on the phone. This exercise involves capturing the attention of your customers and then getting them to act.
The process of marketing is about reaching a target audience and then promoting your brand or Closing the Gap between Sales and Marketing products. Marketing does not really sell any products however it gets the process started of getting your business message out to the public.
What is sales?
The sales process entails closing the transaction after marketing starts the process. With many organisations, this part of the process involves a highly trained sales staff who may work with customers who visit or, alternatively, who contact you telephonically.
The sales process could also be automated if you are dealing with a purely online business. The sales process involves getting the customer to actually part with their money in exchange for a product or service.
What happened in the past
In the past, marketing and sales had different processes. Now, with modern computing and digital marketing, the two processes have become closer and more similar than ever before.
The coming together of marketing and sales is potentially the biggest opportunity for enhancing business performance today. When marketing and sales teams come together around a single revenue cycle, they dramatically improve marketing ROI, sales productivity and – most importantly – top-line growth.
Marketing and sales alignment is actually about the customer. View everything through the eyes of the customer. Most organisations are still of the belief that sales and marketing need to be perfectly delineated. This is where marketing produces leads for sales and the sales development reps qualify these leads in order to create opportunities that salespeople will, hopefully, turn into revenue.
The role of the buyer
In the last decade, the buyer has changed more than in the past 100. They are in control. In addition, the modern buyer is digitally driven, socially connected, mobile and empowered with almost unlimited access to information as well as people.
The new reality is that sales, as well as marketing, are constantly and ever more integrated. Marketing needs to understand more about sales, sales needs to understand more about marketing, and one needs to know more about customers.
The progression of sales and marketing
The time of the “ABC – always be closing” style of sales – and utilising cold call “spray and pray” methodologies to find new prospects – are a thing of the past as sales is now part of the wider marketing mix.
The rationale for this change is that consumer habits have evolved. The old sales techniques do not work as much of the purchase process is happening online. For example:
- 92% of buyers start with an information search
- 53% of buyers find that going online and researching is provides a better experience than interacting with a salesperson
- 75% of buyers depend on social networks to learn about choosing the right vendor
- 90% of buyers won’t take a cold call
A divide can often exist between marketing and sales teams. One department advertises information and brings in leads, whilst the other converts them into paying customers. One attracts. One closes. But the two shouldn’t sit independently of each other. They can and should work closely together.
If you would like to get more information about how to manage the marketing and sales processes then you need to do our Sales and Digital Marketing Course. For more information, please follow this link.
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