In business there is often quite a divide between planning for sales and planning for marketing. The two fields have been approached with a level of separateness that belies the very great need for a supercharged connectivity between both.
At corporate level, there is typically a marketing department and a sales department with intermittent contact between both! In many regards they have become competitors, typically competing to be heard at board room level with a view to receiving more spend in their own particular departments.
Businesses tend to mimic corporate business practices and as a result this very same trend is evident in businesses all around the world. Having worked in worked in corporate and with hundreds of clients, I think it is time to shout from the roof tops that all business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing managers and anyone making key business decisions, need to align Sales and marketing so that they work together!
“Sales are a result of a well oiled Marketing Machine.” (Emma D)
There is absolutely no getting away from the fact that both Sales and Marketing are important and that in fact, you really can’t have one without the other!
In essence, Marketing creates awareness about a product or service, it drives traffic (people) to a website, or a physical location, Marketing develops relationships with customers and prospective customers, it recognizes that customers need to be engaged with a non salesy manner, to help foster trust.
Marketing is all about creating the best conditions for making a sale. (Emma D)
Sales on the other hand are when customers happily purchase your product or service as they are convinced by your marketing of the value of your offering.
Interestingly, in the corporate world, The Mars company has just aligned its sales and marketing teams as has Heineken. Heineken has also combined its marketing and sales roles, it is interesting to observe that both of these big companies have made the decision to amalgamate their sales and marketing departments with a view to strengthening their overall marketing function and ultimately to increase sales conversions.
As I stated earlier businesses tend to follow corporate leadership, partly because multinationals have the wherewithal to spend money and decipher what best to focus on in achieving business growth. It is important to understand that multinationals like Mars and Heineken are amalgamating their sales and marketing departments with good reason. In my view, business owners should take note of this trend and implement the same philosophy in their own business strategies. The goal here is to achieve greater business growth and with this in mind it makes perfect sense to create a comprehensive and interwoven sales and marketing strategy for ALL businesses.
As a reminder the three parts to Sales are:
Hubspot explain some of the terms in greater depth. Marketing plays a considerable role in the first two aspects of attaining a sale, in creating an awareness of what you are selling through different marketing channels and also helping customers to decipher why your product is best, as they consider what to buy. This is why you must differentiate your products or services from that of your competitors.
At the core of both marketing and sales is of course that you must understand your customers needs and wants, this is imperative as it will determine how effective your overall sales and marketing strategies are. If you choose not to understand your target market, you will potentially be fishing in the wrong waters!
Click here for more information on customer buying behaviour: http://emmadmarketing.ie/10-customer-behaviours-that-influence-their-buying-habits
What can help make your marketing and sales more effective in your business to to list:
- List your customers needs and wants for each product / service
- Create / update customer profiles?
- Are you providing value to current customers? (not sure? survey your customers)
- Analyze your google analytics / any customer data you have
- Track sales conversions online and offline
- Can you make better offerings? can you sell more? or do you need to repackage what you have?
- Rate the effectiveness of your marketing (analyze sales conversions) for each product / service (1-10)
- Analyze offline and online marketing effectiveness (1-10)
- What are the current statistics for potential in your industry / market?
- What are the current trends in your industry?
- What are the expected long term trends in your industry? (this helps with longer term growth planning)
- What are the threats and opportunities in your market / industry / niche?
- Analyze your overall environment
- Evaluate new customer needs
- Analyze competitive challenges
- Rate the effectiveness of your different marketing tools (1-10)
- Decide new strategies
- Are you asking for the sale? in person / with calls to action in your marketing communications
- Co-ordinate your sales and marketing strategies
- Decide on a short term, medium and long term marketing growth plan
I hope the above steps help. I would love your feedback so please comment below
photo source: bigstockphoto