Marketing and sales rely on each other to make a business thrive. Yet often, we see companies in which the marketing and sales teams eye each other with suspicion. When we help a company with marketing, some sales teams feel concerned about their jobs or confused about our role. Understanding marketing strategy versus sales strategy can display a symbiotic relationship between the two, creating opportunities to create leads and make sales.
The reality is that each team performs different functions, and it’s best to have both working hard to increase your business. While many companies do this, few have the two working together or at least communicating with each other.
A Reese’s peanut butter cup wouldn’t be the same without both the peanut butter and the chocolate. Each is OK on its own, but together, they taste amazing.
Marketing vs. Sales
Let’s break down these two departments to see how they differ.
Marketing: The backbone of the relationship. Businesses need to:
- Create a preparation strategy
- Communicate content
- Decide on channel distribution
- Create promotions
- Implement strategies to reach leads and bring in customers
These must happen before the sales team even thinks about closing a deal. For a business to be successful, the marketing team needs to bring in the clientele.
Sales: The frontperson and money maker. Businesses need to:
- Create a recruiting strategy
- Train the sales force
- Decide on the compensation for your sales team
- Determine the number of sales that need to be made
- Implement strategies to close the deal
The sales team will close deals based on leads with the highest potential of buying. The sales force feeds off the clientele obtained by marketing, helping the business grow financially.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the focus on time. Marketing is all about planning for the future. Do things in the now, to make sure that there are customers in the future. Staying ahead of the market to make a perfect pass to sales. Sales forces think about the present. They receive the alley-oop from marketing and finish with a slam dunk. They can only sell what is currently in stock.
Marketing and Sales: A Winning Combination
Some organizations treat both as one department, a common flaw in today’s business world.
As mentioned, in other companies, the two are completely separate. Finding a way for them to work together can make your business great. For example, the sales team is out and about chatting with potential clients. They have useful insights to share with the marketing team about why someone chose the company or went elsewhere. They can share details about the types of customer the company is attracting. Meanwhile, marketing can offer data, research, and the results of campaigns, pushing leads to the sales team for follow-up.
While seeing the overall picture is important, it is more important to give the attention that each one needs in order for your organization to be strong, competitive, and successful.