A simple step to improving both your sales and marketing work is to understand that the two are closely related but distinct.
Much of my and Sequitur Marketing’s work is with businesses who are stuck or plateaued. Not failing, not growing. Not being all they can be. Sequitur focuses on how to improve and develop the marketing function to overcome this wheel spinning and become a more focused, productive business. But marketing should not be managed in isolation from sales; the two functions’ efforts must be aligned and they must support each other.
Sales activity is directed at interactions with individual customers with the intent of completing a transaction. Commonly recognized sales activities include sending emails, making phone calls, demonstrating products, negotiating terms, and finalizing the sale. Mature, effective sales is a process with these related activities organized into steps including prospecting, needs assessment, addressing questions, commitment, and follow up.
Marketing can be thought of as what leads up to and then follows the sale. I use the marketing mix 4 Ps to help me organize: product, price, promotion, and place (distribution). It’s common (and incorrect) to associate marketing only with promotion activities: online ads, email campaigns, newspaper ads, TV commercials, promotional products, and trade shows. But all the other Ps address equally important marketing matters: market research, product life cycles, overhead, perceived value, supply chains, and franchising.
Though sales and marketing work from different perspectives, both contribute to the company goals of revenue, profit, and market share.
Happy, productive coexistence
A strong business organization recognizes the distinctions between sales and marketing, the value of each, and the need for the two to work together.
Good marketing provides information, support, and tools to sales. Good sales process provides marketing valuable insights about customer needs and the business environment.