Why Your Marketing and Sales Need to Have Balance
In order for your business to be successful, there needs to be an incoming cash flow, and in order to draw in this cash flow, your audience has to be both aware of what you have to offer them, and have communicated their willingness to make an exchange with you. This outcome will be much more likely with help from two key components of any business’ team: sales and marketing.
Two Parts of One Goal
Many people incorrectly assume that sales and marketing are one and the same. While the two are definitely related to one another, they are also two very different processes, each with their own objectives, milestones, and tactics that ultimately lead your entire organization to its primary goal: serving a client’s needs in exchange for payment.
In order for this to successfully happen, it is crucial that these two teams work together in balance. Without sufficient marketing, your sales will have a much harder time pushing contacts through the end of the funnel to a conversion. If you have too much marketing, on the other hand, your sales team may not be able to attend to the needs of all of your incoming prospects quickly enough - ultimately pushing them away and leaving a sour taste in their mouths. However, if your marketing and sales efforts have some influence over each other, you will be able to find the right equilibrium - the right amount of marketing to generate the amount of traffic that your sales team can work with successfully.
The first step to accomplishing this is to understand the differences between marketing and sales.
Distinguishing Between Marketing and Sales
There can be a very strong temptation to lump together these two disparate departments into a single entity, after all, they’re both meant to bring in business, so they’re basically the same thing, right?
Not exactly. Consider marketing and sales to be like members of a football team - marketing is the quarterback, while sales is the wide receiver. The quarterback passes the ball (or in this case, the prospect) to the wide receiver, who brings it the rest of the way up the field for a touchdown - which is how we would view the successful acquisition of a new client.
In more business-friendly terms, marketing is what is done to nurture your prospects into being open to a sale, while sales is what is done to convert them into a paying customer or client.
By these terms, everything that you do to build a relationship with your target is marketing. Whether this is sending direct mail pieces, investing in SEO and PPC, or maintaining your website’s content, you are engaging in marketing activities. By proving that you have value to provide, you are enticing them into engaging with you more. Repeating this process with more materials, things like whitepapers, case studies, and informational events, will further cement your ability to deliver on your promises.
Marketing is where your company’s unique value-add, the one thing you offer that nobody else can or does, comes into play. Powered by the research and the insights gleaned from it, marketing is the act of combining an understanding of a particular audience’s needs with the way they communicate in order to better inform and impress them.
Eventually, one of two things generally happens: either the prospect decides that your services aren’t quite what they are looking for and disengages, or they decide that your business may be a good candidate to attend to their needs. If they are part of the latter group, it is time for your sales department to become more actively involved.
Once sales enters the process, the goal becomes less about sharing information with the prospect and more about gently guiding them towards a decision to work with you. This means that sales activities become more personal - one-on-one meetings, phone calls, and other direct communications being the most common (and usually, the most effective) tools. Really getting down to brass tacks, sales is the back-and-forth between you and your potential client that finally sways them in one direction or another.
However, sales is more than just sealing deals - in a lot of ways, it is also about service. A good sales representative will work with the client to ensure that their needs are being fulfilled, coming up with creative solutions to assist the client in resolving their deficits and planning for future growth. In order to effectively do this, the sales team will need data. With the help of marketing’s insights and tracked performance of their initiatives thus far, sales can reach out to each lead and prospect from a place of understanding - and as a result, in a better place to successfully nurture their target into a conversion.
This chain of events makes it all the more important that there are open lines of communication between the marketing and sales departments.
Why Marketing and Sales Need to Be Aligned
While this cooperative partnership between sales and marketing sounds great on paper, there are often roadblocks when it comes to actually realizing this possibility.
The usual culprit behind this failure to integrate their efforts is communication, or a lack thereof.
Ideally, you would have a single department that covered both sales and marketing, as this would inherently encourage collaboration between your marketing-centric employees and your sales-centric employees. If you do happen to have two separate departments, you need to be sure that there are regular, open communications between the two so that a unified strategy can be created. Otherwise, the efficacy of both will be stunted.
In short, your marketing and sales efforts need to be in balance, whether you have an entire team at your disposal for each, or just one or two people handling everything. Without balance, not only will there be a decrease in successful conversions from prospect to client, but the internal culture of your company will have excess stress and tension.
We Can Help
If your sales force is largely outpacing your marketing, give us a call. We can help you by adding to your marketing efforts and working with your sales department to create the perfect storm for signing on clients. Reach out to us at 888-546-4384 for more information.