Some people will tell you to focus on sales and build up your sales team to reach prospects. Others will say you should focus on developing your marketing strategy to reach prospects. The big question is: are sales and marketing, not the same thing?
No. Marketing and sales have differences — though both end goals are closely related, their functions and responsibilities are dissimilar.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What are sales and marketing?
- The relationship between sales and marketing
- Should you focus on sales or marketing?
- How do I create an effective marketing and sales strategy?
What are Sales and Marketing?
Sales: According to Investopedia, sales are transactions between two or more parties, typically a buyer and a seller, in which they exchanged goods or services for money or other assets. Simply put, sales is the operations and activities that involve the promoting and selling of goods and services. Salespeople manage relationships with prospects, providing solutions that eventually lead to a sale.
Marketing: Marketing is the activity a business performs to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing involves advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other companies. It is the process or technique used to promote, sell, and distribute a product or service.
Practically, the marketing department raises awareness about your business, generating high-quality leads for the sales team. The sales team focuses on closing the purchase deals and satisfying the customer’s needs.
The relationship between Sales and Marketing
The Process: The process of sales and marketing is different. You can think of the marketing team as the forerunner for the sales team.
The marketing process involves establishing basic information like who you are, what you offer, and how much it costs. Your brand is established by showcasing what you offer to your audience and explaining how you can solve their problems and the pain points you address.
In the sales process, the focus is on using the information your audience already has about you, providing them with additional information, and answering their questions. You focus on giving strong selling points, personalized solutions, and making pitches to compel leads to convert.
Strategies: There are differences in sales and marketing strategies.
Sales strategies focus on establishing direct contact and connections with prospects. You use strategies like emails, phone calls, promotional events, and networking to engage prospects convincing them to convert.
We can also call these outbound strategies because you reach out to prospects.
In marketing strategy, the focus is on making prospects reach out to you. You use strategies like social media, paid ads, and SEO to get prospects to contact you about your products or services.
We can also call these inbound marketing strategies because the leads come to you.
Prospects: There is also a difference in the prospects you interact with, in sales and marketing.
In sales, you know your prospects. You know who is interested in your products or services, from their name to their contact details, so you can quickly contact them and provide them with information to sell your business further to them.
With marketing, you don’t know your prospects in specific but you know who is in your target audience. Marketing then focuses on reaching those most interested based on the target audience, so that you can turn them into prospects for your sales team.
Should you focus on sales or marketing?
Sales and marketing are vital to your business, so the question should not be about sales vs. marketing and which one you should pay attention to.
Instead, focus on how to apply sales and marketing together to help your business succeed.
Over time, it has become difficult to differentiate between sales and marketing. Marketing takes the lead to create earning prospects, while sales teams turn those prospects into converting customers. It’s difficult to have one without the other.
You will need a blended strategy to maximize sales and marketing for your business.
How do you create an effective marketing and sales strategy?
Now you know how sales and marketing relate, it is also important to understand how to apply them to maximize revenue for your business.
Here are 5 tips for creating an effective sales and marketing strategy:
- Know your market: To create an effective sales and marketing strategy, you need to know your market. Study your current and future markets to learn why your customers buy from you and what you could offer to attract more customers. This is fundamental because it allows your marketing team to know who to target, and your sales team understands your market enough to provide them with the information and services they need. To do this, you should include information like:
- Family status
- Buying Habits
- Pain points
- And more
- Know your competition: Research to know who your competitors are and what they are doing. How do you rank against these competitors? What replacements are there to your products in the market, and how much of a threat are they? Use competitive intelligence to maintain and enhance your business’s market share. This involves studying what your competitors offer, their price points, and what marketing strategies say about the demographics they are targeting.
- Establish your market position: To have a cohesive sales and marketing strategy, you need to establish your position in your market. What value are you offering, and why is your business the best choice? This information is good to enable your marketing and sales team to deliver a consistent message about your products or services. It helps establish your brand identity and distinguishes you from your competition.
- Pricing: Review your pricing strategy and keep your teams up to date in case of any changes. You should ensure that your prices are consistent on all media outlets and communication channels. If your sales team provides different prices or numbers compared to the marketing team, it can make prospects lose confidence in your business. Always check that both teams have the most accurate pricing information to ensure everything operates smoothly.
- Carry both teams along: An effective sales and marketing strategy works to keep both parties informed. When your marketing team runs campaigns, your sales team should know the type of campaigns running. Some prospects may call and mention the campaigns. If the sales team knows the campaigns, they can connect to the information the prospect saw. It can also help the sales team stay consistent with its communication. Your sales team should also keep your marketing team informed. Since they engage with prospects individually, they know what is working and what isn’t working for leads. They should communicate with your marketing team to help create campaigns that appeal better to your target audience. An active exchange of information between both teams will help you market better and sell more.