Sales and marketing go hand in hand – it is a tale as old as time. One rarely works without the other, even if they do not always like to admit it!
Where it is marketing’s responsibility to fill the funnel full of leads, it is the responsibility of sales to convert them. Marketing is very much the yin to sales’ yang, supporting their colleagues so as they can focus more on closing deals and less time cold calling people who do not really want to talk to them (anyone who has spent time cold calling knows how difficult that is).
Sales teams blame marketing for a lack of leads, while marketing teams are quick to accuse sales of simply not converting their assists. The truth is that one rarely works well without the other, so focusing on what the two departments have in common, rather than what makes them different, is the key to success.
How Does Marketing Help Sales?
Marketing helps sales in many ways by communicating with potential customers via channels such as PR, social media, SEO, and other traditional forms of advertising. This saves sales the job of having to introduce a product, service or even the business itself as the potential customer is already aware – which is more than half the battle. Basically, it cuts through the boring stuff and allows for the salesperson to skip to the good bit – selling.
As well as establishing a dialogue with new and existing customers, another way in which marketing aids sales teams is by conducting market research. Before implementing a new campaign, marketing teams will research to establish who it is they are trying to reach out to, identifying the pains that they are pushing the solution for. Therefore, making life much simpler for sales teams, who can go in armed and ready with all the answers to the questions they know the customer is likely to ask.
The sales process is accelerated as the marketing team has begun to generate leads by identifying when and where to find potential customers that are most likely to convert.
How Can Sales Help Marketing?
As much as marketing can and does help sales, it isn’t a one-way street. Sales can help marketing just as much. It is very much in the sales team’s interest to help marketing. After all, the better the leads they talk to, the higher their conversion rate is going to be…and the more commission they are going to earn!
We touched on how marketing teams will conduct market research which includes identifying the pains that potential customers are experiencing. Sales teams who have already been on the ground, establishing leads, will likely already have a lot of this information. They will know the questions asked by potential customers, what their pains and concerns are, as well as what they are looking for. Combining sales and marketing, in this respect, is a match made in heaven that should yield fantastic results for both teams and, ultimately, the business as a whole.
Communication is key. If sales are not receiving the support they want from marketing, or they have an idea as to how the company’s marketing could be improved, then they should voice it! Marketers are creative beings and feed off input. They can take an idea, bounce off one another and produce something magical.
Establishing a Marketing and Sales Funnel Strategy
Marketing and sales undoubtedly work best when they work together, that has been established, but putting that into practice isn’t always easy. This is because when it comes to the marketing and sales funnel, there needs to be a clear point from where a lead transfers from one to the other.
Creating awareness for a product, service or brand will always fall under the realm of marketing – that’s a given. This lead generation is done by conducting market research and implementing campaigns such as advertising, events, mailshots, social media and more.
The next couple of steps in the funnel – interest and consideration – could present more of a grey area as this is where the lead is nurtured. Whose job is it to nurture a lead to work them through into becoming a hot lead with an intent to purchase? This will often still fall under marketing, although sales can also pick up a lead with an interest and take them through the funnel, leading to a purchase.
Somewhere between a lead having an interest and intent to purchase is where sales should pick up from marketing. That is why having a cohesive team that can work well together in their department, as well as with sales, is a much-needed tool in any company’s arsenal.
Sales and marketing teams that rightly view each other as members of the same team, recognising and playing to strengths of each person, is when the best business gets done.
Recruit the Best Sales and Marketing Talent with BMS Performance
By working with the BMS Performance team, we can help to find the very best talent for your business, bolstering your sales and marketing teams.
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