Sales and marketing are two distinct yet closely related functions business companies utilize to promote their services and products. Yet, there are many individuals or firms which separate the two as if they were totally independent of each other; thus, failing to maximize the potential of either and the benefits that they produce when integrated as one seamless and continuous process.
Essentially, marketing involves the macroscopic strategies for pushing one’s product to the prospective consumers while sales involves the microscopic steps done in making the consumer buy the product, that is, closing the sale or signing the contract, for that matter.
We can then rightly say that sales is a subset of marketing. However, the process of selling a product one-on-one is in itself a marketing scheme that accomplishes the overall goal of the company to produce income. It appears that both processes augment and aid each other like horse and cart, with marketing leading the way and the cart delivering the final results that it set out to achieve.
What pointers should we remember to have an efficiently working marketing and sales tandem? Let us consider the following:
1. Marketing and sale personnel need to communicate
Companies sometimes keep their marketing department and sales department apart and even competing against each other to the detriment of their own well-being. Connecting the two groups and their functions is a challenging task for managers; but succeeding in the process will bring about great success.
Of course, there is the financial motivation that keeps the sales people stand taller than the marketing people as the former have the unlimited potential to make as much money as they can through commissions and incentives from their sales. Not to be outdone, the marketing people tend to catch up through getting incentives and commissions from promos and ad campaigns sponsored by the company or other associated firms. The money chase is vital and necessary; but it can become a hindrance toward a harmonious relationship between the two groups.
2. Marketing strategies must involve and incorporate sales personnel’s ideas
As a corollary to the first, this point emphasizes the need for any conceived marketing scheme to consider the crucial knowledge, experience and insights of sales people. It is no different from generals who must come up with a battle plan by inputting the vital intelligence reports of people in the field.
3. Sales is the final step in the process of marketing
In general, the task of establishing an interpersonal relation with the buyer allows the sales personnel to close on the marketing process by selling the product. Yet, the buyer may have been driven to buy due to previous exposure to marketing campaigns through media. Marketing then makes the process of selling either easy or difficult. Without understanding this concept, you cannot use both effectively.
4. Balancing marketing and sales for a successful business
Merging the two functions into a balanced and efficient process is the challenge every business person has to face. How do you go about telling people about your product which is totally unknown? Or how do you convince potential buyers who know your product but are not yet convinced to buy?
Somewhere along the line, you will find a perfect balance where each person’s strengths is utilized in either function to the maximum. If you feel you or an employee is better in sales than in marketing, then focus on that area. Still, as a general manager or owner of a firm, one may have to be reasonably good at both to attain a certain level of success.
5. Create a short-term marketing plan
For many beginners, having a short-term marketing plan, say a 60 or 90-day plan, will provide a not-so-intimidating plan you can readily manage without burdening your company’s budget or affecting your other functions. This initial campaign will then arm you with information and networks you can use for setting up a master plan for your firm’s future marketing plan.
Knowing what these two functions are and how they relate to one another will provide the key to a successful marketing and sales synergy in your business. Take time to diligently study the intricacies of the two and apply them in your own peculiar situation and reap the rich benefits of doing so.