Often, we find that when we speak with a potential client, they’ll frequently say something along the lines of “I don’t need marketing. I need sales!” If we had a nickel for every time we heard that one.
But the truth is that there’s a reason why every successful Fortune 500 company has a distinct department for both (and sub-departments within those departments). So, today we’d like to talk about why it’s important to marry marketing and sales together.
Distinguishing the Two
Through my humble career, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to be on both sides of the coin. Even today, I’d couldn’t characterize my role as one more so than the other, which characterizes most small business owners.
The goal is to be memorable.
For me, marketing is any type of indirect outreach with clients. This can take the form of social media content, email blasts, digital advertising, brochures, and more. Because marketing doesn’t involve the “direct” component, it tends to be more visual in nature as the end goal isn’t to “sell” your prospect immediately. The goal is to be memorable.
Meanwhile, sales requires direct interaction through the phone, email correspondence, video chat, or in-person meetings. The job of a salesman is leveraging marketing to assert credibility, understanding your prospect’s needs, and leading said prospects towards fulfilling a buying decision in the event that it’s a good fit.
To help understand why they’re both necessary, let’s try to imagine a world where one exists and not the other.
Marketing without Sales
When dealing with people, you’re bound to receive more of a direct answer when you engage them directly. For instance, if I send a postcard to a business, my chance of receiving any type of engagement from that business will probably be lower than if I were to directly walk in the front door.
Technology has made it easy to reach thousands of people within your area in mere minutes, however, the quality of those interactions may not be as valuable as having a conversation with each individual and fully understanding their unique challenges.
While they may remember a social media post or an email newsletter, these alone will usually not seal the deal. In our experience, numerous business owners tend to spend their day scrambling from one obstacle to the next without a cohesive strategy in place. With that in mind, the biggest challenge of relying solely on marketing is helping your clients to understand why your product or service is important THIS VERY MINUTE.
Otherwise, you’re banking on the hope that one day their needs for your product or service will outweigh every other challenge already in front of them.
Sales without Marketing
The reaction I usually get when I talk about this is “a good salesman can sell anything”. Sure.
And a good marketer will still receive inbound leads, too.
But the question isn’t whether or not selling without marketing is possible. The question is whether or not it’s efficient.
Recently, we started speaking with an overseas business, who is trying to break into the United States. While their software solution works very well and solves unequaled business challenges, their reputation is at ground zero in this country. Simply put, no one knows who they are.
While one can say that if their salespeople are good, this shouldn’t matter, the reality is that building trust and credibility are crucial aspects of the sales process. Without any type of notoriety, the hill that they’re climbing is unfairly steep.
Since their prospects probably receive hundreds of other sales inquiries, what’s to separate them from the pack?
Marrying the Two Together
As I said in the beginning, successful businesses have distinguished marketing and sales departments that collaborate to achieve a common goal of growing the organization. For marketers, the challenge is to have your prospects understand the urgency of your solution, whereas for sales reps, it’s more about being able to develop a more intimate bond with your prospects.
Communication is key for uniting the two together. If those at the forefront of the sales strategy regularly utilize the collateral developed by the marketing team, this not only extends the effectiveness of the marketing, it also helps to create a narrative in the sales approach.
At the end of the day, isn’t that a win for the whole team?