Gwyneth Gibbons, Managing Director, RGA UK Ltd
Marketing -v- Sales – who wins?
Can you explain the difference between marketing and sales? Let’s ponder that question for a moment. Without marketing, you may not generate enough prospects or leads to follow up with and, without a good sales technique and strategy, the closing rate of sales may dispirit you. Marketing and sales should work simultaneously, but in many companies these departments don’t even speak to each other.
Getting down to basics; Marketing is everything you do to reach and persuade prospects; Sales is everything you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. If your company works to strategically combine both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, if the efforts are unbalanced or departments don’t communicate it can have a negative impact on business growth.
Marketing should consist of strategies that can measure your reach and that work to persuade prospects you’re the company for them. It’s the message that prepares the prospect for the sale. Generally, it would consist of advertising, public relations, social media, relationship marketing, brand marketing, viral marketing and direct mail.
The company has specific products or services and it’s the job of Sales to sell those things.
Sales are often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It’s anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance. Most of the time the prospect or potential customer has been directed to your company via marketing efforts.
Studies show it takes eight contacts or touch points to move a prospect or potential client to the close of sale. Effective marketing can start the process and move the prospect from the status of a cold lead to a warm lead. When the prospect reaches the “warm” level, it’s much easier for the sales department to close the sale.
It takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect up a level. That is why it is important to develop a process that combines both sales and marketing. This will enable you to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot. Make sure that you’ve integrated the two, marketing and sales processes and are not separate. If they are in different departments, those departments must talk and communicate in order to be effective.
In conclusion, marketing and sales functions are deeply rooted in each other’s purpose and revenue growth intentions. There are few functional areas in business that relate more to each other. So the next time you hear someone say “sales”, when the appropriate description would have been “marketing”, or vise versa, think of my blog!