Why marketing needs sales
In every offline, and most online, sale there is a role for Marketing and a role for Sales. The two teams are linked and they need each, no matter what some individuals may say. Here’s an explanation of why Marketing needs Sales.
Marketing lines them up, and Sales knocks them down!
Most marketing people will tell you they don’t want to be in Sales (a few, deluded souls may disagree here) and most Sales people aren’t interested in being in Marketing (again, a few may disagree). They are two very different skills sets but without one, there is no place for the other.
As Jason Jones will tell you in a recent LinkedIn post, the role of your salesperson is to convert leads into sales. If they spend their time talking to the right people at the right time, their time is being used well by your business and your business will be growing.
Getting these leads isn’t easy for Sales. Spending lots of time “kissing frogs” will use up his time. Marketing’s role is to get the right people in front of Sales.
The role of marketing
- Awareness – making sure your target audience know who you are
- Interest – explaining how you can help them (notice this doesn’t say what you do)
- Desire – showing them what can happen if they use you
- Action – getting them to do what you want them to do
At any one of these stages, and into the sales process, things can stall. If they do stall, Marketing goes back to awareness, but in a maintenance rather than creation mode. If a prospect likes what they see, but the time isn’t right (other priorities, no budget etc.), Marketing needs to keep your brand in their mind, until the time is right. Once the time is right, Sales can do their thing!
Why Marketing needs Sales
The true measure of marketing performance is growth in the business. Feedback from Sales is key to ensuring that the marketing messages being used are right. If too many leads are being qualified out early on, it is most likely a marketing problem. The messages are creating leads from too far outside the Ideal Client definition. Please note, this should be constructive feedback and not criticism.
Whilst Marketing can collect a great deal of data, one of the most difficult, but critical, data points is “where did the lead come from”. Asking the prospect is the best way to get this information. Whilst they may see your brand in multiple places, the one they tell you, when asked, is the one that had the biggest effect and should be what is recorded in your CRM.
The desire to buy from you comes from seeing the results you can deliver. When a prospect sees what success looks like, they are far more likely to buy from you. Evidence, in the form of case studies, testimonials, reviews etc. are key to this. Sales, and Operations, can tell Marketing who will be a great case study. They are likely to be the people the client emails with a great comment. Marketing’s role is to get that evidence in front of the target audience and prospects.
Marketing doesn’t stop when the lead is handed to Sales, no matter what some salespeople tell you. As prospects move through the pipeline, particularly if the sale process stalls, Marketing can help progress things, or maintain awareness. It is a joint effort to maximise sales for your business.
New opportunities to increase your sales can be identified by both Marketing and Sales. With the Sales team usually closer to the client, they are more likely to either hear how clients are using your products in a different way than you expect. When that is fed back to Marketing, the opportunity can be assessed and a marketing plan developed to take advantage of the opportunity, particularly if it gives you first mover advantage over your competitors!
As both Jason has said, and we have, There is no point in doing marketing if you haven’t got someone with Sales responsibility and Sales will waste a lot of time without Marketing. If the traditional silo approach is taken, productivity and ROI will not be very good. By working together, great things can be achieved.
Why Sales needs Marketing
In the sales cycle there are 5 stages.
- Attention – Hello (is it me you’re looking for?)
- Information – I’m from….
- Credentials – You can trust us, here’s why.
- Discussion – How can we meet your needs?
- Action – What do we need to do now, to make you a customer?
That’s not to say every sales conversation goes exactly that way or every conversation that does, is guaranteed a sale but it follows a logical progression.
You can’t tell them who you are until you have their attention and you can’t solve their problem if they don’t trust you to. So the most important points are getting their attention and proving your credentials. Finding them and convincing them you are worth their time matters.
What is good prospecting?
A good Salesperson understands what prospecting is, finding those who are a match for what your expectation of a good customer is and knowing how to get in front of them. Discovering these prospects on an individual basis can be laborious, time consuming and there’s a lot that can go wrong in the cycle.
- What if they have a need but at the wrong time?
- What if they already have arrangements with someone else?
- What if their last experience wasn’t a positive one?
- What if they don’t see the value?
Unless you find the ideal candidate, at the ideal time, every time, the return on investment for your time and energy diminishes with every “No Thanks” or “Not right now”.
Why Sales needs Marketing
For a Salesperson, the dream scenario is that every conversation they start, begins with “Yes, I do have time for you, I do know who you are and this is my situation. What can you do for me?”
Even better would be if the customers came to the Salesperson, saying “I’ve seen who you are and from what I understand, you can solve my problem”.
Advertising what you do means the Salesperson can reach more prospects with less prospecting, promoting to the right audience means the Salesperson spends more time having meaningful conversations and less time sorting the potential interest from genuine requirement.
Marketing, achieves the first 3 stages of the sales cycle at a scale the Salesperson cannot reach on their own and improves the return on investment of the Salesperson’s time and effort.
This also means that the Sales and Marketing are inextricably linked.
Sales are made and deals are done when a Salesperson understands what they are offering, when they understand what the customer’s needs are and successfully matches that offering to address those needs. Not understanding the offering, means not being able to provide the right solution, which can result in a missed sale (meaning no revenue) or worse still, a bad sale meaning you may even take a loss to put the situation right.
The marketing message, the product knowledge, the right audience are all as important to Marketing as they are to Sales and it has to be a consistent message. Its important that Sales has input into the Marketing and that they also buy in to the Marketing strategy.
Going off topic or sending mixed messages increases the likelihood of a bad sale.
Sales needs Marketing to advance the sales process on a wider scale, to develop and promote a message that both they and the customer clearly understand.
Both Sales and Marketing need to figure out who bought in the past, why and what made them buy. They also need to recognise what didn’t work, what should change and what sort of difference any improvement can make.
Marketing is not selling, selling is what happens when marketing places a buyer with a need, in a position to buy. You might even argue that online for example, you don’t even require the Salesperson for the sales but that would be a mistake.
Even something as automated and impersonal as an online shopping cart has a Salesperson’s input. While marketing can drive an audience to a site, while they can reinforce trust in the brand and the product to solicit a sale, there are elements that belong to sales.
Upselling, asking the client if what they bought fulfils the total need or if anything else is required, is a sales technique. If the required product or service is unavailable, finding out what alternatives would be acceptable comes from a sales perspective. If there is an objection or an obstacle between the customer and the completing of a sale, the Salesperson is the one tasked with finding a solution.
Marketing and Sales are not separate from each other and some people can be effective at both but it works best went done together.
Sales needs Marketing to make the sale easier and more often.
Now that you have seen why both Sales and Marketing need each other, have you assessed the relationship between your teams? If you want a hand with Marketing, please get in touch with us. If your Sales function needs some work, I am know that Jason can help you.