Why “Sales-and-Marking” Is Not One Word

by blackwoodimpact

Marketing and Sales are complementary components of Business that depend on each other. But it is essential to know they are not the same. Business leaders can fall into the habit of saying, “Sales-and-Marketing,” or “Marketing-and-Sales” in the same breath. As a result, it can cause some to think it is a singular entity.

In other companies, “Sales-and-Marketing” is overseen by one person. When this happens, the business misses out on having two integrative, targeted strategies that can generate revenue more efficiently.

So what is the difference between the two? Why should Sales and Marketing be treated as separate entities? Consider this analogy from Nicole Davis via LinkedIn which we’ve embellished. Marketing strategy is like getting the right audience to see a movie trailer. Sales strategy is getting that audience to buy a ticket or DVD to experience the movie.

Fundamental Differences Between Sales and Marketing

At its core, marketing activities are designed to make a group of people aware of your company and help them understand what you have to offer. Sales is the process of moving a potential buyer through a process that helps them decide your company is the one they will trust to fulfill their desire or needs and confirm it with a purchase.

The primary goal of a strategic marketing plan is to generate an ample number of high-quality, well-targeted leads. The fundamental purpose of a good sales strategy is to use the most effective methods to convert the highest amount of those leads into paying customers.

Marketing and Sales are interdependent. Without successfully marketing your business, prospective customers may never hear about your company. Without an effective sales strategy, you may not generate revenue from those prospects consistently. Because of their differences in nature, it could be detrimental to your company’s bottom line if you tried to treat “Sales-and-Marketing” as one entity or strategy.

Key Elements of an Effective Marketing Strategy

Marketing plans can (and should) be quite detailed. It is critical to start with understanding who your ideal client is. You must know what their wants and needs, plus how your product or service fulfills them.

It is also critical to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a company. A SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can help bring these to light. This information can help you strategically differentiate your company from its’ closest competitors.

Knowing your key differentiators helps you create a unique and clearly defined story brand. Your brand is what will attract prospects to you and keep them loyal. Getting this piece right will mean you have clarified the benefits of working with you.

Finally, a solid marketing plan will also address issues such as your pricing structure, your marketing mix, and how you plan to track your results. Marketing plans tend to be focused on results generated over the long-term. Learn more about implementing a marketing strategy through our previous article, 5 Critical Elements of A Marketing Campaign.

Key Elements of an Effective Sales Strategy

An effective sales strategy is focused on helping as many of your prospects to say, “Yes” to your offer. Your sales strategy will create a series of steps to lead prospects through a process that ends with them signing a contract, writing a check, or entering their credit card information.

A sales strategy kicks in once your marketing activities have delivered a group of pre-qualified leads. By nature, it tends to be focused on results that will be generated within a short period. Some exceptions might be B2B companies whose product or service has a longer sales cycle of six to 12 months.

Your sales strategy should outline your customer journey: the series of steps prospects will be escorted through to help them to a buying decision. It should include your selling methodologies. This means how you plan to sell your products or services (i.e., in person, over the phone, online, etc.).

Be cognizant of trends in your market; you may need to adjust your sales (and even your marketing) strategy accordingly. Tracking results of opportunities that were won and lost are critical to ongoing success. Analyze why prospects said “No” so you can adjust your techniques accordingly to generate more “Yes’s.”

Specialized Skills Can Make the Difference

Marketing and sales require two different skill sets of the people operating in these roles. To experiencing growing revenue trends, it is best to staff your sales and marketing teams with the best fit. People who communicate and like creative problem solving tend to thrive in marketing. Salespeople tend to be action-oriented, metrics-driven, and thrive on rewards.

If your company does not have fully developed sales and marketing teams or feel your existing teams can use extra training and support, Blackwood Impact Group can help. We assist companies by providing training for both marketing and sales teams. Our specialists can also develop cogent (and individual) Sales and Marketing strategies.

Contact us at 770-502-6295 or info@blackwoodimpactgroup.com to learn more.