By Reed Humphrey, VP- Business Develop at Canopy Partners
Marketing and sales are different functions within an organization. Marketing puts the ball into play. Sales navigates it into the red zone and ultimately across the goal line. Each area needs distinct strategies and methods for measuring success.
Marketing Functions and Strategy
Marketing serves three primary functions:
1-Brand development and awareness
2-Education and credibility
It’s the job of marketing to pass qualified leads or lead opportunities to sales. Marketing is not responsible for closing deals, in most cases. If your company is driven by e-commerce impulse buys, marketing and sales may be one in the same.
Regardless of product or platform, every client travels through several stages beginning with unaware and ending with a purchase. Heavily persuasive language is not the way to go in the first stages with customers. For purchases that involve a service or bigger ticket item, begin with education, history, or a story about your service. You are building trust.
The digital revolution has created amazing opportunities for inbound marketing. Whatever methods you chose, the key is to help people find you and then exceed expectations.
Your website home pages should tell your “story” and build awareness. Landing pages dedicated to specific products should serve the selling function because they are the result of a direct search or click for a specific item or topic.
Sales Function and Strategy
The Sales team also has three main responsibilities, which are separate and different from marketing:
1- Develop leads into qualified opportunities
2- Navigate the sales process
3- Close deals and generate revenue
In order for sales to close deals, there must be a disciplined process in place as well as methods to track the process through a series of steps.
Develop a succinct value proposition statement that articulates why you are unique and most qualified to deliver in that area. The collateral material developed by marketing should support your value position and statement(s).
Developing the points and language that most clearly tell “your story” goes hand-and-glove with marketing in that your best sales pitch contains keywords and content for websites, blogs, brochures, dedicated landing pages, and more.
Measuring Your Strategies
Marketing and sales both need processes and strategies that are in-sync and repeatable. Each client or customer is unique in some way, but without a repeatable process to win business, you won’t. And you don’t have the time to recreate the process for every single opportunity.
Marketing today can include Pay Per Click advertising, Adwords, SEO, optimized content, email campaigns, social media, and more. Each of these methods can effectively drive qualified traffic. But you must understand how to measure and make changes as needed.
It’s up to the sales team to master a process for organizing those leads and ensuring the right ones are taken care of all the way through to closing a sale.
Put measures and metrics in place for both sales and marketing. Measure the success of marketing-by-marketing standards and sales by sales goals and standards. Make sure you are not blurring the lines between the role of marketing and sales when you measure.
Your company may have a great website, brochure, and newsletter with pitch-perfect messaging. Yet the sales are not coming together. Many factors come into play, but remember that marketing stops at the point of building brand awareness, education, and lead generation. Sales must pick up the ball at this point.