Integrating Sales and Marketing to Grow Your Business
Sales and marketing are often used interchangeably or incorrectly. To clarify, a salesperson engages in face-to-face meetings, makes phone calls and networks to sell a particular product or service for a business.
Marketing entails familiarizing prospects—through the use of techniques like direct mail pieces, content marketing or email marketing—with a business. While related, sales and marketing function differently but each is critical to the success of a business.
Most prospects move through a company’s database in a relatively similar manner. At first, these prospects may only recognize the name of a business. Next, you want to get them to understand what that business has to offer. Finally, and ideally, you convert these prospects into customers.
Moving these prospects from recognizing your business to closing a sale takes multiple touches—experts estimate on average about eight—by your sales and marketing teams. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that sales and marketing work independently and in different parts of the sales cycle. The truth is, sales and marketing best work together through all stages of the sales cycle.
To allow this cooperation, identify the best tactics for reaching out to cold, warm and hot prospects. For example, sales tactics for cold prospects may include things like cold-calling and networking. Marketing tactics would be likely to include things like email marketing or content marketing. Next, sales follow-up for warm prospects would include tactics such as follow-up phone calls through a telemarketing firm, social media or email marketing. Marketing, on the other hand, may use a newsletter. Finally, converting a prospect into a customer requires an all-hands-on deck approach with sales and marketing both using what they have learned up to this point to decide how best to close the sale.
It is important during all stages of the sales cycle to refrain from either department—sales or marketing—to try to do too much. One or two tactics from each department is almost always the best course of action.
One last note, don’t feel as if you have to hire a large sales or marketing staff to accomplish your goals. Consider outsourcing telemarketing tasks, for example, if you are uncomfortable with cold calls or aren’t confident in your abilities.