ISMM marketing salesFor many years now there has been debate as to whether sales and marketing are completely separate entities working in competition with each other, or are just two sides of the same coin equally contributing to the same outcome.

In most companies, the sad reality is that marketing and sales departments often don’t actually communicate, let alone work together to create improved campaigns and strategies from start to finish. The truth is, although there are stark differences between sales and marketing techniques and strategies, without each other they would both fail. Without marketing there would be a lack of leads to pursue, and without sales to finish the deal the leads would soon go cold and the actual close rate would be nowhere near as attractive.

If the two teams combined their efforts, there is a lot to be learnt on both sides.

What Marketing Can Learn From Sales

Marketing strategies are the first initial chance to catch the attention of the prospect and get the ball rolling. This is essentially where the ‘persuasion’ that is typically linked to sales should begin. Rather than simply using marketing efforts to steer prospects in the direction of the sales team, whether that be sending them to the site, to a contact page or even to a physical representative, the marketing team could work on building some of the initial sales process into their marketing campaigns.

Harnessing the power of a sales message and releasing it across social media, advertising, direct mail, public relations and so on would significantly increase the amount of leads converted, and could even impact on the time taken to go from cold lead to customer.

What Sales Can Learn From Marketing

Sales currently either work with the leads provided by marketing efforts, or they find their own entirely by methods such as cold calling, appointments, networking, etc. The latter leads are often stone cold before the sales person begins, meaning the sales person has to work a lot harder at warming them up and marketing the product or service to them.

If the sales team collaborated with the marketing team and combined some of their efforts, then the leads could be warmed up easier and faster, making it simpler to close the deal in less time. If sales collaborated with marketing on the messages they put out and made use of some of the same channels, such as social media for networking, then they are more likely to find already warm leads and more of them.

The Benefit of Marketing and Sales Collaboration

If marketing and sales collaborated more, then the process of taking a lead from cold to warm and closing the sale could be made much more efficient. The marketing efforts begin the eight-point process that has been shown by studies to be part of the customer’s consideration process, taking them from ‘cold’ to ‘warm’. The sales team can then provide the final nudge that ensures the lead goes from ‘warm’ to ‘hot’, meaning the sale is closed.

Do you want to learn more about the collaborative use of sales and marketing within an organisation? The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management offer a range of marketing and sales focused courses that will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to collaborate and manage the two areas within a company. For more information about the courses offered and studying with Oxford College of Marketing, call us on (0)1865 515 255 or email enquiries@oxfordpeg.com.