Unfortunately, more often than not Marketing budgets are the first to be cut and the last to be added or increased. What I’ve learned – and best practices support this – is that Marketing drives Sales and Sales feeds Marketing. Sales & Marketing need to function as a single unit within a business. You can’t separate one from the other.
How so? Here’s the simple premise. Basic business principles mandate profitability. In order to be profitable you need to make money. In order to make money you need to generate Sales revenue. But Sales revenue is tied to Marketing. If you overlook the necessity of Marketing to sell or underestimate the value of the Marketing-Sales relationship to revenue, then your margins and your business valuation will suffer.
As a business owner, you should consider that Sales feeds Marketing and that Marketing drives Sales. In other words, Sales and Marketing are interconnected; you can’t have one without the other. You need both Marketing & Sales to maximize your business value, your margins and your revenue.
Why Marketing, Marketing, Marketing?
The positioning of your company versus competitors is Marketing; what you communicate to your clients is Marketing; your USP (unique selling proposition) is Marketing.
The price of your offering is not a derivative of COGS + a nominal margin to cover business expenses. The price of your offering is based on a number of factors that include how you want to position your company, the market’s ability to pay your price and the margin you’d like to achieve.
Marketing is what your products do, their functionality and the benefits to your customers. Marketing is new features as well as new products. But Sales is what feeds Marketing the client feedback necessary to identify opportunities for evolving the product (new features) or determine the business case for new products.
Ultimately Marketing should drive Sales. Marketing drives Sales by generating leads and growing market awareness. Marketing drives Sales by enabling additional product functionality (new versions, new features) and the launch of new products. Sales can then garner additional revenue from a single source as well as build revenue from new target markets.
- Marketing is how your clients and industry perceive you:
- Marketing is your pricing:
- Marketing is your product offering:
- Marketing is attracting clients:
Making Friends Out of Sales & Marketing
It’s not sufficient to merely have Marketing and Sales efforts in your business. Marketing & Sales efforts must work in tandem. Two key pieces to facilitate a strong working relationship between Sales and Marketing are communication and use of some simple practices.
Consider implementing some of the best practices listed below.
Implement weekly Sales & Marketing meetings. Marketing can speak to results garnered from campaigns, analysis of market research and changes in the competitive landscape. Sales can provide feedback as to Marketing’s initiatives, as well as explain how clients are responding to messages and products.
Along with weekly Sales & Marketing meetings there should be a process to enable Sales to feed information to Marketing. Information should relate to feature requests, product feedback as well as feedback on the effectiveness of Sales collateral and any other Marketing messages. Another really simple but effective tool is having Sales ask incoming leads how they heard of the company. This helps Marketing track results of various tactics.
Marketing should provide Sales with the necessary resources to help facilitate or close a deal. These resources can be training on new products or upcoming products; notification of known product issues and how to communicate them to clients; or the Sales tools to help present and pitch to clients.
Sales and Marketing should work together on internal and external facing endeavors. Internal efforts can be focused on identifying new market opportunities, new features or products and improving key messages. External efforts can be focused on approaching a complex sale as a team. The more complex the sale the more of a team effort is required to execute the Sales process. Sales and Marketing roles are critical components to the Complex Sales team.
- Sales & Marketing need to interface with each other:
- Sales should feed Marketing:
- Marketing should support Sales:
- Sales & Marketing need to collaborate:
By following some of these best practices you can increase your margins, your closes, your USP/competitive edge and most of all, your business value.