Sales and marketing - a delicate balance
There is often a rivalry in business between sales and marketing. Each function feels under appreciated by the other and lacking support from the wider organisation, writes Chris Jones.
In a small enterprise quite often an individual has the dilemma as to what to spend their time on - sales or marketing, which is most beneficial?
In my opinion both are equally important, requiring adequate investment, resource and management to work in harmony for optimum results. However, a misbalance is found all too frequently.
Yes, at points in a business life cycle the differing functions will have a greater or lesser focus on them, but without some form of selling there is no revenue and as such no viable business. On the flip side, what does the sales function do if there is no product to sell, the product does not address any market need or has no differentiation to competitors?
It would be very easy to go into great detail about how these functions should or should not integrate together, but some of the most important basic tasks for each function to undertake are:
- Understanding the needs of the chosen market place
- Ensuring products created address the needs of the market place
- Ensuring distinct features and benefits exist over any competitor offering
- Promoting the business and products across various channels
- Creating a sales strategy to address the needs discovered by marketing
- Pre-qualifying leads / clients
- Considering potential objections and the appropriate answers
- Presenting to and closing deals with clients
To achieve long term business success marketing and sales should be working in harmony together. Marketing activities supporting the sales function in maximising revenue and sales feeding back into the marketing team to evolve products and communications over time.
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