The connection between marketing and sales

The connection between marketing and sales do exist and everybody knows this. Some of us understand this connection as a straight arrow from marketing to sales, expressing the fact that sales happen if there is a good marketing.

Other companies mix marketing and sales into one department or even into one person in the smaller firms. In some large enterprises the sales director is often responsible for the marketing unit. In other the two processes stay separated.

How to cope with all this mess?

Long it was difficult for me to discover the line where marketing ends and from where sales begin. The reason might be because I was for long engaged in both marketing and sales – from A to Z.

This provoked me to look for some theoretical explanation.

Marketing is for many customers, sales is for one

It’s simple, indeed. Marketing creates admirers, sales create families. I’m sorry about this parallel but even the great Set Godin made it 😊

Sometimes you don’t know what is more difficult – to explain to the world how good are you or if the world already knows this, to continue riding your horse in such a way so that not to fall down from it while everybody is looking at you.

Marketing creates prospective, sales ensure the turnover

The goal of marketing is to ensure customers in a long run. They create prospective.

The sales people are always in a hurry. They usually work under a huge stress, from day to day. They should leave if they would not be able to achieve the targets.

That is why being a marketer is so difficult. If you do not perform your job well, the sales people would not be able to ensure the necessary turnover. They will leave.

Marketers are strategists, sales people do the real job

In most of the companies the marketers define the product development strategy. What efforts put the marketers and the sales people to make the final purchase a fact? I think 20% of the efforts come from the marketing people, while 80% come from the sales people.

At the same time – if the business strategists have their ears and eyes closed for the opinion of sales people and for the customer murmuring or wishes, with a high probability the business will lose its strategic battle.

Make marketing globally, make sales locally

This is well known from the advertisements of the big global brands. In most of the cases these adverts are designed centrally and are localised with small variations for the particular market. That is the reason for many distributors not to have marketing units. It is thought that the good brand will sell itself easily everywhere.

But you please ask the local sales people what they think about? Is it so easy for a company holding 30% share of the Western European or US market to start quickly selling their products in Eastern Europe? Or this marketing approach is just easier and cheaper for sure.

Marketing and sales come together nowadays

This is a very important conclusion of the global market analyst company McKinsey.

McKinsey analysts have found that the boundary between marketing and sales is very thin in modern organisations. And that everyone in the modern organisation is a marketer – from product designers to support people.

But this is another interesting point for discussions – about the corporate culture, how to build up a corporate culture that could be your competitive advantage.

This post was initially published on 4 March 2009 here in the blog.



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Pavlina D. Kozarova

Pavlina has worked for 20+ years as marketing specialist and business development manager in several Bulgarian and international IT and consulting firms. Her expertise is in the fields of project planning and management, business development, marketing & sales, innovation development and commercialization. Pavlina runs consultancy business with www.primavera88.com