Marketing and sales differ in many ways. At the same time, these two disciplines cannot do without each other. You actually need both for successful sales. But what exactly is the difference between marketing and sales, and how can you use them both functionally and efficiently? We will explain.
The differences between marketing and sales can be found in various areas, which is also noticeable in many companies. There are tensions between the marketing and sales departments, which prevent them from collaborating effectively. However, marketing and sales can actually reinforce each other. Good cooperation between these two disciplines leads to more sales, which benefits everyone.
To understand where the tensions and miscommunication come from, it's essential to highlight some differences between marketing and sales.
The goals of marketing and sales are different but complement each other. Marketing aims to attract as many potential customers as possible. They target a large group of people to identify interested individuals. Marketing tries to create a need in the potential customer, which may be a need the customer didn't even know they had.
The goal of sales, on the other hand, is to convert interested customers into actual sales. The marketing department must guide the interested buyer to the sales department at the right time, where the sale can be completed. Therefore, the sales department depends on the quality of the leads provided by marketing.
Given the different goals of sales and marketing, the approach of these departments is also different. Marketing targets large audiences, while sales communicates with customers on a personal level. With the rise of digital media, it has become easier to approach large groups in a personalized way, blurring the lines between sales and marketing approaches.
Targeting a group or a specific customer results in differences in focus. Marketers aim to build a brand and, therefore, focus on the brand's reputation. Most tasks within marketing are related to this goal. Sales, on the other hand, focuses more on the individual customer's needs.
The outcomes of marketing are mainly about reach and frequency. How many people have been reached with a specific action? In contrast, sales results are more about the actual revenue generated.
Marketing often involves long-term goals that need to be achieved, while sales emphasizes short-term results. This can lead to differences in perspective. Sales tends to focus more on immediate action points that show immediate results, whereas marketing is more concerned with achieving good long-term results.
Marketing and sales differ significantly in many ways, but a business needs both for a good result. That's why the collaboration between marketing and sales is so crucial. These two departments must work together to create a marketing and sales funnel. But what exactly is the meaning of such a funnel? We'll explain it to you.
A marketing and sales funnel is a way for potential customers to receive the right information at the right time. Because, in the initial contact, only 2% of sales are made. On average, a customer needs 5 to 8 contact points before making a purchase decision. As a company, you need to ensure that these contact points are established.
All the contact points with a potential customer together are called the customer journey. This journey looks different for each customer, and what information the customer needs at what moment varies. A marketing and sales funnel should ensure that the customer receives the right information at the right time, increasing the chances of a purchase.
The marketing and sales funnel consists of two parts. The marketing part is designed to attract the attention of potential customers, and no sales are involved at this stage. Prices and offers are not yet in the picture. The goal of the funnel is to reach a broad audience. The intention is for the customer to consider your company as a potential solution to their needs. The specific solution is not a focus at this stage.
Once the potential customer is aware of their need and has your company in mind, the sales funnel comes into play. In this section, the customer understands the exact solution your company provides, and a purchase can be made.
A funnel resembles a funnel, starting at the top with many potential customers. Along the way, the funnel narrows as those who are not genuinely interested drop out. In the end, only those who genuinely want to buy your product remain.
The top part of the funnel is the marketing funnel. Here, you deal with suspects and leads. Suspects are people you know have a need for a product or service you offer, but there hasn't been real contact yet. Examples of suspects are people who visit the website or follow the company on social media.
Suspects can transition into leads. Leads have already had a contact point with the company, perhaps by signing up for a newsletter or requesting more information. The lead is in the process of researching a product or service and hasn't decided where to make the purchase yet.
After potential customers become leads, they can progress to become prospects. This means they've had multiple contact points with the company and are close to making a purchase. This is the point where the marketing funnel turns into a sales funnel. It's up to the sales department to convert the prospect into a paying customer.
Most companies define a customer as someone who has made a purchase in the past year. For businesses, it's essential not only to focus on attracting new leads but also to persuade existing customers to make another purchase. Repeat customers are therefore the lower part of the sales funnel.
To make a marketing and sales funnel work effectively, the two departments must collaborate seamlessly. This requires a clear marketing and sales strategy. Agreements need to be made between them. We'll provide you with some examples of topics that should definitely be discussed in the marketing and sales strategy.
What does the sales department consider a 'lead,' and how do marketers view it? By establishing clear definitions, you can prevent miscommunication between the departments. Everyone knows what the other is talking about, which significantly enhances communication. In addition to definitions of terms, it's also essential to jointly create an ideal customer profile on paper. This way, marketers and sales professionals have a better understanding of what is expected of them.
At what point is a potential customer ready to shift from the marketing funnel to the sales funnel? By making clear agreements about this, the departments know precisely which customers they should approach. Potential customers receive the right information at the right time.
Does the marketing department currently have no idea about what the sales professionals are doing with the provided prospects? It's time to change that. By having the sales team provide monthly feedback on the leads provided, marketers gain a better understanding of which leads are working and which are not. This allows them to adjust their activities accordingly, resulting in higher-quality leads. This is also known as 'closed-loop reporting.'
Closed-loop reporting is supported by using the right software. When sales and marketing work in the same systems, they have a better overview of the big picture. This allows processes and actions to be more easily aligned with each other.
The most crucial aspect of successfully integrating sales and marketing strategies is open communication between the departments. Only when both departments communicate well, clearly, and transparently can they collaborate effectively. To achieve this, it's important to involve the departments in setting joint goals. How many high-quality leads does the sales department expect from marketers each month? How many sales should result from these leads? Ensure that expectations are clear and that execution is transparent. Give both departments access to the same information to keep them informed and encourage daily communication and monthly feedback.
Sales cannot thrive without marketing, and vice versa. These two disciplines are inseparable and interdependent. Effective communication between the departments is essential. If your company could use some assistance in integrating a robust marketing and sales funnel or if you're facing other challenges, consider seeking help from an expert. This way, your company's marketing and sales departments will work together in harmony rather than being at odds.
Marketing and sales are two essential disciplines that complement each other and work together to achieve successful sales. What exactly do they entail, and when should you use them?
The collaboration between marketing and sales is crucial for a successful sales strategy. A clear strategy and effective communication between both departments are essential to achieve optimal results. Together, marketing and sales ensure satisfied customers and a successful business.