How can Marketing help sales?
In today’s competitive society marketing strategies and plans have never been ever more important in both supporting and driving sales activity in to the organisation
Marketing activities assist sales though helping to define the challenges buyers are facing, sales can often be a heads-down, trying to close the next deal approach. This approach whilst helping to generate revenue for the company can sometimes be narrow.
Although a professional sales person will keep up to date with current events and potential trends in the industry, the focus to meet targets, network, account manage existing customers and look for new clients often leaves no time to develop marketing strategies or plans.
Companies have recognised this time constraint on their sales person and have moved company marketing, planning and strategy to its own department with qualified marketers. This approach has enabled sales to focus on sales activities and the marketing department to focus on all areas of marketing including more in-depth research and analysis.
Although these two teams have not been silo’d as sales often provides invaluable intelligence to the marketing team, on customer buying patterns, hot products and slow movers. Working together, the two teams can identify the trends that impact potential buyers reaction to the markets and the company’s offerings.
With many buyers now having a stream of information at their fingertips, it is crucial that both sales and marketing team work together to position the company’s brand/products / services. One of the key areas the marketing team must demonstrate is “thought leadership” with the aim of understanding the challenges buyers are facing and why the brand or product offer the best solution to address those challenges.
Recent surveys have revealed that a staggering 95% of the visitors to a company website don’t actually want to talk to a sales person, but 70% of them may eventually buy from you or perhaps a competitor.
Sales people used to be able tailor their “pitch” as often they were in a face to face environment, as we all know customers buying behaviour has changed with the internet now becoming the buyer chosen methods of research and often purchase. Thus the sales person is much further down the buying process. Marketing must work with sales to ensure key propositions in both online and offline messages address the needs of prospects early in the sales cycle.
With the current economic climate buying decisions have been pushed further and further out , often seeing purchases extending to 60 to 180 days sales people need a large stock of resources they can draw upon to continue to demonstrate value and keep buyers interested.
Marketing departments are crucial in providing sales with a wide pool of communication strategies/resources. Often these include videos, interactive demos, promotional offers, case studies and white papers, alongside pictures of products and customer reviews.
It is recognised that certain events can trigger a purchase so rather than saddling sales with the chore of identifying these occasions, marketing must tap the growing set of data analysis and intelligence tools available to identify these selling situations
Another essential part of the marketing strategy is the continuing relationship building that effective marketing offers to potential new customers and of course existing clients. As mentioned earlier the extended buying cycle poses some unique problems one of which is buyer disengagement. A purchase can be put on hold for a variety of factors but ultimately the buyer can disengage with the sales team. Effective marketing becomes even more important to reengage with the buyer, the tools available often include a series of emails, direct mail, postcards, invitations, and other vehicles that can deliver a steady stream of valuable content. Helping to keep the company top-of-mind with the buyer while the sales person is freed up to pursue more imminent opportunities.
To find out more about how marketing can assist your sales role click here: