Marketing vs sales – which is more important?

In the world of business, there has always been a noticeable divide between the roles of sales and marketing and until late, the two have always been recognised as two separate entities that work one after the other. People often debate which role brings more to the table for their business, and therefore which one should they invest more into? Ultimately, we’re not here to argue with the definitive differences between both sales and marketing, but what we do want to do is help you recognise the obvious cohesion between the two and how it can help you as a business owner.

This article will encompass the idea that sales and marketing should in fact, coexist in a peaceful partnership together, and that any barrier that did sit between the two, should no longer exist.

Let’s start with the differences

Given that sales and marketing have resided in different departments for many years in business, we think we owe a quick summary of the two.

The role of marketing is to kick-start the entire sales process, by sparking interest in the services or products your business offers and develop relationships between you and your prospects. With a successful marketing strategy in place, opportunities are created over a larger scale, and you will get the right people turning heads towards your company. Essentially it is up to your marketing team to reel in the interest and produce the leads.

Sales on the other hand, is a more intricate approach that targets your ideal customer, directly. Without marketing, sales is a process associated more so with direct conversations, cold-calling and up-front persuasion of the product/service in hand. However, when coincided with marketing, it is then the role of sales to make direct contact with the generated leads (whether virtual or face-to-face) and give them that final push to convert and sign on the dotted line.

It’s undoubtable that both play an important role in converting prospects to customers. So, rather than debating as to which one is more worthwhile for generating business, should we not instead see how they can work together as a successful power team?

Let’s look at the impact

Until recently, sales has always been associated with being the main driver for generating custom in business. After all, it’s the sales team that get the signature on the dotted line. But when we look at the sales process collectively, it’s important to recognise how the customer got there in the first place.

Some would argue it is merely the work of sales. But, with marketing flourishing more than ever before with an uproar in digitisation – the tables seemed to have turned.

It can now be said that with marketing used to its full potential, prospects can get anywhere up to 90% of the way through their buyer’s journey before a conversation with a salesperson even happens!

Let’s take a relatable example… Apple.

If not Apple, let’s take the sofa you buy from DFS, or the Tesla you buy from Elon Musk, or the website you create on Wix or Squarespace, or even the Head & Shoulders shampoo you buy for that little bit of dandruff (don’t worry, we won’t tell…).

Before you make these purchases in store, over the phone or online, how much does someone have to push, negotiate, and convert you over the line to buy? Nowadays… probably not that much. The truth is, you will have probably made a big part of your decision before the need to communicate with a sales team. What causes this? The answer is marketing.

  • Websites
  • Social media
  • YouTube Channels
  • Adverts
  • Direct mail
  • Emails

And the list goes on and on….

Through the availability and diversity of these channels, a heavy amount of research can be conducted on a service or product, prior to reaching out to a sales team. In some cases, it is solely marketing that leads the customer to the sale. Essentially, marketing can facilitate the customer’s buying decision much more now than ever before.

This by no means diminishes the need for a sales team, but it certainly proves that you can utilise the two of them together for an efficient turnaround with your lead generation.

Marketing – an educator every sales team needs

So, you might now be thinking… “how exactly can I use both marketing and sales together?”. Allow us to explain.

Marketing is a tool that every sales team can utilise to their maximum potential. A tool that can, quite simply, educate and inform any prospect, before they know they’re even looking for your service or product.

Let’s take our trusty Tesla as an example. Most will be aware of some of the innovative features these cars boast, including battery powered engines and fancy computer systems, for top-notch efficiency.

But think about it… you know most, or all these facts, without even speaking to a salesperson. So, in theory, the marketing strategy in place here has facilitated a big chunk of the sales process – effortlessly.

Not only does this alleviate the pressure off a salesperson, but it also increases your chances of good, quality leads. If positioned correctly, your marketing should be capable of presenting everything your prospects need to know in an effective and transparent way – enabling them to make an informed decision for themselves.

So why conduct a big part of your sales process through marketing, as opposed to a direct conversation with a salesperson? The answer merely lies in the fact that marketing has the capability of reaching out to a much larger audience, increasing your chances of more leads.

With this example in mind, is it not apparent that good marketing means easy sales? With a successful partnership between the two, your marketing makes for an effective tool that your sales team can feedback to and use to their advantage.

Marketing & sales, a power team together

All in all, it is evident that sales is now far more about marketing than ever before. Based merely on the information your potential customers can find through marketing; people are making more firm decisions simply based on what they see prior to the communication with a salesperson. We appreciate that this isn’t always the case, but if positioned correctly, your marketing can effectively assist your sales team, with good quality leads that won’t need much convincing. There really, should not be one without the other.

Stephanie Holmes
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Stephanie Holmes

Steph manages integrated marketing and operational strategies for the business through; campaign creation and management, content creation, engagement data analysis & reporting, social media scheduling and networking. She ensures that Unumbox’s company voice, brand and values are at the core of all content created. With an ability to build rapport quickly, along with her skills in creative writing, content management and an eye for design, she sees success in all aspects of her work.