Sales and sales teams make the deals. They bring in revenue, convert prospects into buyers, turn buyers into customers, and work to keep these customers buying more products and services being offered to meet their needs.
Marketing and marketing departments create the programs, materials, tools, and events that bring in prospects, create sales leads, attract customers and business, and support the sales teams, sales cycle and marketplace. They also support the product line.
Sales and Marketing are equally important to each other. A good sales team is as good as the marketing team to meet the drive and momentum of the market and line of business. A good marketing team is as good as the sales teams to meet the demand of the products.
Some executives view marketing as an overhead. A cost they can do without when budgets are tight, revenue is not coming in, and times are tough. So marketing budgets are cut and staff members are laid off. This is a bad business decision.
The executives forget when times were good, money was coming in, and deals were being made and closed, was due to the two teams working as one. Marketing and Sales were meeting each others needs with producing the tools and events to make the products attractive for the business buyer, and closing the deals to meet revenue quotas.
Sales teams should not create marketing and product materials to do their jobs. This creates a gap that the customers, prospects, and competition see instantly, even when the sales executives do not. Sales needs marketing, marketing needs sales. The product managers need both. The executives need all three and some.
Marketing departments produce sales collateral materials used by sales representatives (reps) that call on other businesses. They know what the sales teams need to meet the demand of their prospects and customers in the most beneficial way that support the sales cycle, product, brand, and company.
Items such as company and product profile sheets, product briefs, technology adoption papers, ROI case studies and calculations, white papers, success stories, and press releases are all sales materials created by marketing.
These materials are distributed to customers and prospects at trade shows, sales events, and promotional activities where the business buyers are.
Having the right sales materials to promote a product or service can often make or break a sales deal.
The right combination of sales materials support the sales cycle and efforts while providing product features and benefits to the buyer, special offers, and projecting a confidence in the company and product for their purchase decisions.
Sales collateral also helps educate the marketplace or in-house sales teams. These materials help develop sales and marketing tools and promote competition.
Marketing is needed to create the sales materials, provide the tools to support the sales reps and sales cycle, and produce the events to make the products, the company, and the brand attractive to the business buyers.
Sales are needed to make the transactions, to close the deals, and to meet the buyer's expectations with the product being offered, and to keep these customers happy. They are the first line of attack but cannot fight the competition without good marketing supporting the battle.
Sales and Marketing teams need each other. Business executives need to recognize this and realize that sales revenues will surpass quotas and allow the company to “beat the street” with profits and gains that meet and beat expectations when both teams work as one.
If you only expect Sales to do all of this, it is like sitting on a 3 legged stool. Someone will eventually fall. Don't let it be your company.
Disagree? Then let me know. Comments are welcomed.