Marketing Vs Sales Explained; How to Unify Within Departments

Posted by John Aikin
on February 7, 2018

What's the difference between sales and marketing?

Marketing is defined as "the processes for creating, communicating and exchanging offerings that have value for customers and society at large."

Sales is defined as "the operations involved in promoting and selling goods or services."

Looking only at definitions, the two are nearly interchangeable, however the never ending debate of marketing vs sales still goes on and on and dividing them greatly.

each department has a specific role to help generate revenue.

The sales team should be targeting, and taking care of, your existing customer base and reaching out to leads the marketing team creates, utilizing sales strategies to close more business.

The marketing team is responsible for growing your audience. They look for leads, find new customers, streamline advertising, and target a larger general market.

Aligning sales and marketing with Smarketing

With a focus on improving a company's revenue stream, Smarketing is the process of aligning your marketing and sales teams' goals.

One of the most effective ways to align the sales and marketing teams is by tying the marketing pipeline to sales goals.

The two departments, working toward a common outcome, should be aware of the others' progress toward their individual goals as well.

Constant communication and cooperation, facilitated by every level of management within the company, ensure that the goals of both teams are interdependent.

What does this look like?

The marketing team might set a goal to generate a certain number of high-quality new leads. Once that's taken care of, the sales team is responsible for reaching out to each lead.

Having members of the marketing team sit in on calls the sales team makes, or allowing salespeople to constructively comment on the quality of leads the marketing team produces, can help create a sense of teamwork and ease conflicts that naturally arise between the two groups.

Joint meetings are also important because they help promote unity, and allow both teams to be heard. In order to keep meetings constructive, both teams should have measurable data that can objectively show progress.

For the marketing team, this should be the quality and quantity of created leads.

For sales, this is both the number of leads worked and the percentage of sales closed. It's difficult to argue with objective data, so this method can improve the sales-marketing relationship by clarifying each team's perception of the other's performance.

Build a sales playbook that unifies sales teams approach

A sales playbook is a great way to standardize the sales team approach, as well as teach new representatives the best way to interact with customers and close sales.

To start building a sales playbook, make sure the most knowledgeable people, representatives from both the sales and marketing departments along with experts in sales, are contributing the content.

A good playbook might include an overview of the company, products and services provided, a step-by-step explanation of the sales process, ideal customer profiles, sample messaging, examples of great sales, key performance indicators and resources. A sales playbook can be a work in progress where new information is added as needed.

Build brand guidelines for unifying marketing approach

A brand guideline exists to help members of the marketing team keep the brand and style consistent, as well as to help new employees understand the brand of your company.

As with the sales playbook, it's important to have representatives of the sales team involved in the creation of the guidelines so that there are no misunderstanding that could lead to conflict.

A brand guideline might include your logo, color scheme, and images along with slogans. In order to grow your business, you'll want to be recognizable, and building a brand that's consistent and sharp will make a big difference. Examples can be found here.

If you can get your marketing and sales teams working together, the culture of your company, along with your revenue streams, will improve. Through Smarketing and setting clear expectations, this is absolutely an achievable goal.

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