Business development · 16 July 2021

What is the relationship between sales and marketing?

What is the relationship between sales and marketing

Whilst sales and marketing are two clearly defined roles within a business, there are some overlaps between the two that can’t be overlooked. In any organisation, a close relationship between the sales and marking departments will be key to the success of the business. But what is the relationship between sales and marketing and how can you strengthen that relationship to benefit your business?

In this article, we’ll examine the relationship between sales and marketing and take a look at some of the ways in which that relationship can be fostered, helping to build on the success of your business.

The difference between sales and marketing

Marketing and sales are both concerned with the acquisition and conversion of leads, leading many people to believe that the departments are one and the same. However, there are some key differences between sales and marketing that should not be overlooked.

The process begins with the marketing department, which aims to attract quality prospects through the creation and distribution of targeted content across many different channels. This content will build the trust of the prospect until they eventually become a lead.

Those leads will then be nurtured by sales, where a 1:1 relationship is built. Sales will address the specific needs of the customer, providing tailored solutions. The ultimate aim of sales is to convert those leads into customers and win their loyalty.

Whilst sales and marketing have some clear differences, they both have the same aim: to turn visitors into customers. That’s why it’s so important that sales and marketing work together to achieve their shared goals and ensure the success of the business.

So, what is the relationship between sales and marketing and how can you strengthen it? Read on to find out.

Why should sales and marketing work together

Why should sales and marketing work together?

Having a strong relationship between the sales and marketing departments will enable effective collaboration. This collaboration is the key to a successful and profitable business, as well as an outstanding customer experience. But how important is it that sales and marketing work together?

When sales and marketing work closely together, the quality of leads generated will increase. This is because sales can help marketers to identify the ideal customer persona for the business, so that marketing can then work on attracting that customer. By aligning the operations of the two departments, and facilitating effective communications, the business can become more profitable.

Not only that, but a sales team that builds personal relationships with customers will have valuable information which can contribute to marketing. For example, a sales manager will understand customer pain points and know which questions are asked frequently. By feeding this into the marketing department, content can be created which answers customer questions and enables prospects to make smarter decisions.

It has also been proven that the effective collaboration of sales and marketing departments can help to improve key business metrics. This includes a reduced cost-per-sale and a reduction in sale cycle duration.

Finally, aligning your sales and marketing activity can help your business to get ahead of the competition. Marketing departments often pride themselves on knowing exactly what the competition is doing. By feeding this information into the sales team, new tactics can be designed to accelerate your business ahead of your closest competitors.

How to bring your sales and marketing teams together

You understand the importance of the sales and marketing departments working closely together, but how can you strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing to bring the teams closer together? It’s one thing to be aware of the benefits of aligning the departments, but it isn’t always so easy to put it into practice.

Here are three ways in which you can strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing.

1.     Open the lines of communication

Communication is the key to bringing your sales and marketing departments together. Try combining your sales and marketing team meetings, giving the departments an insight into how each works. You may be surprised at the knowledge that is shared between the two teams once they hear each other’s successes and begin to understand each other’s challenges.

2.     Combine your funnels

How often do you hear about things being “handed over to sales” and vice versa? Seeing the two departments as completely different entities with different processes is the single biggest mistake that businesses make. Try combining your sales and marketing funnels into one long funnel. This will allow you to see the workflow, including where processes align, as well as envisioning the shared goals that unite both departments.

3.     Work together

When sales and marketing are thought of as two completely separate departments, their processes will rarely align. However, there is a lot of knowledge that can be shared between sales and marketing to simplify processes and bring new insights.

For example, sales reps are the ones who build personal relationships with customers, but marketer are the ones who create the content which is shared with the target market. Imagine how much useful information a sales rep could share about the target customer to enrich the content created by marketing.

How to bring sales and marketing together

Related questions

How is sales different from marketing?

Whilst sales and marketing have many shared goals, there are also some important differences between sales and marketing. Marketing focuses on the beginning of the funnel, attracting high quality prospects and turning them into leads. It’s here that sales take over, nurturing those leads and building a personal relationship to hopefully win the sale and earn long term customer loyalty.

Why do sales need marketing?

Sales departments are highly effective at converting leads into customers. However, prospects need to be attracted and qualified before they can become leads. This is where marketing comes in. The marketing department will generate quality leads through activities such as content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing, which can then be handed over to sales for conversion.

Build a strong relationship between sales and marketing for success

A strong relationship between your sales and marketing departments is essential for the growth and success of your business. By nurturing this relationship and enabling the departments to work closely together, you can improve the efficiency and profitability of your business, as well as accelerating its growth.

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