Often, marketing can get confused with sales.
Generally, the sales team bring the money into a business and performance can be straightforward to measure – it’s plain and simple – it can generally be determined by bottom line figures. Easily recognised, easily determined.
For marketers, however, it seems to be a constant struggle to show and measure marketing performance. It’s a question that strikes fear into marketers as it can be a real struggle to successfully determine the impact of marketing to someone who doesn’t understand what marketing is. But, there are great ways to show the effectiveness of running campaigns to show which are resulting in revenue and which simply aren’t doing the job intended.
What is a sales team?
The sales teams job is to ‘sell what’s in stock’. The company has specific products or services and it’s up to the sales team to sell those things. Each time a product/service has been sold, this counts as one sale (this can vary in value or be given different weighting) and is what the sales team will be measured on.
What is a sale?
A sale is where money exchanges hands or a contract has been signed for a product or service.
Developing relationships with customers and partners is key and a huge part of sales, they can knock on doors, negotiate prices and discuss all the needs and wants of a customer to get the agreed sale. Customers can be hard to find but with a good marketing strategy in place – customers can come to them.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is aligning your message to meet your customers’ expectations about your product or service across a number of channels.
A key job of marketing is to understand the marketplace and the customer. A marketing teams job is to direct the organisation toward the customers, to create brand awareness and be the ‘go-to solution’ for a customer’s needs (whereas sales generally direct the customer towards the organisation).
Marketing can also help the organisation see how it needs to modify its product offerings, pricing, and communication so that it meets the needs of the audience. If a product or service is overpriced marketing efforts will show this based on product promotion performance compared to a product or service that is great value.
How does marketing and sale cross-over?
While the sales and marketing teams have different roles – the teams generally work together. It could be marketings efforts that bring in leads to the sales team from (for example) an online advert or the sales team that realise there is a gap in the market that marketing can tap into. Having good communication between departments is vital for success in business.
Long-term vs Short-term
Marketing is a long-term game and marketing efforts can take weeks or months, sometimes even years to take place. Sales, on the other hand, is (generally) short-term and the sales team can generally be seen towards the end of the marketing journey.
Marketing and sales are easily confused but are heavily linked. To an inexperienced company, marketing can get blamed if the sales targets are not being hit (sometimes this can be the case; messages were wrong or inaccurate). While both are aimed at increasing revenue, marketing is different from sales. As an organisation grows, marketing and sales become more specialised while in smaller businesses, the lines are easily blurred.