“I’m in sales, I don’t do marketing!”
In my early career I heard this quite a lot. In most organisations I was being exposed to, there was a real divide between sales and marketing.
You had sales on one side thinking shorter term and loving the fast paced environment that they could create for themselves and marketing on the other planning longer term and doing everything ‘fluffy’.
Now I’ve been on both sides, I started off in sales but was always developing marketing ideas to support my customer’s commercial decisions. I LOVED being in a focussed sales role with my own territory and meeting customers every day, the variety and ability to influence really appealed to me. In my management roles I found myself becoming more creative and nurturing an inherent desire to take my sales strategies into marketing too – this is where I created my belief that the two cannot succeed without each other.
So this is where I found my niche. Other marketers that I knew, were quite granular and loved getting stuck in with the day to day support functions; mailings, leaflets and newsletters. The difficulty with this stuff is how you measure your ROI. I had a real issue with that and needed to start creating some commercial accountability for my actions. When you are dealing with 6 figure budgets and are completely accountable for them you need to have all of your ducks firmly in a line.
I could see why sales people got frustrated with marketing teams and vice versa – I happily sat between the two trying to get each side to understand where the other one was coming from. I don’t think you can do this successfully without being fully ingrained in both sides at the coal face and at a visionary board level too.
I found that as both a sales manager and a marketing manager there were some strong similarities and both departments need to share the same goal.
You have to make marketing about the outcome and that outcome needs to link back to the overall vision for the customer, company or department you are creating it for. For example, if I want to create a newsletter, it’s likely I will create it under a campaign perhaps and that campaign will sit under an objective and that objective will sit under a wider vision and an outcome. That outcome might be that I have engaged with 100 brand new potential customers and that they have visited our website by end December 2017. The reason behind the newsletter is engagement with the customer alongside some reputation building and awareness. For marketing to work though, we need to stay focussed on the customer and the return. How will I measure my campaign and estimate the ROI for the business? How will my customer benefit? What percentage of my customers will be receptive to this type of material etc etc…the list goes on and on.
Questioning throughout all of this is absolutely vital whether you are a sales manager or marketing manager you need to challenge your workflow to be able to stay on track and gain competitive advantage.
If you can see a gap between your sales and marketing teams, contact me today firstname.lastname@example.org Visit my website here