Sales and Marketing are both two aspects of an organisation chain that are aimed at increasing revenue. They are so closely related that sometimes in smaller organisations the same people may perform the two tasks. However, in reality, there is a meaningful difference between sales and marketing. The debate over the difference between the two functions is a long standing one and 2019 is no different about witnessing it.
The fundamental differences between Sales and Marketing remain constant even in 2019.
While both the segments have the common target of increasing the company revenue, they both opt for different means to reach the end. The basic difference is that on a day-to-day basis they both have varied concerns. Marketing is anxious about how many people will open emails and take note of them, so that they can evaluate the performance of a campaign. Sales staff, on the other hand, is concerned about finding opportunities to fill up their pipeline. While marketing may look at a long-term strategy, sales have to follow up every open deal so that they can reach their targets.
In fact, professionals from both segments even have a different outlook towards each other’s way of functioning. For instance, many marketers are known to overlook the importance of sales enablement. Likewise, salespeople believe marketers are wasting time on fancy events and branding activities. The debate has been continuing since the past several years.
However, technology is now slowly reducing the difference between sales and marketing
In 2005, marketing was defined as a one-way communication that focussed on bringing about interest in a product or service. Selling, on the other hand, was a two-way communication designed to enable the prospect to do the talking. In 2019, such a definition seems archaic considering technological advancements. Marketing is also now a two-way street. This is because consumers no longer want to be ‘talked to’ but ‘talked with’ and marketers are doing just that.Ways you can ensure that marketing is supporting the Sales Process
But in 2019, it is important to let the debate about differences between marketing and sales take a backseat and bridge the gap between the two a little more for the overall good of the company. Here’s looking at a few ways to do so:
- Marketing and sales are both important functions and can be more powerful when they work together. They complement each other in the best way. So it’s good to have teams from both segments come face to face and discuss issues. This will help them understand how collaboration will make everyone more effective at their jobs. They can discuss their friction points and work on resolving them together.
- Both the sections must spend more time together to understand how the other person is dealing with issues in their respective domain. The teams can sit together and possibly bond better. It is good to encourage both teams to mix up more. This way, they will understand what the other person is facing and it will help them function more efficiently.
- While working together is a good option, the accountability for both the teams has to be clearly identified. Marketing processes need to dovetail into sales processes with clear accountability at both ends. This will put an end to blame games and will help bring the focus back on generating revenues which is the common goal of both sales and marketing.
- The plans for sales and marketing both have to be chalked out jointly so that one rides on the other. It is imperative that both are treated as co-units instead of as independent units doing their own jobs at their own pace and in their own style.
In the end, both need to work along together and create a positive synergy for the good of the company. While sales approaches may remain similar over the years, and marketing tactics may change frequently, their common ground is all about the shared desire to augment company revenue.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing