I face this question quite often in the Indian market, as most companies fail to understand the role marketing plays in commercialization of its businesses. Most organizations get into a sales overdrive without even bothering to create basic marketing assets like website, collateral, flyers etc. They soon run out of gas and decide to shift attention to building some basic marketing infrastructure.
What comes first – Sales or Marketing?
What then constitutes some of the basic marketing infrastructure before you launch into sales operations?
1) Website – The first thing that comes to mind is the website that will include what your company offers to your customers and why they should buy from you
2) Offering collateral – Based on the solutions/products you offer, you need to have offering collateral that details what you offer and why you are the best. This could be in many forms for e.g. presentations, PDF flyers, Word documents etc.
3) Sales process, definition of conditional sales and objection handling – Before even your sales teams meet your first prospect, you should be sure of what sales process you will follow. You need to define the conditional sales points at different stages in the sales lifecycle. Also at different stages, you are likely to face different objections. It is good to have uniform answers to these different objections. Having these things in place will certainly set expectations very clearly among your sales teams and they can focus on their jobs. In case you are using a CRM, the same sales process can also be configured in the CRM, so that you can create multiple reports to gauge progress in sales operations.Why you cannot sell without a sales process
There are a lot more things that you need to include in your marketing plan, and are part of basic marketing infrastructure, but these are just must-haves. The core objective of marketing has to be to make sure that your offering value is well understood and creates the brand and perception that you desire. Not spending time on defining this upfront will lead to chaos and you run the risk of each customer understanding you differently.