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What’s the difference between sales and marketing?

If the structure of some businesses is anything to go by, you could be forgiven for thinking that sales and marketing departments are the Siamese twins of the commercial world.

They both do pretty much the same thing – generate customers and sales – while sharing same vital resources, right?

Well, actually that is wrong.

And the sooner you understand the differences between sales and marketing and how to run them in synergy, the sooner experts say, you will see your bottom line jump by up to 20 per cent.

Put simply: marketing is responsible for generating leads and the sales team is responsible for converting those leads into sales.

Marketing is all about big picture.

It builds your brand and tells customers that you understand their needs; it positions the company within the marketplace; it creates the vision based on the company’s unique selling proposition, as well as the strategy to bring that vision to life.

Sales, on the other hand, takes those activated, potential customers created by marketing and converts them into actual customers.

A sales professional has the skills to identify where a person is in their buying cycle and delivers the action required to score the sale.

Marketers work with the marketplace, whereas sales people tend to work one-on-one.

And while marketing professionals have knowledge and experience about brand development and strategy, sales professionals’ skills and experience reside in being able to identify and overcome resistance.

Marketing supports sales

Despite their fundamental differences, some companies still lump sales and marketing in together, some even considering the hiring of a sales team as a marketing exercise.

This can be a fatal mistake because it fails to recognise the need for separation of resources and budgets.

Marketing budgets need to include market research and, in some cases, even product development.

Sales requires the resourcing for conversion, which often involves on-the-ground costs.

When budgets are tight, it can be tempting to take from marketing rather than sales – sales often being viewed as the department more involved in bringing in the money.

This never works and for one simple reason: marketing supports sales.

Marketing can provide a wealth of information and research that sales people can use to better understand their customers; to be able to know how to answer their questions; and better identify what stage of the sales funnel the customer may be at.

The power of joining forces

According to research by Aberdeen Group, organisations whose sales and marketing departments work as a team can expect about 20 per cent revenue growth compared to companies where the sales and marketing teams work more in isolation.

It’s easy to see why.

Marketing generates brand awareness, which makes prospects more trusting and receptive for sales to perform their job.

Marketing educates prospects and existing customers, making the sales process easier.

The simple truth is that it’s not a competition; it’s a partnership.

Sales and marketing are two distinct and individual entities that, when working together in harmony, create growth and prosperity for a business.

Work better together

Does your business need help with implementing a marketing strategy that can work to support your sales activity?

As a marketing agency based in Melbourne, Assemblo offers businesses a range of digital marketing and traditional advertising options.

With a team of creative and technical experts, Assemblo can help you to develop a marketing strategy designed to support and maximise the efforts of your sales team.

To find out how we can help your business grow, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.

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