Does your company get confused when sales people act as the marketing department or marketing is disconnected from the sales process? I recently experienced a Sarketing situation and I coined the phrase to summarize how bad things happen when the skills and functions are not clear and well aligned.
The result is poor communication and poor sales support that muddle & lose the sales opportunity.
Sales and marketing are indeed interrelated but require different skill sets. In the small growth business environment getting the right skills in the sales and marketing function are critical.
Sales of course are the revenue generators but they often need help with a solid way to communicate their value proposition to create an efficient sales process. Marketing skills require an understanding of the sales process to support the sales leadership.
When an organization tries to mix these two roles into one person the results can be a disaster if the individual has not developed expertise in both areas. A recent example I observed:
An executive with a heavy sales background is trying to guide the creation of the marketing materials for a major promotional campaign. The challenge in this person’s approach was that they looked at it from the process of just the sales organization and channel partner. They had not thought about the end customer in terms of how the sales team would approach the customer with a solution to their needs.
The result was a long list of product and service attributes organized as selling points. This lacked a single minded proposition related to a customer that was easy to remember.
Typically customers turn off on that rapid list selling approach because it lacks context to their market. The customer is left wondering how this sales presentation relates to their situation.
Believe me the customer won’t wonder long before they move on and don’t pay attention to your sales pitch.
Here are suggested steps you can incorporate:
- Define your value proposition. What is the offer of your solution to the customer need?
- Ideal customer profile. What are the customer needs that make the most sense for what and how you’re marketing? How do you target them? What are the various customer stakeholders you’re selling into? For example, there’s often an intermediary who is reselling your product to an end customer. Your company will be more effective in sales if you understand the marketing solution/need for each of the customer markets.
- Develop and agree on between the sales, management and marketing organization on what the value proposition and strategy is. If you’re creating different marketing support materials for e.g. trade show, sales sheet, advertising, online you need a communications brief. This will focus the creative development team, keep the company on message, and enable the sales team to more effectively communicate faster what the offer represents to customers.
If you want to learn more about how to create sustainable and predictable revenue, refer to a previous post 6 Keys to Revenue Growth. Let me know your thoughts and experiences on this topic.