The Evolving Relationship Between Sales And Marketing

By Gee Ranasinha

marketing and sales working together

Traditionally, the relationship between sales and marketing has been one of endurance rather than acceptance. Sales thinks they could do better marketing, and vice-versa. Each department believes they could do a superior job to what’s being done today.

On one side of the fence are the marketers. They believe they do most of the grunt work by generating, qualifying, and nurturing leads. Once the ‘suspect’ becomes a ‘prospect’ and has entered into the buying phase, marketing hands them over to sales – who simply takes the order (probably after giving a discount) and pockets a commission.

Salespeople, in contrast, think marketers are too remote from ‘real’ customers to understand the blood, sweat, and tears involved in closing a deal. Sales believe marketers have never had tangible face-to-face selling experience, so don’t understand or appreciate what’s involved to get a customer to sign on the dotted line.

The Evolution Of The Sales/Marketing Relationship

A combination of technology and its influence on buyer behavior has had the effect of moving the goalposts of where marketing stops and sales begins. Many companies had a customer acquisition funnel with the delineation of sales and marketing responsibilities looking a lot like this:

old sales acquisition funnel

Marketing’s job was to identify prime customer segments and develop resonating brand and value propositions. To create and circulate materials, collateral, and messaging across relevant channels. The role may have even included organizing appointments for the sales team. Once that point was reached, the customer relationship was surrendered to sales, who became wholly responsible for making the deal happen.

Has Marketing Become The New Sales?

Then one day, businesses realized how expensive it was to run their sales processes like this. With all the investment in back-office work, it could take years for new customers to become profitable. Business owners and sales directors started talking about things like Customer Retention and Customer Lifetime Value. Organizations realized it was much cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to a new one. That meant ensuring customers stayed happy with their purchase, loyal to the brand – and less likely to take their money to the competition.

Around the same time, organizations started redefining sales processes as being either from either a Business To Business (B2B) or Business To Consumer (B2C) position. Since B2B often had larger numbers at the bottom of the order form, salespeople claimed ownership of it. They bought nicer suits, changed the title on their business cards, and become account managers. B2C, on the other hand, became perceived as being too costly for human beings to do. B2C sales reps were (and continue to be) replaced by marketing automation technology, driven by complex and powerful CRM software.

Today, the rapid evolution of customer behavior in its adoption of technology to make faster and more informed buying decisions have changed the traditional delineation between sales and marketing. Not only that, but technology previously Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

Be Sociable, Share!