Peanut butter is pretty delicious on its own, and don’t tell us that you’ve never eaten a spoonful of jelly by itself—but when they come together, it’s pure magic. The same can be said for a company's sales and marketing department. By themselves, they can run okay for a while- but the two become exponentially more effective when they work together.
A company’s sales and marketing teams are both working toward the same goal: securing business and helping their company grow. The recipe each department uses though, can vary greatly. Let’s use a lighting rep agency as an example.
The Outside Sales team communicates directly with their target audience, whether that is specifiers, contractors, distributors, or municipalities. This might be in person (during a lunch and learn, counter day, etc.), over the phone, or by email. The sales cycle is usually long, taking place over multiple conversations in which the salesperson learns about the project’s specific needs and restrictions. Salespeople interface with the customer to help them understand how their product can meet needs or offer a solution.
It could also be a very swift process in which an Inside Sales person is able to cross a fixture schedule, or provide a solution for a customer over the phone.
Marketing is a much more comprehensive undertaking—with a sole purpose of increasing brand or product recognition to the target audience as a whole. The methods, strategies, and channels utilized by a marketing team look very different than they did just 10 years ago. Modern marketing efforts have gone primarily digital, including (but not limited to): Content marketing, social media, email campaigns, website and SEO.
Americans are forecasted to spend $120 billion by 2021 on digital marketing.
There has always been a bit of a rivalry of sorts between sales and marketing teams. This friction can harm your business’s growth.
When sales and marketing teams work congruently, metrics skyrocket and profits soar. So how do you get the opposing sides to align?
Making the Perfect "Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich"
How to create a unified sales and marketing strategy
Here are our four top ingredients in the recipe for the perfect PB&J:
1. Know Who You’re Marketing To
One of the first action items on our list when Performance starts working with a new client, is to create a list of targeted “personas.” We work closely with management and sales staff to develop realistic outlines of the types of clients the company wants to target.
2. Let the Sales People Shine
There is a myriad of ways to exhibit the talents of your sales team, but marketing content (website blogs and email blasts) stand out as the most effective. This can be done in one of two ways:
- Highlight a specific sales person after an achievement such as the completion of a large project, or an LC certification.
- Ghostwrite a piece of content on behalf of a salesperson that illustrates their authority and positions them as a thought leader on a specific subject matter such as energy codes, or the latest in LED technology.
3. Collaborate on Marketing Metrics
When your marketing efforts seem to not be making an impact, connect with your sales people. Are you finding that you have low open rates or click-throughs for emails? Huddle up with the sales people for input on what types of content their customers need, and the types they don’t. The needs of customers can change season to season, if there is a shift in the economy, or a new technology emerges.
Ask your salespeople to check in with their customer base, and adapt the marketing content accordingly.
4. Create a Company Culture that Marries Sales and Marketing Efforts
When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is up to, no one gets a sandwich. When a sales strategy isn’t completely integrated with a marketing plan, inevitably, both efforts will suffer. When both departments successfully work together to increase brand awareness and grow public perception, the profit margins will follow.
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