You’ve got a great product. You know it’s going to sell if more people to know about it. 

How do you spread the word to the right people? How do you get them to act on that information? How do you keep track of all the different things happening at once? Most of all, who is going to handle these different responsibilities? 

These questions are enough to make your head spin! 

Let’s start off with a simple question: 

What Do You Want from Your Business? 

Let’s take a wild shot in the dark and guess what you want: 

  • More demand for your product? 
  • More leads? 
  • More sales? 
  • All of the above? 

We all want more eyeballs, and to close more deals. What does it take to get there? What’s the secret sauce that makes a business grow? 

There are a lot of influential factors, but if we had to narrow them down to one thing, it would be sales and marketing working together. 

Sales + Marketing = The Secret Sauce to Accelerated Growth 

Sales and marketing can’t be separated. You need both to work in unison to create synergy to push your business forward. 

But what happens when sales is struggling or marketing isn’t generating enough leads? It’s time for an integrated approach where both teams work together towards a unified goal.  

But before we jump into how they work together, let’s set down the basics of what they do:  

What Is Sales?  

Sales is when you get someone to buy something from you. It’s about making your product or service desirable enough for people to want it. 

That’s pretty straightforward, right? You have something to sell and convince a person to buy from you. 

What Is Marketing? 

Marketing happens when you tell people about your product, so they know it exists. Marketing creates awareness about what you have to offer and why people should buy from you. 

Marketing helps companies: 

  • Create an offering that aligns with customer needs and desires 
  • Attract customers to wherever the sale happens 
  • Move customers through the sales funnel 

Now we know what sales and marketing are individually…  

Why Do We Need to Integrate Sales and Marketing? 

Sales and marketing share the same overall goals, but often operate in different worlds with different priorities. Both sales and marketing want more customers – they agree on that – but their activities contribute differently to the result. Marketing wants to generate and attract leads, while Sales wants to convert leads to business by managing sales cycles and closing them. 

But here’s the thing: sometimes they don’t play off each other’s strengths as well as they could. These differences make them lose out on valuable intel that helps each raise the other. 

This is where integrated sales and marketing come in. The two departments can feel like they’re working toward different purposes, but when they work together, they create a synergy that becomes a growth multiplier for the company as a whole. 

How Do We Integrate Sales and Marketing?  

It can seem like a complicated process to bring both teams together. But the actual approach is quite simple – create an integrated strategy where both departments work toward the same ends, share resources, and communicate regularly so neither team feels like they’re working half-blind.  

Let’s explain this with a simple analogy.  

Get the Basics of Fishing Right: Laying the Groundwork for Customer Acquisition  

Before we lay out this analogy, we want to offer a disclaimer – neither of us are anglers, so the analogy will be very simplistic. If you want actual fishing advice, you’re in the wrong place.  

So you want to start fishing. You have so many questions: 

  • Where do I fish? 
  • How do I fish? 
  • Am I fishing for a particular type of fish? 

This is exactly the job of marketing peeps. They help you answer the initial questions about fishing, in our actual case, the type of customers. They provide the answers to the critical questions any business will have: 

  • Who are your target customers? 
  • Where can you find them? 
  • What information do you need to reel them in? 
  • What kind of reach do you need to find them? 
  • What kind of expectations do they have from a brand like you? 

… and so many more.  

Set the Hook and Bait: Testing the Waters to Close Leads 

Now that marketing has laid the groundwork for the sales team, the fishing rod passes to the sales team, who starts fishing in the ponds and with the bait identified by marketing. Marketing hasn’t left the pond, though. They’re standing by to see what works and to provide any additional support that sales needs.   

Troubleshoot the Fishing Pond, Gear & Technique: Revisit and Improve the Sales + Marketing Processes 

Let’s say that the response from the initial sales approach isn’t up to expectations. The sales team provides feedback with specific details about what worked and didn’t work along the sales pipeline. 

Now the marketing and sales team put their heads together to figure out the solutions to the problems: 

  • Have we identified the right pond? 
  • Are we using the right bait? 
  • Are we using the right tackle? 
  • Are we using the proper fishing technique and tools? 

As the teams revisit the marketing + sales strategy and compare it with the feedback, they can find loopholes to fill in and improve the bottom line. 

Remember that this isn’t a one-time done-and-dusted approach. Instead, it’s an iterative process where the teams work side-by-side to keep improving the marketing and sales activities to catch more fish! 

Hook, Line and Sinker: Converting Leads to Customers 

We’re all familiar with sales cycles: when someone first gets interested in your product or service, they’ll go through a series of steps before finally buying it. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months. 

If it’s a short sales cycle, then the sales team will have no problem closing the deal. 

But, if it’s a longer sales cycle, it becomes difficult for the sales team to maintain the attention of the interested leads. And this is where the marketing team can help. 

Marketers can keep those hooks baited while sales work on reeling in more fish! 

So how do we do this?  

By setting multiple hooks — and using different techniques based on the fish you want to reel in. The team uses a combination of strategies to grab and maintain attention through onsite blogs, catchy landing pages, promotional mailers, informational newsletters, attention-grabbing discount ads on social media, interactive social media posts, text messages, and so much more.  

And as the fish gets closer, the sales team lands the customer while the marketing team prepares the bait to catch more fish! 

The Big Question of All: Who Was Responsible for Making the Deal Happen? 

Let’s be honest.  

There are so many things happening at once during the integrated sales + marketing approach — from branding and advertising through direct online and offline campaigns to indirect and informal pitching. 

So then, which touch closed the deal? 

Well, the truth is, all of them.  

Each of these touches makes up a part of your overall strategy, contributing to your company’s growth.  

Every time you meet with a prospect or customer, every time you reach out via social media, every time you send an email, every time you do anything related to sales or marketing, that’s another touch point for your business. And the more touches you have on the journey to closing a sale — or even just building relationships — the better! 

But one common problem here is this uncertainty in comprehending the part every one of these touches plays in the overall strategy. And this could make it hard to allocate the budget for marketing and sales activities. 

Instead of allocating the budget in the dark, you can use a simple plan to serve as a reference during your budget meetings, like settling tangible targets for each of the activities. This way, you can measure the metrics at the end of a campaign period to get an idea of the expenses vs. the revenue. And it will also give you a base idea to set the budget for each activity. 

Having trouble with sales or marketing? Watch out for our upcoming webinar on integrated sales and marketing!  

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