In the world of profitable business, there are obvious things people are aware of. These are the things that help drive growth and earn a good profit for the business. Regardless of the type and size of the business, however, there is one most important thing to care about – selling! Sales are what grow a business. Sales earn a business its profit and are exactly what let the customers know more about your products/services. Then there’s the right marketing, without which a business would be unable to effectively sell. There aren’t many people in the business world today who know the precise difference between the two, i.e. what is sales and what is marketing. So, what is the major differentiating factor?
Sales and Marketing are closely-linked and their mutual goal is to generate revenue. The difference isn’t significant for either small or mid-level firms, but it does matter to most large-level firms. These businesses allow for room to invest in and adjust teams big enough to work on each of these two separate areas. Keeping all this in mind, there has been a significant shift in how the sales and marketing dynamic is changing. The ever-decreasing gap between the two grows smaller every day. Most would say it boils down to a single factor: Customer Experience, but at the end of the day, any business’s primary focus is to have happy customers.
So, why do the marketing and sales teams need to collaborate? The answer is simple but very important. Customer needs have shifted drastically in the past couple of years. What millennials want today and are willing to pay for, is nowhere near what Gen X or Gen Y would even consider investing in or needing! The question then becomes – how do we make the collaboration between marketing and sales even better to provide the best customer experience possible? The answer? There are a billion different ways to do it but today, we’re going to tell you about just a few of them:
1. Transparency and Innovation: The Foundation of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
Action taken by one department is extremely important and noteworthy for the other department to know and rely upon! Visibility and work clarity between the teams are vital for success. They unite and the innovation that drives the merger is what matters to the customer. For example, let’s look at famous tool-maker, Stanley Black & Decker.
Their teams have been on the edge of making their product experience better. You ask, “How can buying and using tools be related to a better customer experience?” It’s because they are creating innovative ways to do it. Their latest tools have incorporated SOS buttons, for when there’s an emergency while using any of their tools.
This is exactly the kind of innovation and dedication towards a better customer experience that helps grow a business.
2. Make Sales like a Customer and Work with Sales
This may seem odd, but it actually makes complete sense. Today’s business leaders have abilities that didn’t exist a few years back. They can, if tread upon carefully, impact their growth in the best ways possible. View your sales as your customer.
From a marketing perspective, businesses need to ensure they get help from their sales teams to make their sales numbers possible. Extending a helping hand to the sales team using today’s technological advancements, would make a significant difference.
Consider the example of Acquire, a subscription-based service. They adhere to the perfect business model for helping customers experience a unique, personalized touch to their purchase. The sales team who sells the products doesn’t finish the deal but instead begins creating new pipelines to use those sales to market existing (or new) products. In turn, this creates a more mature, advanced marketing pipeline for delivering sales.
3. Deliver Better Value to Create Customer Relationships
Today’s young business leaders have the very same question: How can our products and services add customer value?
One way is with using ‘permission marketing’, i.e. taking your customers’ permission to market additional features about your products/services in such a way that they experience a business’ true value!
Consider the example of the Fitbit. This device allows users to purchase their products through excellent marketing gimmicks and strategies. They increase sales by improving the marketing of their existing products. For their existing customers, they use the ‘permission marketing’ strategy to ask the permission of their customers to track their regular health data (number of steps walked, number of stairs climbed, etc.). This allows the company to provide better experiences by adding more value.
4. Creating Customers for Life
Every business wants to keep its existing customers for life! Loyalty is a noteworthy factor in this regard. Apple is the perfect example of this strategy.
Apple is a brand being driven and run by “Brand Loyalists”. Despite it being costlier, having less available features, more-value kind of company, Apple provides an experience that creates bonds strong enough to sustain it. Not many consumers in the market today shift from Apple products once they’ve used them. The reason? Apple provides a Customer Experience that is unmatched!
5. Insight, not Data
Today’s world is about how businesses are driven by data, how data is the future of everything, and how the right data can take your business to the next level. But not many know that it isn’t just bland data that can help your business grow into something substantial.
The idea of understanding and perceiving that data makes the difference. Understanding the right data can lead to the marketing team publishing the right set of campaigns for the exact people they wish to target. Such targets can lead to stronger and more tightly-knit sales funnels.
To summarize, if a business is not innovative and advancing in the right direction, it won’t be long before it’s on the verge of extinction. Your business must be an agent of change, constantly innovating, constantly changing, constantly pushing the boundaries. If it’s not, then it’s going to be obsolete in 5-10 years. Connect with your customers, provide them with a personalized experience, with the right marketing strategies, and in turn, it will drive better sales. This is the only way to link today’s marketing and sales teams so as to drive a more profound & strong business resulting in better profits!