It is easy to see marketing and sales as standalone activities, but they are inextricably connected to each other. Without a solid marketing effort, even the best product will not sell. Without profitable sales, the company will not be in business long enough to build a marketing department or pay its employees.
Put another way, there can be no sales without marketing and no marketing without sales. This may seem obvious, but a surprising number of business owners and company executives fail to grasp this simple concept.
With more and more research and education happening on the internet, marketing experts are quick to point out that up to 75% of the purchase process is completed before the sales department even gets involved. This is not an opinion – the statistic is based on solid research from Forrester and other well-respected market research firms.
While that 75% figure is an important one to keep in mind, it is still only an average. New research published by SiriusDecisions sheds new light on this connection and introduces a more optimistic scenario. That new research shows that professional salespeople do indeed add value at every stage of the buying process.
Modern buyers may be more sophisticated and better educated, but they still look to sales professionals to provide added value and additional deeper product or service information. That means the role of the marketing department is more important than ever before.
Having said that, no company can scale its operations and grow successfully with just sales or just marketing. The most successful organizations are able to blend these two critical functions together to present their customers with a truly integrated buying experience.
In fact, the latest research by Sirius Decisions found that sales-driven demand is four times more likely to close the deal than demand driven by marketing alone. Most of the time this is true, but the statistic tells only part of the story.
Sales-driven demand may indeed be a more efficient way to close the deal, but it can also cost as much as five times more to make the sale. Having marketing involved in this effort from the beginning can significantly lower the cost of sales without making that sale less likely.
In other words, great marketing can make the job of the sales team more efficient, while making sales more predictable and lowering costs. A solid sales program will be able to capitalize on existing marketing efforts and convert more prospects into buyers.
While content marketing efforts like white papers and case studies are still very important, they are not the sole drivers of sales. Few if any large purchases are driven by these efforts alone, and without a solid sales force behind them few companies can succeed long term.
Marketing and sales have always been vital parts of any organization, and that is more true today than ever before. Sales and marketing have always been, and continue to be, in it together. The most successful companies understand this and utilize each to empower the other.
At Leadit Marketing, we’re laser-focused on the strategy, processes, people, and technology that help companies sell more, faster. We offer the most comprehensive set of services in the business — from demand generation strategy and lead lifecycle management to persona development and reporting.
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