Getting smart with sales (hint: you need marketing)

marketing investment

Many companies favor sales over marketing. Why? Sales departments are responsible for generating revenue, so it can seem natural to invest in the sales team to maximize sales opportunities. It seems like a large sales team should be able to interact with more prospects and ultimately close more deals.

The reality, however, is that salespeople market to individuals. While marketing departments focus on engaging a wide audience or even discrete segments, a salesman does the same thing with a single prospect. Different prospects have different problems and they need or want different solutions. This means the narrative governing a prospect engagement can change from one prospect to the next.

The narratives salespeople share change continually, which means that sales departments need an anchor to structure their talking points around. This anchor is marketing and is the main reason why investing only in sales is not an intelligent strategy.

How does marketing engage audiences?

Marketing controls a company’s narrative. The marketing department conducts various activities that support content. This content is the most important thing a marketing department can create because it demonstrates the company’s value.

When a company executes its marketing correctly, its value is clear and compelling. Compelling marketing content does a good job of speaking to the audience’s pain points. Sometimes, this audience is one unit or it can be a segment of a larger whole. The thrust is that the marketing department stands in a similar relationship to a wide audience that the sales department has with individual prospects.

Why is investing in marketing important?

Since marketing interacts with prospects on a global scale, its message is not subject to the same level of change as sales. Sales interacts with prospects who need to hear something slightly different from one another, but marketing speaks to entire audiences that receive a unified message. This allows marketing to focus on creating and maintaining the pure or basic content that sales can deviate from.

Put another way, marketing messaging functions as a guide for sales. An investment in marketing is also an investment in sales messaging.

How does your company use marketing to support the sales team? Let us know in the comments below.

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