Let’s face it – marketing and sales will always compete for the title of “MVP,” and both can make some pretty strong arguments. We often hear the “without marketing there’s no brand, no following, and no leads!” or the “without sales, there’s no deals, no customers, and no revenue!”  At IOI, we view the two as a kick-ass team, and when in sync, can be a game changer for a growing business.

So – should there really be a “collision” between marketing and sales? The answer in our book is no! 

To know how they sync, let’s break down a few core functions of both sides, that in part, represents the potential customer journey. 

Marketing…

  1. Establishes your brand, communicates your message, and puts your products and services into words. 
  2. Creates engagement and curiosity – generates prospects and builds your ideal audience. 
  3. Nurtures your prospects – warms them, helps identify those who are most interested, etc. 
  4. Learns your customer – asks questions, collects key information, etc. all relevant for the sale. 

Sales…

  1. Makes it real and authentic for the prospect - people NEED human interaction.
  2. Makes it personal – people need to hear and see how exactly your product/service will solve their problems.
  3. Creates credibility and trust– people need help and guidance. A good salesperson shows why your company are the expert and offers value to your prospects that marketing cannot. 
  4. Qualifies or disqualifies prospects– a good salesperson can quickly determine whether a prospect is qualified or not. The ability to disqualify a lead quickly is invaluable and can save thousands of dollars wasted on selling to the wrong audience. 

Let’s bring it home by using the youth sports industry as an example. Today’s youth sports space is as saturated as it has ever been. The number of leagues, camps, tournaments, pclubs, online programs, etc. seem to increase daily, and many are promoting the same value proposition. Families often research all the options for their kids before even engaging with a salesperson.

[Enter Your Marketing Team]

An effective marketing strategy (website, digital content, paid ads, email campaigns, etc.) successfully sets your brand at the top of mind of your target audience, clearly differentiating you from the competition. 

[Enter Your Sales Team]

Your sales team must come in and be the difference. It’s not enough to just explain your programs and services- everyone does it. You MUST connect with your prospects on an emotional level and earn their trust. Parents need the assurance that you believe in your product, and that you’re going to help them reach their goals. Combine this with the valuable insights gathered by marketing, and you’re set up for success. 

I’m often drawn to this quote that truly sums it up: “Despite the complexity of technology, selling is still relationship management. Buyers may prefer brands, but they reserve loyalty for people.” – Tom Reilly, Sales Expert and Trainer.