Marketing and sales are perhaps the most critical functions in an organization, as it is hard to imagine an organization surviving without enough revenue. Marketing and sales are commercial functions with many business processes to stimulate demand and sell goods and services targeting a specific audience.
Marketing and sales go hand in hand, but marketing is very strategic in nature, and the best marketing strategies are those helping organizations succeed in the short and long term. On the other hand, as selling may seem more straightforward to some people, such simplicity is deceptive. We have seen organizations surviving by focusing entirely on sales, but both are a must for a sustainable healthy business.
What is involved in designing a strategic marketing and sales function?
As general business concepts, marketing and sales activities have been well studied over the past as companies have been doing that for hundreds of years. However, doing such an old practice successfully requires carefully crafted strategies based on its type and business strategy. The marketing and sales strategy an organization needs would depend on its type of business influenced by what we call marketing-driven vs. sales-driven organizations. Disregarding the type of business, most organizations need both, and they have to align them together to achieve the desired commercial goals of the organization.
Contrary to what many clever salespeople may assume, selling and marketing today is a pure field of science. Even if your organization has the most talented sales personnel, proper techniques, frameworks, and tools can take your organization to the next level. The underlying principles of marketing and sales are as broad as the field of organization design. To illustrate that, let's list the essential concepts and theories your organization should at least be familiar with while designing a marketing and sales function strategy. The below list is comprehensive but even not complete:
4-P's of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.
Porter's five forces: Threat of new entrants, bargaining power of suppliers, burgeoning power of buyers, the threat of substitute products.
Breakeven point theory
Porter's Value chain modeling
Value net model: Company, competitors, customers, complementors, suppliers
Supply and demand
Action research AND PESTEL analysis
Our approach to effective marketing and sales functions
we have invested a lot of time and resources over the years and witnessed the progression of customer behavior influenced by primarily the Internet and social networks. We developed a methodology and guidelines for using tools to help organizations transform the way they do commercials.
Disregarding what your business sells or your business model looks like B2B, B2C, B2G, or others, following the four-stage marketing methodology below is the key to success. The process applies to any business and has four stages:
Brand awareness: Brand awareness is the first stage in the customer lifecycle. It is about informing your prospects about your company's products and services. The entire branding domain of marketing belongs to this stage.
Customer engagement: Following the successful completion of brand awareness comes the customer engagement stage. This stage is about matching your business leads with your organization's products and services. The entire field of relationship marketing belongs here.
Customer convergence: This is the stage at which you sell to clients. In some businesses, this stage is entirely autonomous, and in others, it is done by competent sales personnel, including the top management team.
Customer retention: This is the last stage ignored by most organizations. A customer retention strategy, including loyalty rewards programs, is critical for the sustainability of the business.
How to achieve marketing and sales alignment?
Marketing and sales alignment is key to realizing the full potential of your marketing and sales teams. Our marketing methodology covers setting up the required processes and procedures to achieve that. The below typical sales funnel shows the responsibilities of both sales and marketing functions and a short description of each stage:
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the automation of the four stages of the customer lifecycle by using a marketing automation platform and digital marketing tools. Organizations today strive to automate their marketing function, as that would mean an intelligent commercial function in operation just 24/7. Automating marketing and sales requires establishing a marketing machine, a set of processes and tools that takes prospects as input and converts them into delighted customers. Essential parts of the machine are the marketing strategy and the tools. An integrated customer relationship magnet system (CRM) is required for smooth alignment between marketing and sales.
If you want to continue the above conversation and see how that applies to your business, don't hesitate to contact us.
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