Monday, March 5, 2012

Unblurring the Line Between Marketing & Sales

Today we have a guest blog from Elizabeth Andreini:

Recently I was talking with a CEO who wanted to increase his sales and grow revenue to expand his business. The CEO wasn’t sure whether he should focus additional resources on the Marketing or Sales departments, wanting to allocate his limited budget wherever the company would get the biggest “bang for its buck.”

Because marketing and sales are so intertwined during the customer acquisition process the line where one stops and the other starts isn’t always clear. One question to help answer the “sales or marketing” question above is:

Do you need to do a better job generating awareness or interest in your company and its products/services to find more (or better) prospects OR do you need more help closing the prospects you have or closing those interested prospects faster? 

The former is Marketing, the latter Sales.

Marketing works in a one-to-many manner with the whole target market with a longer term focus. Marketing broadcasts key messages and benefits about the company and the products/services being sold to create awareness and interest from the entire market to identify prospective customers.  These leads” get handed off from Marketing to Sales for the individual interactions required to turn them into customers.

Sales is the personalized one-on-one interaction required to build a relationship, understand the unique requirements a specific prospect has, and communicate the benefits and value gained by becoming a customer. (Sales also interacts with existing customers to buy more products or services.) Sales has a near term goal to close a deal or get a specific contract signed.

Marketing should be done in coordination and consultation with the specialized knowledge sales, customer service, product development and others have. And Sales should rely on the expertise Marketing has to create the sales tools needed to communicate key messages and get customers interested enough to ask for more information and engage sales directly. Regardless of your answer, both groups need to work together for you to really get the most “bang for your buck” and the best marketing and sales for your company.


As the President of Accelerate Marketing, LLC, Elizabeth Andreini, is the “secret weapon” CEOs turn to at key growth points when they need to transform marketing and product management and grow it to the next level critical for revenue and profitability. In addition to providing experienced executive insight and guidance, Elizabeth often comes in as an interim CMO or VP to provide the hands-on leadership needed to rearchitect marketing and product management and improve execution from the inside.

Elizabeth Andreini, founder & president of Accelerate Marketing, LLC. 
Accelerate Marketing, LLC
Twitter: @acceler8mkting