If you think about the word marketing, you might lump it with it’s better-looking cousin – sales – but how does marketing support a sales team? After all, sales and marketing go together perfectly, in theory and as a marketing freelancer, I know when it works well, it’s fantastic

Just like the cogs in a well-oiled machine, marketing can serve sales, sales can service marketing and we all can work together in harmony! (Sound the church bells and tweeting birds.)

However, in practice – the relationship can break down. So how can you blend the teams together and who owns what?

How does marketing support a sales team?

There are distinctions between the sales and marketing teams and their different needs which is one of the reasons why sales and marketing teams can butt heads!

Sales teams are driven by sales and KPIs towards driving immediate sales, yesterday!

On the other hand, marketing often has to work in both the realm of marketing to drive sales and leads, but also in the world of brand awareness.

The ideal situation is where marketing is filling the funnel with leads, starting with awareness, moving to consideration. Conversion is where sales steps in.

Marketing Funnel

Brand awareness vs Marketing vs Sales

I like this graphic to explain the three areas and just how connected sales and marketing are. We start here – at branding, with brand awareness, we then move onto the meat of marketing- and then sales steps in.

Branding in marketing

Step 1: Brand awareness

How does marketing support a sales team with branding?

Brand awareness could be everything from the PR to your business logo, the perception of your business in the outside world and what your brand stands for. It’s your logo, your voice, the content you have, your messaging. II people don’t know anything about you, they aren’t going to buy anything from you. It is the foundation of everything you do as a company as it puts you in a position to build and deliver sales.

Branding is the part of marketing that is around persuasion, and this actually isn’t all about sales, it is to drive a connection between a business and a consumer.

People who may purchase need to know who and what before they even take on board any marketing messaging.

Branding explains the who and what. 

This could include a number of things that also fall into the ‘meat’ of marketing, such as:

  • Referral programmes and partnerships
  • Media spend
  • Traditional advertising (TV, radio, print)
  • Social media
  • Online ads
  • Viral marketing
  • Influencer marketing

This article from Forbes covers branding in more depth. 

Step 2: Marketing

Branding in marketing

We then move onto the ‘brain’ of marketing or the meat!  This is where your marketing team or freelance marketing lady will look to help potential customers and existing customers to find the answers they are looking for, to stay a customer and to stay engaged.

Side note: If you have ever wondered ‘what does a marketing person do‘? this will help!

For potential customers, this is the questions like –  where, why and when – where do they buy, why should they buy, is it time limited? Can they wait? Why not?

It is in this general ‘marketing’ territory where the key is to help drive people are moving into the consideration phase towards a sale.  A marketing team (or freelance marketing consultant!) helps to answer these questions with the right message at the right time in the right place.

This could be through

  • Email marketing
  • Seminars and events
  • Direct mail and leafleting
  • Social media management
  • Content creation – whitepapers, guides, documents, PDF’s
  • Onboarding / Training

Customers and prospects are all over the shop. Some are on email, some hate it. Some are active on LinkedIn. Some read trade papers and websites, some take notice of influencers.

A marketing team has to divide their spend between the brand awareness, the marketing message and campaigns, as well as paying attention towards loyalty and advocacy.

Great marketing drives people through the ‘funnel’ of awareness towards being a long term loyal customer and advocate.  Marketing is all about supporting a sales team, or a sales process in order to generate business, attract and retain customers and to encourage them to take action.

Step 3: Sales

Marketing needs a sale. Marketing can support a sales team in a variety of ways with all the tools mentioned. But how do they know what sales need?  The first step is always to speak to the sales team. They will typically have a huge list of requests for ‘essential’ tools they need. PDFs, brochures, freebies, events – there are plenty of things sales teams would like. But what does marketing serve up a sales team? Typically, this could be any of the aforementioned items but with a keen eye on the areas that can really add value and a reason why.

Marketing will have their own plan, budget and objectives and every company will have constraints on what’s possible. By sitting with the sales counterpart, the plan should be flexed to pick up the sales teams’ needs.

The marketing team will also have the option of requesting a budget from a sales team to support particular initiatives.

How does marketing work with sales?

I hope this has helped you see the day in the life of a marketing team and that you understand how marketing has a large task ahead of them!

As a marketing manager that’s now a freelance marketing consultant, I love sales teams. I love how salespeople are direct and know what they want, when they want it. A great relationship between the two teams can have an incredible impact on your business, it’s all about getting to understand each other.

Need freelance marketing support?

I can help with marketing strategy, digital marketing or copywriting as well as marketing services to support sales.  If you need hands on, trusted outsourced support, I’d love to help you. Get in touch today.