In business to business companies, there can be a fine line between sales and marketing. And in our work with small and medium sized B2B companies, the sales function is often well established while marketing is the long forgotten cousin.
When we first begin working with clients, phase 1 of our engagement begins with the development of a marketing strategy and tactical plan. Part of our process involves meetings with the sales team to understand the existing sales process, discuss their perspectives on target markets and opportunities and provide a platform for gaining insight into their needs and wants from marketing. This first step involves the sales team at the outset, lets them know the organization is working towards a marketing solution and allows them to share their perspectives, insights and overall needs.
The second step is to share the marketing plan with the sales team once it’s completed. Doing so provides sales with an understanding of what marketing activities will take place, how those activities support the sales process and they can see that the perspectives and marketing needs they shared have been played a role in the development of the plan.
As we move into marketing implementation, the third and final step of our process takes place. And that is to coordinate and facilitate an official marketing kick-off meeting whereby management, the sales team and other key staff are brought in to review immediate priorities, discuss marketing processes and ignite an ongoing dialogue between sales and marketing. Moving forward, this often takes the form of bi-weekly if not weekly meetings to review action items, metrics and collaborate on new opportunities and customer needs.
As marketers, our job is to support the company in securing more revenues. This happens by raising awareness of the company, by enhancing perception of its brand, by generating leads and supporting the sales process. We work to fill the sales pipeline with qualified leads that sales can nurture into a closed deal. Each function has a specific role to fill, yet relies heavily on the other for the full process to be successful. By working closely together from the beginning, we foster a stronger relationship, create a stronger plan and ultimately generate stronger returns.
If you’d like more information on how to integrate your B2B sales and marketing activities, give us a call at 416-598-4684 and speak with Lisa Shepherd.