The Pitchers: Sales
Let’s say you have a new baseball team in town and it’s almost time for the first game of the season. Your sales force is ready to sell a variety of package deals for the season. However, there’s a major stumbling block as they prepare to approach potential buyers. No one knows about the package deals or even the date of the first game.
No one tipped the local sports writer or the local TV news of the upcoming grand opening game. What happened to the marketing department? There’s no marketing research, no publicity, and no idea where to begin targeting sales. Sales will flop and will make the sales department look bad, but it’s marketing’s fault since they didn’t do their job.
The Batters: Marketing
Let’s switch and see things from the marketing team’s view. They do a grand job of posting banners of the first game in town. Marketing has pulled together piles of reports with data on the audience, their baseball attending habits, and game spending habits. Many people arrive for the game opener, buy a ticket for the game, and it’s successful.
Or is it really? The sales team is invisible. There is no one to build a relationship with the fans. No one has sold them packages for attending more than just the opener. Sales could go far beyond than one game. They could even help build relationships that go beyond the season. Marketing did a great job, but with poor sales the team may not make it and everyone loses. Where was sales when marketing promoted the event?
Who gets the credit? Who gets the blame? In the war for profitable bottom line, turf issues should be put aside.
Who’s on First?
Marketing and sales play for the same team in different positions. Marketing leads to sales by creating programs focused on direct marketing principles that are tied to the sales team’s success. Marketing puts together a multi-step game plan to ensure each interaction with prospective fans lead to more and deeper interactions. Using shared business goals as a driver, the two work to meet those goals.
Marketing and sales should constantly communicate with each other to ensure effective timing, clear understanding of the company’s message, and smoother handoffs. Sales can determine the target market by evaluating current and past sales. The results help marketing professionals sharpen their pitch so they can hook the right people.