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September 22 2019.
Where does the Marketing stop?

In many organisations I come across, sales force & marketing are always at war - with disastrous results. As a rule they are a separate key functions & are expected to work together.

When sales are down, marketing blames poor execution of a brilliantly thought marketing strategy. Sales team in turn claims, Marketing sets prices too high or promotional activities resulting in 'bad quality' enquiries. Sales tend to believe marketing is out of touch with whats' going on in customers premises. Marketing feels sales is too narrow focused on individual customer feedback & blind to a larger market sector.

One should recognise the distinct role of marketing, especially the small organisations. They do not have separate marketing department at all ! Their marketing ideas come from managers, field sales & advertising agencies (!). They equate (confuse) marketing with selling & do not recognise the need of marketing to position their organisation in the minds of decision makers.

However, where ever sales & marketing are in sync with each other (& of course the market ! )there is a substantial improvement in sales cycles getting shorter,improvement in quality of sales enquiries, reduced cost of sales etc. One of the reason for this disconnect, arises out of lack of clarity- where does marketing stops & sales starts.

let's look at the classic customer acquisition process. The following chart explains how Marketing & Sales influence's the customer's decision to buy.

Market awareness.
Brand awareness.
Brand consideration.
Brand preference.
Purchase intention.
Order closing .
Customer loyalty.
Customer delight.

Marketing is involved in the first four steps, by developing the brand, marketing strategies to generate quality enquiries, educating the decision makers about the organisation's capabilities. It is expected to be focused on strategic activities & resist from entering into individual sales opportunity.

Sales group is expected to be responsible for the last 4 steps. Typically, sales group would work on its 'funnel' for the sales task that need to be done during its first two stages.(Funnel has: prospecting,defining needs,proposal,negotiation & order closing.)

I have often found due to lack of clarity, there is marketing function inside Sales & a Sales function inside marketing ! It results in waste of precious resources - time & money, apart from employee dissatisfaction (or should I say unrest !).




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