Think about it, you can’t engage in sales without marketing and without marketing you would not generate prospects or leads. Then again, without exceptional sales training and techniques — your closure rate is bound to be at an all-time low.

In our experience, marketing is everything you do to reach and persuade potential and existing customers to buy your products or services. The sales process is everything you do to secure a contract or an agreed upon scope of work. Both business methodologies are like a marriage. There is a “dance” that needs to be played to keep balance and to secure a successful outcome. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience business growth and increased marketshare. Balance is the key, once you start to fragment, the ability to win contracts and increase business will certainly fall short of your expectations and your employers.

Your marketing objective should consist of the measures you use to reach and persuade your prospects that your product or service is something they need or want, it creates an emotional appeal in the mind of the consumer. It’s the marketing message that prepares the prospect for the sales portion of the business. Marketing consists of several marketing tactics, but integrated marketing is the backbone that creates sales success such as: advertising, public relations, brand marketing, community marketing, viral marketing, merchandising, promotion and direct mail. Each method of communication when combined generates the highest return on investment, and most likely will generate the highest number of leads.

The sales process, on the other hand consists of interpersonal interaction. A sale is generally conducted by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It consists of anything that engages you and your prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance.

Therefore, your marketing efforts begin the process of the engagement, and your sales savvy generates the prospect or potential client to the closing of the sale. So when the “dance” is executed and if your marketing campaign is effective you’ll begin to move that prospect from a cold lead to a very warm prospect. And, as we all know in sales, when the prospects enters the “warm” phase of the sales process it’s much easier for a professional to close the deal.

Some ideas on how to integrate marketing into the sales process would be to create a database, which you should already have, and then separate the database by target market and simply identify if they are a hot lead or cold. Next start to strategize on how to reach each individual market, think about how they access information, what they read, hear, do they belong to health clubs, where do they shop, what kind of car do they drive? This is called profiling a customer. Each target audience may be slightly different depending on where they are in their lives, and what is important to them based on necessity or quality of life measures. After the profile has been identified you should consider creating a marketing plan based on target audience, budget and expected return on investment with a timeframe you can live with. Then comes the fun part — generating business, making the pitch and then closing the sale!

Lastly, if you happen to be an excellent salesperson but lack skills in the marketing arena or if you are a professional and talented marketer but your core assets are not about closing the deal, we suggest you create a partnership that will leverage both skill sets either through subcontracting, or hiring the right talent to create the balance that will be a three point win, for the marketer, sales person and of course the customer.

Balance is the key, so evaluate your strengths and then plan for the future to not just survive in your career but to thrive!

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