Identifying the market, positioning the products properly, targeting the right prospects, converting them to customers and into loyal customers, and generating sufficient revenue from those customers are all important part of marketing and sales cycle. There must be separate budget and strategies for both marketing and sales if a small business wants to survive in today’s competitive business world.
It does not matter whether the enterprise is a B2B or B2C or both. Marketing and sales are both integral parts of a business process. Therefore, a small business should have a strong marketing team to identify the audience for the products, understand their needs and articulate the information regarding the prospects to sales team. Sales process is all about deal closures. That is for a business to be a success, the marketing and sales teams should work in tandem with each other. Also, a small business should seriously consider integrating a CRM system that is suitable for the business with the existing system to make it easier for both marketing and sales teams.
The business strategies should be such that it should know when to focus on sales and when to emphasize on marketing. An entrepreneur should be aware of the fact that marketing and sales are two different processes.
Marketing principles are dynamic while principles of sales remain traditional- With the advent of Internet and the social platforms, the businesses formulated strategies for digital marketing by optimizing their websites, email campaigns, business accounts in Facebook, sharing company videos in the video platforms such as YouTube, blogging, using influencers, following the conversation of the prospects and also conversing directly with the customers.
however, the sales cycle has remained the same for decades. The sales rep contacts the warm leads, takes them through the entire sales cycle, starting from making them understand the importance of the product and how it can be useful for them and finally closing the deal. However, the sales rep has to understand the attitude of the prospects.
Today’s customers are informative about the products as they also do their bit of research before making a purchasing. If the company has e-commerce site or if the products are enlisted in one of the popular e-commerce site, the customers will by-pass the sales people and purchase them over the Internet.
This is where the sales team have to work closely with the marketing team to meet the challenges thrown to them by the modern customers.
Identifying target market- If a small business is introducing a new product/service in the market, and for it become a success it has to reach the right people. That is a brand awareness has to be created and it has to be done by the marketing team. They have to identify the target market, the customer segment and also create methods to gauge the preferences and tastes of the prospects.
Today, there are many digital platforms through which the businesses can create brand awareness and to introduce new products/services. Tapping the power of social media channels such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so on will help the marketing team to position the products and also have direct contact with the customers.
Experts opine that SMEs should make efforts to concentrate on one segment of the business instead of focusing on many things at the same time. This will make it simpler to create awareness among the prospects in the market that have been identified by the business. Designing marketing strategies around the target market also becomes easier.
Keeping the pipeline healthy – Though this is associated with sales, the task of initiating prospecting is the responsibility of the marketing team. In brief, marketing team has to work towards finding the audience and creating brand awareness through marketing campaigns, advertising, emails and networking. It’s the responsibility of the marketing team to incorporate various marketing tactics to find new prospects, nurture them and finally convert them into qualified warm leads and articulate the data to the sales team. Once the warm leads are in the hands of the sales representatives, the process of sales cycle is initiated to close the deal.
Customer feedback and regular correspondence via emails, newsletters and survey are the responsibility of the marketing team. Marketing team is also in charge of the customer service team. They have to educate the Customer Service Representatives(CSR) about the offerings and also train them on the soft skills on how to handle the prospects and customers.
Understanding how and when to sell and market can be challenging at the initial stages of a boot strap. However, things become simpler and easier to manage when a small business owner understands that marketing is all about focusing on creating awareness, positioning and branding while sales emphasizes on customer handling and deal closures.