Why marketing never works without sales – and vice versa!
The perception of marketing and sales departments is persistent: The sales division earns the money that marketing generously throws out the window. Sounds familiar?? Fact is: marketing and sales are not competing business areas, and one is not generating money while the other is wasting it. Both are directly and firmly connected to each other - and that's a good thing!
The marketing and sales cycle:
At every point in the process, from developing a new product to selling it into retails stores to finally selling it out of those stores again, marketing and sales have to answer crucial questions and perform at their best. Both business areas have to do so in constant communication with each other to generate the best results. This becomes especially clear looking at the marketing and sales cycle for new product launches, where usually these 3 crucial steps take place:
1. Product development:
Marketing (and thus also sales) start with every new product long before the actually finished product is even available. For example, already when designing the right packaging, marketing questions such as the target group, but also sales topics such as "in which shelf will we be placed and who are our competitors" play a decisive role in product development. Product development in the food sector therefore not only requires input from production and marketing, but always from the sales perspective, too. As much as marketing might like to celebrate it´s great product and packaging design efforts, they would be nothing with some good input from the sales team.
2. Initiating sales talks:
Of course, this point is primarily the responsibility of the sales department. But even in this area, it quickly becomes clear that a sales talk without a good product, an appealing and target group-oriented developed packaging and an exciting sales folder can certainly only be half as good. Especially with new business relationships, an appealing presentation is extremely important in order to leave the right professional impression. Without that, any sales representative can be a great networker and negotiator, but will not come far without some great groundwork that can be professionally presented.
3. Creating attention:
When a product is ready and on the market, the necessary attention must be created quickly. But even though this is the classic task of marketing, you still need a view from the sales perspective to find the right approach. Because creating attention is not only important for the consumer, but also as an argument towards retail. Already before the first listing, the question will arise as to how a brand wants to ensure that its product sells on the shelf according to its expectations. Sales needs a convincing overview of how marketing generates attention in the target group and convinces shoppers to buy. Once the buyer is convinced of the plan, marketing of course have to keep up with the expectations and run in-store and other offline or online campaigns in order to convince consumers of the new product.
At the end of this 3-step-cycle there is of course no real "end", but a process to integrate what has been learned in the market into marketing and sales as valuable information and to adapt and optimize all measures accordingly.
This makes clear that marketing and sales are by no means competing areas, but are highly interwoven and can only work hand in hand to produce the best results and turnover - whether in a large corporation or a young start-up, the food industry or others, B2C or B2B or, last but not least, in order to sell a product or a service.