Sellers will tell for the marketing department that they have been opulently wasteful, that they reside too much time in the office and thus have no contact with the real world – the clients. At the same time, the sales sector would like to say for them that they are those who directly bring income, or “food to the table”, i.e. that they make contributions to the whole company. The marketing department will respond to their sales colleagues’ with an objection that marketing means looking from a strategic perspective, and its market analysis will be justified by better recognition and fulfillment of wishes and needs of their consumers. The sales sector is viewed as overwhelming and imprudent megalomaniacs.
On the one hand, we can say that both are right and wrong at the same time, but what has been already well – known truth in the development of their relationships is neglected by the fact that both of these sectors are ultimately pursuing the same goal: better results of the whole company.
According to the research results, the achieved above average results are realised by companies that have structurally integrated marketing and sales sectors with annual revenue growth of up to 20%, for which even colleagues from the sales department will confirm it’s a very high percentage. Here, we are talking about a situation where marketing and sales boundaries becomes almost invisible, but if a company comes to that development stage it first must go through three more stages. Small businesses / companies initially do not have formally marketing but marketing ideas that comes from sales staff, managers, or agencies. When a small company starts to grow and has become successful, it usually launch their marketing person who chooses the best markets and channels, determines potential customer motives, coordinates advertising with agencies, promotes promotions, sends direct e – mails, and is engaged in trade events. At this stage, the link between marketing and sales is usually undefined; the two functions grow separately and are occupied by their own tasks. During further company development, the link between these two functions begins to be defined in the sense of knowing who is doing what, and they begin to build a common language and look after overlapping.
However, every big and successful company has its own marketing department engaged in marketing mix, segmentation, targeting and positioning. They are developing long – term strategies, although they prefer to rather develop brands then products – they are independently taking on a broad range of marketing actions. At this stage of development marketing and sales functions becomes structured, flexible, but with clear boundaries between sales and marketing. Sales will understand and use marketing terminology, and marketing will recognize a major and significant role of the sales department.
However, we still cannot talk about integrated connection related to these two functions as long as the boundaries has become completely blurred, the development and implementation have become a common matter, and the culture emphasized by common growth and decline factors. This primarily means open communication and closed loop reporting, the use of shared databases (I have never known why colleagues from the same company would hide the databases, but it happens very often), joint planning, developed monitoring and management system for the joint activities.
This is a step forward, and alignment with today’s requirements would be the integration of the IT sector into the indicated equation. IT staff are often underestimated in the business environment and treated as technical executives, but only they can help find some new, crucial or simpler solutions. Therefore, by including the developers into the “revenue office”, the title can be changed to SMARKETING IT.
The 5 integrations steps:
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