What came first – marketing or sales? Not that it ever really mattered, but the two are certainly becoming more of a conglomeration. In fact, David Meerman Scott predicted an emerging trend for 2015 in an article called “Digital Marketing Trends” on Toprankblog.com. He stated, “The best organizations will not run marketing and sales as separate ‘departments’ but will merge the two functions into one customer facing organization focused on revenue generation.” What does this mean for marketing and sales departments?
For corporate marketing departments, sales teams and ad agencies, this means more teamwork, more opinions to consider and more approvals. It’s not all bad though; it also means a tighter, more targeted message that changes depending on the customer and marketing tools built with specific input from those who will use them. Apple is the perfect example of this integration gone right. Sales and marketing make up a department called “Worldwide Marketing”, headed by Phil Schiller (you know, the guy who introduces all the new Apple products at their events). It’s the whole “make great products and they’ll sell themselves” concept, and Apple has done it successfully for years.
We’ve already seen this conglomerative approach in the more traditional sense at tradeshows. With the sales team on the show floor, they generally give input, convey their needs and include the marketing team in their sales meeting planning up to, during and after the show. The marketing team and ad agencies are behind the scenes ensuring all events and displays are set up and running smoothly. The teams work together to be sure leads are gathered and distributed to the correct sales team member throughout the event.
As is generally the case with the digital age, we’ve taken it a step further. Automated marketing tools (our favorite being Marketo), integrates all of these processes and nurtures leads at their own pace straight through the buying cycle and into the hands of the sales team. Not only are these leads delivered directly into the email inboxes of the sales team, they’re also more often deemed “good leads” by the sales team. This is where the conglomerative approach in the digital age outdoes that of the traditional approach at tradeshows. It doesn’t get much more integrated than this.
Until you see these automated tools in action, it’s hard to truly understand the power they possess. To learn more about Marketo and get a better understanding of the convergence of marketing and sales, read Jamie’s case study on Marketo.