At the outset, marketing and sales appear to be the two faces of the same coin, whereas in actual realty these are two different coins altogether. While marketing comprises certain forms of strategies, such as inbound marketing, outbound marketing, social media marketing, etc, in the absence of a good sales technique such strategies often end up in a fiasco. In other words, marketing and sales should both work hand-in-hand for the development of a business enterprise, even though their approach could be different.
However, the issues will become more evident if we analyze the roles played by Marketing and Sales Managers of a company respectively.
The role of the Marketing Manager
Depending on the type of business and its size as also financial capacity, the responsibility of marketing may be placed on a single person (Marketing Manager) or a team. Incidentally, one should bear in mind that the role of a Marketing Manager is never as crucial as that of the Sales Manager, despite the fact that without effective marketing efforts, sales will drop, resulting in bankruptcy and ruination.
Nevertheless, the responsibility of a Marketing Manger includes the following.
- Market research – Market research is most crucial towards achieving progress in marketing any product or services. It includes a thorough knowledge about the company’s customer base as also their interaction with the company. It is also a process through which one can get an overview of consumers’ wants, needs, habits and beliefs. The research is conducted too to determine how a product could be marketed. According to renowned management consultant, market research is the quintessence of marketing.
- Development of marketing strategy – Marketing strategy forms the core of a company’s marketing plan. Apart from involving outsiders, it provides direction for all relevant members of a company and is referred to and updated very frequently. This helps create a comprehensive marketing strategy where cooperation from all makes it perfect for launching any product or services.
- Customer Relationship management (CRM) – CRM entails the process of communicating with customers (old, new and prospective) through sundry stages of the purchasing process. CRM is also considered as a business strategy that enables businesses to improve in a number of areas, such as:
i. Understanding the needs of the customer
ii. Retaining customers through better UX
iii. Attracting new customers
iv. Winning new clients and contracts
v. Increasing profitability
vi. Cutting down customer management costs
- Managing sundry Agencies – Apart from websites that do a lot of promotional work, businesses often are in need of a wide variety of promotional items in the form of brochures and other printed materials for distribution, etc. Small businesses that do not afford to have in-house department for executing such jobs often get these done by outside agencies. Efficient Marketing Managers supervises these agencies to get the desired items in terms of quality and time frame.
The role of the Sales Manager
A Sales Manager, on the other hand, plays a direct role in the success or failure of a business enterprise. He or she (though this challenging post is usually held by the tougher sex) is the one who plays a pivotal role in achieving the sales target which in turn generates the revenue for the company the person works for.
However, a sales manager must have clear conception about his duties and responsibilities that include the following.
- The sales manger of a company is solely responsible for meeting the sales target of the company through effective manipulation (ethical).
- A sales manager usually works as the head of sales team where each member of the team contributes towards achieving the goals and objectives set by the Sales Manager. A good sales manager therefore must have the skill to measure the potential of each member of his team and allocate goals accordingly.
- A sales manager should be able to device techniques needed for achieving sales targets. At the same time, he has to draw up a routine for day-to-day activities for the team members.
- It is very much within the responsibility of the sales manager to size up potential customers and generate leads for the company.
- A sales manager is responsible for Brand Promotion too. In the process, he should leave no stone unturned to make the product popular amongst consumers.
- Motivating team members (sales team) towards reaching higher sales should be his effective mantra 24 x 7 x 365. This may include offering lucrative incentives and other monetary benefits for team members who achieve outstanding results. Along with financial benefits, there should also be appreciation for good work done. A pat in the back often works better than dollars in the pocket.
Even though marketing and sales are two different issues that will be evident from the job description of marketing and sales mangers given above, there is one factor where sales and marketing personnel converge together. Alike his marketing counterpart, a sales manager is also responsible for maintaining and improving client relationship, albeit KRA style and not CRM. Incidentally, KRA or Key Result Area is a strategic factor, either internal or external to the business where positive results are realized for the business to achieve strategic goal(s).