In the home care arena, we often call the sales function of the job "marketing". That stems from a long term belief that "sales" is bad, and "marketing" is somehow less bad. Ask any successful company if "sales" is bad and they'd probably laugh you out of the front door. Sales is the key component to growth, closely followed by a strong and well formed marketing plan.
So, how can these two titans of business development work together? Relatively simply actually.
Your marketing effort should whenever possible, precede your sales effort, yet give the same themes and messages that your sales department does when making sales calls.
In essence, marketing sets the tone for future sales calls by softening prospects up to your sales message.
Think about Geico Insurance, for instance. "15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance". That's a powerful marketing message. It's short, memorable, and gives a soft promise of savings. When you visit Geico's website or talk to a representative, you'll hear things like "Let's see how much we can save you". In this case, the marketing message brings you to their front door, and the sales message opens that door for you. You should be doing the same. Geico doesn't talk about customer service, or the number of offices they have, or how long it takes to file a claim. They have found their marketing message and they drive it home at every opportunity.
I've worked with many clients in the past who used marketing messages that were completely removed from what their sales team was saying in the field. Not only is that ineffective, but it can create confusion on the part of the prospect as to what your agency does, and stands for.
As in sales, the simpler and more straightforward the message, the better and more memorable it is. When we train sales teams, we work with them to create one selling message per sales call. More is definitely not better. The same goes for your marketing message. Make it strong, make it easy to understand, make it impactful...and then stick with it.
The best way to evaluate how well your sales & marketing programs work together is to lay them out together and see if they align. Does it seem like one agency, one message, one goal? Or does it look like a jumble of messages and calls to action? If it's the latter, you will probably find that you're doing a lot of calling, but receiving little action.
Neither a sales team, nor a great marketing effort is inexpensive...so it pays to make sure you're getting maximum value from every dollar invested. Clean up your messaging and watch your results improve.
Good Selling! (and marketing)