Connecting the dots between sales and marketing

We work with many clients to help develop their sales strategies, developing a plan that gives them a competitive advantage. But this doesn’t mean just looking at sales solely as a function.

Generally, organisations tend to be either ‘sales led’ or ‘marketing led’, which means they base the direction and strategy of the business on the desired discipline. However, if businesses are marketing led, they can’t just rely on new logo designs, packaging or TV advertising to drive sales of a brand; and likewise, if they are sales led, they can’t rely on price promotions to take market share. Businesses that are both ‘sales and marketing’ led are those that look at the broader holistic view of the marketplace, and together they are able to devise a strategy that works for their customers, shoppers, brand and consumers.

We call this a through the line (TTL) approach. Through the line strategy is a hybrid that harnesses both a sales and marketing approach. It is not just above the line (ATL) such as TV advertising or just below the line (BTL) such as display in store, but employs the best of both the techniques in order to achieve improved results, as marketing campaigns are developed with the vision of brand building as well as the conversion. It therefore drives sales and marketing teams to think about all the touch points with consumers/shoppers and ensures consistency of messaging, brand identity and experiences that both customers and shoppers/consumers have with the brand.

For example, point of sale in store should reflect key messaging and imagery that was shown on a TV ad. This provides association for consumers/shoppers as they recognise the branding and have affinity with it, which in turn leads to more sales.

Of course, there is more to consider than just whether the branding and messaging is consistent in a TTL approach (which is the marketers’ expertise), but also how it is executed in store – the salesperson’s expertise. It is paramount that the salesperson knows their customer: what works in store, the shopper demographic, what is an effective pricing/promotion strategy, the best way to sell to the buyer. This is when a TTL approach is at its optimum. Sales and Marketing, working in collaboration, but also recognising where expertise lies. Marketing – brand strategy; Sales – selling strategy! All to often, we see brand teams developing the selling deck for customer teams to take to buyers, despite them not being the sales expert! Brand teams should absolutely provide imagery, core messages and product, but the selling proposition should be owned by the sales lead to tailor the proposition to the buyer and the retailer. This way, you are more likely to get the sale.

So, work in unison fellow brand marketers and sales teams, go create a sustainable brand and identity that rewards you, your customer, the shopper and the consumer.

If you want your organisation to have a more ‘through the line’ approach, get in touch as we can help you with connecting the dots
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