Defining Sales vs Marketing with Your Sales Funnel

by | Sep 19, 2020 | Blog, Marketing from the C-Suite

Understanding your Sales Funnel is critical to scaling your business. One of the most often-asked questions from business owners is “What’s the difference between Sales and Marketing?” Google returns 782,000,000 results in 0.75 seconds. Your results may differ.

Your answer to the question may differ, too. Think about what it takes to attract a prospect and make a sale in your business. Let’s call this your “sales funnel”.

Understanding the shape and size of your sales funnel

All funnels are not the same. However, the purpose of every funnel is to capture input and guide it toward a focused destination. For example, some funnels are quite wide at the top. This allows for a huge volume of input coming from a large number of directions. Narrow tops require greater precision.

The area inside the funnel contains the people you can sell to. Prospects inside your funnel fit your criteria while those outside do not. A wide funnel top means that the size of your target market is quite large because many prospects fit your criteria. Your funnel may or may not be full of prospects.

Moving toward the point of sale

Your focused destination at the bottom of your sales funnel is the point of purchase. This is where the customer pays your price and you deliver the goods. The key is that the point of purchase is just that…a single point.  Sales cannot be made until the prospect has moved down through the funnel to the point of sale.

Some funnels are quite short. Other funnels are longer. However, as the funnel narrows toward the bottom, qualified prospects move closer to the point of sale.

Your sales team operates at the point of sale. The size of the bottom relative to the size of the top of your sales funnel correlates to the number of people in Sales to the number of individuals entering your target market at the top.

Regardless, the point of sale doesn’t change, and ultimately, it is a 1:1 experience. It’s always one person making one purchase decision or signing on the dotted line. Likewise, it’s always one person taking the call or accepting the sales commission.

Reaching the audience to make the sales

Once you understand your sales funnel, you’ll need to understand your sales team. The question to consider is how far up the funnel can your sales team reach in order to bring the prospect down to the point of sale?

Marketing is everything above the point in the funnel that Sales cannot reach.

If Sales is able attract enough prospects into the funnel and down to the point of sale to meet your production capacity, then you truly may not need marketing to maintain your business. However, that is rarely enough. Markets change and businesses seek to scale rather than simply stay the same.

Marketing qualified leads move to the point of sale faster

Marketing is the force that brings your audience into the funnel and encourages them to move lower until they can enter a relationship with Sales. These are often called marketing qualified leads because they fit all of our market qualifications for desirable sales conversations.

The goal for Marketing isn’t necessarily to make the sale. Marketing’s job is move the lead as far down the funnel as far as possible so Sales is best positioned to close the deal.  An effective Marketing team can exponentially increase the capacity and efficiency of the Sales team, and it takes that teamwork to drive growth.

Think About Marketing

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