You can teach sales to do marketing.
You can't teach marketing to do sales. Perhaps that is why you will have a hard time finding a college program that offers a sales degree. Most sales people have learned on their feet, in real life, not behind the pages of a book.
What is the importance of marketing to sales in the 21st century?
Enablement. Service. Support. That's right, marketing exists to serve sales. Marketing will never be good enough for sales to become unnecessary. Not only that, marketing will only be as good as the information they get from sales.
The job of sales is to get inside the mindset of their buyer and understand if and how they add value. While we are on the subject, let me stress this point.
If they can't add value, it is the sales person's job, DUTY, to say what they say on my favorite TV show of late.
"As painful as this is for me to say, there are others that will be more beneficial to you. I can't add value. I'm out."
Another thing I hear a lot on the 'Shark Tank'? "What are your sales?" "How much have you sold?" Not once have I heard an investor on the show say, "How many page views do you have? How many inbound links? How good is your marketing?" When I have heard an entreprenuer talk about marketing, or being on the first page of Google, or having thousands of Facebook fans the response has been, "So what? I can find a dozen guys who can do that."
Why? Because marketing doesn't effect the bottomline the way sales does. The biggest problem with marketing today isn't that they don't look at the numbers. It is that they aren't looking at the right numbers. Sales is ROI. Nothing else.
Internet Marketing Coaching for Sales
Does this mean all you need are sales people? Well, maybe. But that branding isn't important? That research is useless? No, the best coaches have a game plan and oversee that that the plan is carried out. Someone needs to be the glue that ties all the different pieces together.
But can your B2B sales team carry out your sales and marketing strategy?
Can they be trained to develop the realtionships that turn prospects into customer evangelists?
Are they able to feed marketing with the relevant feedback needed to create remarkable content?
Do they know how to approach prospects using Sales 2.0 tools?
Should you invest more in marketing, or even Smarketing without knowing the answer to those questions?
Start with the end in mind. Sales. That is where the best marketing will happen. Marketing is energized by sales. Business' don't fail for lack of marketing. They fail because of a lack of sales.