However, they can also be completely separate. For example, the sales department can find and research prospects on their own and reach out to them through cold calls and emails, moving them through to purchase. On the marketing side, if a product can be sold through online checkout and without a sales rep to guide the process, the marketing pipeline can exist on its own.
With a well-defined funnel, it’s much easier to define the roles and team sizes you need to move prospects efficiently through their purchase journey.
Sales and marketing roles and day-to-day tasks
The greatest difference between sales and marketing roles and activities comes from the processes that drive them.
Sales teams work on moving individual prospects through the sales pipeline day after day, while marketers focus on planning and executing campaigns and producing content and marketing assets.
Here are some examples of sales roles:
Regular sales activities include tracking deals, contacts and deal stages in a CRM, as well as setting (and planning for) sales targets. People in sales roles also measure and report on the results of their (and their team members’) sales activities. They look for the best prospects to focus on and nurture and remove unqualified leads from their pipeline.
Sales teams prospect, qualify, close and repeat day in, day out. Their team structure differs based on factors like company size and the sales process specific to their industry.
Roles and daily tasks can look dramatically different for marketing teams. Their roles will also depend on the company size, but also on the types of goals and projects the company focuses on. Here are some examples of roles:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) specialist
- Email marketing specialist
- Content marketing writer, editor or strategist
- Graphic designer
- Video marketing specialist
- Social media specialist
- Pay-per-click (PPC) specialist
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO) specialist
- Marketing analyst
- Director of marketing and/or chief marketing officer
- Digital marketing manager
- Social media marketing manager
A company may have multiple people in all of these roles or only a handful of people covering all bases. If there’s a massive budget just for paid advertising and the majority of growth comes from it, you could work with a paid advertising agency and only have a few in-house marketers to manage the rest.
The day-to-day activities of a marketing team involve the brainstorming, creation, execution and measurement of marketing campaigns across selected marketing channels.
Sales and marketing tools
Technology and tools help marketing and sales teams improve their processes.
Most sales teams rely on tools to keep track of the many activities they complete on a daily and weekly basis. Data entry, emailing, taking notes, scheduling calls, following up with leads, creating proposals – the list goes on. It would be near impossible to do this many sales activities well, and remember them all, without a tool.
Based on our State of Sales Report 2020-2021, reps that are happy with their sales tools are 12% more likely to consider themselves successful at their jobs and 18% more satisfied in their roles. That’s the power of tools that streamline, automate and simplify a rep’s day-to-day routine.
Here are some sales tools that make this possible:
- CRM. A tool like Pipedrive serves as a central hub for all lead and customer information, interactions, pipeline stages, templates and more (you can also use CRM for marketing purposes as well, to schedule and automate emails, track leads through the marketing funnel, assess the LTV (lifetime value) of MQLs and more)
- Sales enablement and engagement. A tool like Outreach.io gives you insights to optimize your sales outreach and cadence
- Meeting scheduling. Instead of the back-and-forth of asking and confirming the best times for a call, you can make this process short and easy with a tool like Pipedrive’s Scheduler
- Invoicing. Easily create invoices based on deals, people and organization details in your CRM
For high-performing sales reps and managers, CRM is the all-in-one platform to track sales activities, deals, transactions, as well as to forecast future sales performance. Other sales tools they choose will ideally integrate with the CRM.
Marketing teams build their tech stack based on the channels, platforms and strategies they’ve chosen and implemented. Their team size and budget are also important factors. If you’re a new startup, your marketing stack will look very different to a global business with hundreds of employees and a large marketing team.
Marketing tools can be sorted into these categories:
- Social media. Both social media platforms and tools that allow you to schedule social media posts
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Conduct keyword research, analyze competitor’s organic presence and track your SEO efforts
- Email marketing automation. With a tool like Mailigen, you can build email campaigns that are perfectly timed based on your lead’s behavior for maximum results
- Content creation. User-friendly tools that allow you to easily create on-brand visuals
- Video marketing. Platforms that let you host videos for your landing pages and email campaigns
- Website traffic analysis. Analytics platforms that help you understand what your visitors are looking for and interact with the most
- Online advertising. Tools you can use to run paid advertising campaigns on search and social
For marketing and sales teams that are aligned, CRM is an ideal way to track contacts all the way from lead through to customer and beyond. While marketers may not directly use a CRM, many of the tools they use to nurture their audience can integrate with it. This gives sales teams insight into all the interactions a lead went through before it was assigned to them.
How can marketing and sales work together?
As you can see, sales and marketing share many common goals. It’s a no-brainer that aligning your sales and marketing teams and operations (also called smarketing) can have a huge impact on your business growth and bottom line.
The CMO’s Agenda report by Aberdeen Group uncovered that 74% of the best-in-class organizations have strong or complete marketing and sales alignment. These top companies work more efficiently, generate more revenue and retain more customers.
Marketing and sales alignment means you’re taking into account the way your potential customers look for solutions.
More than 70% of B2B buyers fully define their needs before engaging with a sales rep. If you wait for them to talk to your sales reps and you don’t have marketing to cover the period before they do, you may lose them to your competitors.
Here are the best ways to align your marketing and sales for maximum impact.
Get marketing to share their audience research with sales
Your marketing team spends a lot of time on market research and building out ideal customer profiles (ICPs), getting to understand the interests, behaviors, preferences and background of your target audience. While your sales team certainly knows how the solutions they sell can help their prospects, they may not have a granular understanding of why that’s the case.
This is why it’s useful to have your marketing team regularly share their audience research with sales. Just as they should be continuously updating their data about an ideal customer, they should update sales reps about these changes.
Data that will be useful to your sales team includes:
- Age, location, time zone and language
- Purchase patterns
- Decision-makers, revenue and size of business
- Online behavior, such as social media shares and words they use to talk about the industry/topics you specialize in
This way, sales reps can tailor their messages and outreach to the right person at the right time.