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Are You Marketing-Focused or Sales-Focused?

By: Guest | January 5, 2012 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by Rich Burghgraef.

If you were to sit in on one of our internal meetings at Randolph Sterling, Inc. you would more than likely hear someone on my team ask me to provide more content for our blogs, social media, and other marketing efforts.

I don’t have a problem sharing my ideas and I enjoy writing. The problem is making the time to do it.

I run a sales company and as such I am sales-focused. When I think of the time it takes for me to write an article or to discuss the website, my first thought is, “How many sales calls could I have made in that time and would that have been more productive?”

I am not in the minority with this thinking…I may not be completely correct, but I’m not alone.

For the first five or so years of my business’s existence, our ideal prospects were other sales-focused companies. Usually we were brought in to help with sales issues such as covering an open territory while they hired a replacement, handling the “top of the sales funnel” while the in-house team focused on the leads, or assisting simply in cleaning out their databases.

This was, and is, great business for us, but we noticed these firms, much like us, did not place as much value in marketing as they should. Sometimes just cold calling or dialing for dollars does not allow us to reach every decision maker. Therefore, we often suggest they also invest in marketing programs, even if it means just helping them connect to prospects on LinkedIn.

Conversely, we had a tough time working with marketing-focused clients. These were companies who I lovingly refer to as “if you build it, they will come” prospects. Most of their budget would go to developing inbound marketing programs through social media and SEO, designed for their prospects to find them. Like sales-focused companies, these companies are missing opportunities.

In today’s “new economy,” it is important to have a mix of sales and marketing efforts, each supporting one another, if you want to be able to reach people.

Integrate Sales with Marketing

We recently spoke with a marketing-focused client who used his website to grow his business. He has a sales team in place, but the team is really not much more than order takers. Enough orders came in each day to keep them pretty busy.

Yet, they didn’t realize they were missing out on a large portion of business because they were not following up with people who had questions. Nor did they follow up with people who visited their website but didn’t purchase. Subsequently, we worked with their marketing and sales teams to develop a follow-up plan and became, in a sense, their inside sales team for this project.

This plan immediately yielded results. We not only made their sales team look better by increasing revenue by thousands of dollars each week, but the marketing department was able to secure additional funds for more marketing programs.

Despite success stories like this, I still share a reluctance (like many sales-focused people) to spend that hour between meetings writing a blog instead of making sales calls. Luckily, I have people on my team who do see the value in those things and can point out when I should be doing more.

So, let me ask you, what type of company are you? Are you sales-focused or are you marketing-focused? What efforts are you making in the other domain?

Rich Burghgraef is the founder and CEO of Randolph Sterling, Inc. You can follow him on Twitter @RandolphSterl.

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