Why the pandemic has elevated Marketing above Sales

Why the pandemic has elevated Marketing above Sales

I miss the office. I miss meetings and events, too. I’m a sociable person and have spent a good share of my career in Sales. So please, please, sales people, don’t get angry when I tell you this: The marketing department has taken your lunch, and they're not going to give it back anytime soon.

Sales departments used to hold sway in many companies. When you were bringing home the bacon, you always had the CEO’s ear. Sales people commanded the highest salaries, great benefits and the respect of everyone. It was a tough job but, if you were doing it well, then it could be a great position.

In the last year, we’ve seen the acceleration of many trends in the workplace – home working, cloud technology, video conferencing and more. But what we’ve also seen is the rapid expansion and broadening of marketing.

It is marketing that is now driving businesses. The voice of marketeers can be heard in every serious conversation about a business’ future.

There’s no doubt about it, the marketing department has been elevated above sales.

We all need a large marketing team now

There are now so many aspects to marketing that no one person can possibly do it all. You really need a large team. We all need web developers, videographers and various specialists covering pay-per-click, social media, brand and PR.

The skill sets involved in these activities are very wide. On the one hand, you need those with data driven and analysis skills. But you also need the artistic flair of the creatives to produce engaging content and attractive designs.

With such a breadth of talent needed to get the word out there, marketing is being baked into the product development process which requires innovation and emotional understanding to be relevant to your target clients.

Your content writers and video makers will have many things to say about what you’re selling. Their views on the features and benefits of what you sell are very important as they have to communicate them to the masses.

Marketers survey customer reactions, not salespeople

In the past, it might be the sales director relaying the views of customers back to the people working in development but, increasingly, it is the marketeers who survey consumer reactions via a suite of online metrics. The ideal employees are those who combine tech and creative and psychology skills with marketing savvy.

Where once it seemed that everyone was, in some way, involved in Sales, now everyone is working in Marketing. In my company, where I have 35 full-time staff, about 10 people are involved in marketing in some way.

Also, many people in my team are developing their own personal brands. Most of my company have LinkedIn profiles with Cloud9 Insight on them, and so they are all marketing 24/7.

My Marketing team's capabilities cover a broad range of skills from those centred around building a brand, creating and taking new products and services to market, creating new routes to markets and formalising commercial partnerships for referrals to web development and digital marketing and data management skills.

In contrast my sales team amounts to just two people.

The sales process is now very different to what it was before the pandemic. Now, when you interact with a customer, they already know far more about you and what you have to offer and their trust in your brand is at a higher level. In fact, by the time you are actually in direct contact with a customer, there’s a very good chance most of the selling will have already been done. Now, the sales team can finally get involved again by taking the order and delivering on the promise of the brand trust and excellence of customer experience demanded.