A lot of people surprisingly think sales is the heart of marketing, but sales and marketing really exist entirely independently.
The reality is that sales are vital to any profitable operation and marketing is typically used to maximize sales, increase conversions, reduce unnecessary costs, land partnerships, demonstrate value or just to spread an idea. Sales are often the result of marketing; however, both are separate processes.
It is, unfortunately, more common than one might think to find sales teams that lack any kind of communication with a marketing team other than to automate leads. Marketing can mean anything that isn’t directly a sale such as advertising, CRM, tests, product development, price adjustments, reviews, research and development, account management or campaigns.
Some salespeople are excellent at landing sales consistently enough to where marketing is secondary, but not every type of product can survive that way. The more expensive a product or service is, the more patient and direct a business has to be making salespeople more vital than in a situation where very little pressure is part of the decision process. The approach is different too. Closing a sale is no longer an objective with modern sales techniques; at least not conventionally.
Marketing has become so driven by data, it’s almost unnecessary to learn how and why the methods work (almost). Of course, once the data is collected, utilizing it is the tricky part. Understanding the consumer’s needs and wants is still the heart of marketing. The right data can reflect consumption and can be organized any way needed.
Algorithms and machine learning can simplify analytics and produce a wider array of information. The purpose of better information is to optimize processes from ad to sale to review to repurchase.
In the past, the cycle was less data dependent because people were more trusting of advertising. Ad blindness is to blame for the aggressive advances in marketing. Some call modern practices invasive due to the accuracy of ad placements.
It is possible to survive as a business without much marketing but at the very least, leads must be generated and qualified. The reality is that everything varies from industry to industry.