The present marketing world is evolving every minute. In a perfect world, sales and marketing work in collaboration. However, the reality is otherwise. The old-school approach of recruiting people with just sales knowledge or marketing experience is dying. The digital ecosphere has bridged the gap between the marketing and sales professionals. Today, no business organisation requires or recruits human resources who possess a very narrow knowledge and skill set. Today, every front-end professional who interacts with the consumers must hold knowledge about the end to end cycle of the business.
We all have the habit of bookmarking interesting and informative articles to be read in our leisure time, and that time never comes. The thought of acquiring all the knowledge of sales and marketing is in itself quite overwhelming. Even though the industry requirements are changing, most professionals are unable to stay updated with their skills and knowledge. Here we are sharing the ultimate sales and marketing resource guide for all the professionals who are into marketing and sales. This is an attempt to share the basic requirements of the industry and also the list of the resource from where one can gain the knowledge and skill set of Sales and Marketing Management.
While on hand, the marketing team would bring the latest ideas and strategies for advertising the product to generate leads. On the other hand, the sales team would be handling calls and answering consumer queries to convert them into loyal customers. But, this would happen separately and the information given to the consumers would be different. The biggest challenge which most businesses face is the gap between the sales and marketing team because of a lack of communication between each other. The efforts to convert the traffic to customers would be all in vain. In short, the business would run at a loss if both these segments work individually. Today sales and marketing team should know about the workflow and functioning style of each other and work in cohesion to drive revenue. Here are some of the mandatory knowledge which every sales and marketing professional must own.
Foundational Skills of a Marketing and Sales Professional
Storytelling Thought Process
No marketing and sales professional should throw a direct pitch for purchase to the consumer. With the widespread use of technology, today’s consumers make better-informed choices and purchase decisions. Every marketing and sales professional should sell their products or services in the form of a persuasive tale to the consumers. These professionals must have a storytelling thought process to capture the attention of the audience at the first instinct. A journalistic mind along with a creative feature writer’s attitude and ability in dealing with consumers is one of the more essential hard skills of the industry.
Digital Media Skills
The digital world is evolving and challenging the traditional frameworks of marketing and sales. It is evident that digital media is the way forward and every professional must own digital media skills to flourish in this industry. The digital media is dramatically impacting the buyer-seller relationship and the brands. An effective and active digital media presence is the new path to enjoy the tangible results of sales and marketing.
Today, every professional is mandated to be a tech-savvy to grow in this field. The advancement of technology has automated the marketing and sales process. Hence, all professionals must devour the knowledge of process modelling, project management, web and graphic designing along with content curation. Possessing a technical know-how is a must to climb up the ladder of professional growth.
Data Analytics Skills
The technology has enabled to capture massive data about every step a consumer takes towards the brand. The knowledge to interpret these data into viable inferences and frame effective strategies is quite essential to gain and retain the target audience. The intellect to understand and appreciate the enormous data of the consumer and brand relationship involves exceptional analytic skills.
Yes, knowing the hard-core skills of sales and marketing are vital. Beyond that, professionals are also expected to possess domain expertise within the industry. The in-depth knowledge of the product and the technology and also the consumer’s requirements are inevitable to bridge the gap between the business and its evolving needs of the audience. Having domain expertise always would give an upper hand over other competitors.
Marketing and sales professionals are required to think and act creatively in every step to attract new consumers. The innovative designs, gratifying content writing, amusing and appealing concepts and exceptional skill to think outside the box are a must. Besides selling a product pitch, this would enable us to offer the customers incredible brand experience. Creativity is not just required but rewarded as well.
Verbal and non-verbal communication is a must. Most professionals overlook this skill. But to stay consistent and grow up in a career, strong communication skills play a significant role. The golden rule of every marketer or sales personnel has to appeal to the clients in a persuasive manner and help them solve their problems through the business products and services. Whether it is writing a marketing ad copy or drafting a sales pitch and presenting to the clients, a great orator and communicator could make or break the game of the business.
No business segment works individually. Every team must collaborate with each other and work in tandem. The present-day recruiters and hiring managers look for individuals who are collaborative in nature and work well with multiple people at the same time. The emotional and empathetic connect within the organisation as well as with the customers are a necessity to shine as a true professional in this field.
The most vital tactical skill is negotiating skills. The art of convincing and negotiating a client comes with experience. From negotiating to acquire a project with a client, to convincing on the timelines, budget, priorities, and expectations, every step needs incomparable negotiating skills. The capability to drive the hardest bargain is one of the biggest challenges as well as the notable skill to grow in glory for all the professionals.
A professional who goes beyond seeking one’s own growth. Taking risks, driving change, building trust, owning the failures and sharing success with everyone is the real traits of a great leader. Leadership skills are vital to make vital decisions and empower the ownership of the business to the professionals. Today, every marketer or salesperson has the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills in every aspect of their working environment. Every great leader is a mentor for the next generation.
Business Models of Marketing and Sales
Renowned frameworks which are adopted by the marketers and sales professionals if the industry.
- Pragmatic Marketing Framework: The Pragmatic Marketing Framework gives the end to end picture of the business operations for both the product and marketing and sales team.
- Go-to-Market Strategy: A model that shows the collaborative interplay of the sales and marketing team.
- The Startup Pyramid – Growth Frameworks: This framework is completely driven and help to determine how to grow when to expand and which metrics to be tracked in a specific stage of the business.
- Technology Marketing Framework: Think beyond the 4Ps of marketing. Today 14Ps govern the marketing framework.
- The 2016 TOPO Sales Framework: Decode the elements present in high-growth sales infrastructure.
- Agile Sales Framework: The Ultimate Sales framework to Empower the marketing and sales professionals with decisions and results.
- The CLEAR Culture & Framework of Sales: This framework will help to convert the audience into potential consumers and lead to conversions quickly.
- Sales Enablement Metric: This metric will help to empower the organisation’s sales delivery strategy.
Gain in-depth knowledge by inculcating a habit of reading books.
Most Popular books to read on marketing & sales industry:
- Building a Story Brand: Donald Miller
- Marketing: A Love Story, How to Matter to Your Customers – Bernadette Jiwa
- Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Digital Distraction – Derek Thomson
- What Customers Crave – Nicholas Webb
- Digital Marketing for Dummies – Ryan Deiss and Russ Hennesberry
- Blue Ocean – W. Chan Kim
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade – Robert Cialdini
- The Sales Acceleration Formula – Mark Roberge
- Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
- Thinkertoys – Michael Michalko
- The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy
- The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation – Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
- Influence: Science and Practice – Robert B. Cialdini
- Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance – Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
- 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals – Michael J. Maher
Popular Niche Courses for Marketing and Sales Professionals.
Do research on these industry jargons and get familiarised to stay confident.
- Sound Bite
- Value Proposition
- Service Level Agreement
- GPCTBA/C&I – Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority, Negative Consequences, Positive Implications.
- Churn Rate
- ABC – Always Be Closing.
- BANT – Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline
- Buyer Persona
- Lifetime Value
- Qualified Lead
- Social Selling
- Adoption process – the buying process
- Discovery Call
- Net Promoter Score
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- AIDA – Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action
- Cold Calling
- Profit Margin
- Conversion Rate
Marketing and Sales Management Tools
To automate and remove the repetitive, mundane tasks of the marketing and sales process.
- Buffer – Manage all the digital media accounts in a single dashboard.
- Canva – Unleash the creative potential of the professionals and build a brand for life.
- Google Analytics – Free data analytics solutions to measure and optimise the growth of your business.
- Hotjar – One stop solution for website optimisation.
- Simply Measured – Offers enterprise-level analytics and management data for the digital initiatives.
- IFTTT (If This Then That) – Single platform to merge all the cross-channel marketing and sales efforts.
- HubSpot CRM – A perfect tool to manage and enhance customer relationships.
- Adobe Spark – Create visually appealing stories and marketing designs with minimal efforts.
- LinkedIn Sales Solutions – Find leads and close deals through the LinkedIn sales navigator.
- InsideSales.com – Incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to convert leads to loyal consumers.
- ToutApp – Simple and sophisticated tool to transform the sales team into a revenue-generating machine.
- SalesForce – Smarter and faster client relationship management infrastructure.
- Calendly – Aids in scheduling and managing the appointments without the interaction of emails.
- LeadMine – Look, capture and reach qualified business leads with corporate contact information.
- Saleshandy – A suite of powerful tools for marketing and sales activities such as email tracking, mail merging, document tracking, auto-follow-up etc.
- Yesware – Sell smarter with high-level actionable insights of consumers and make focused decisions and strategies to gain real-time results.
Influencers and Experts to follow on Twitter
In times of crisis, lookup to these Industry Doyens for Inspiration and to stay focused.
- Donald Miller – @donaldmiller
- Tabitha Naylor – @tabithanaylor
- Ann Handley – @annhandley
- Matt Heinz – @HeinzMarketing
- Avinash Kaushik – @avinash
- Scott Galloway – @profgalloway
- Danny Sullivan – @dannysullivan
- Larry Kim – @larrykim
- Vala Afshar – @ValaAfshar
- Trish Bertuzzi – @BridgeGroupInc
- Alice Heiman – @aliceheiman
- Gerhard Gschwandtner- @gerhard20
- Jim Keenan – @keenan
- Peter Ostrow – @PeterOstrow
- Jill Rowley – @Jill_Rowley
I hope this ultimate guide and comprehensive resource list would help you kick-start your career in sales and marketing and aid you to become a qualified professional and a significant player in your domain. Learning never stops. So, make it a part of your personality and always have an open mind to learn and adopt new ideas and knowledge.