Why Sales Needs Marketing to Succeed

May 16, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

It’s All in the Numbers

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of companies scale back on their marketing efforts to hire more sales people.

On the surface, it makes sense. We need more sales. Let’s hire more sales people!

But it’s not that simple.

First, it can be difficult to find your ideal fit. With sales, you can tell pretty quickly if someone is reaching their goals or not, and often a business will have to go through a number of hires before they find someone who can hit it out of the park.

Second, you may bring on a great go-getter with a huge contact list. But what happens when that list is tapped out?

Third, before you hire and train another person and pay them a salary and benefits, think about how many marketing campaigns you could run for those costs.

The truth is, without a strong marketing program, your sales team is going to have limited reach. They can talk to leads one at a time and try to win them over, but most businesses need to reach thousands of prospects multiple times to make a single sale.

On average, it takes about 12 touches before an inquiry becomes a real opportunity.


And get this: 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. Even the most persistent and energetic sales people will probably never get to 12. That’s where a marketing automation system can come in handy, by nurturing prospects more efficiently.

Without marketing, you’re setting your sales team up for failure.

Marketing sometimes drives the sales process by generating qualified leads through a variety of tactics including content marketing, email marketing, campaigns, PPC, etc. Those leads can then be turned over to sales.

Email marketing, for example, has 2X higher ROI than cold calling, networking or trade shows combined.

And in cases where a sales person brings in a lead, marketing automation can help nurture those leads, as well as score and track them over time. It can even notify your sales person when the lead reaches a certain lead score or performs a certain behavior on your site that indicates a high-level of interest.

Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

Additionally, 50% of qualified leads are simply not ready to buy. Lead nurturing can keep those leads warm over an extended time, so that when they are ready, they’ll remember your brand.

I love it when I receive cold calls. - No one ever

There are still some companies that rely heavily on cold calling, which is shocking considering only 2% of cold calls result in a meeting. That means, out of 100 calls, only 2 will be interested enough to discuss further, and that doesn’t guarantee either of those 2 will actually buy from you.

Since your sales people have to reach a large number of people in a limited amount of time, it makes sense to ensure they are talking to qualified leads so they are not wasting their time.

When you have a solid marketing strategy in place, it can work hand-in-hand with your sales team – generating, pre-qualifying and nurturing leads so your sales people can focus on what they do best.

Want digital marketing that drives traffic, generates leads and improves sales? Let’s Talk.

Sources: Scripted, Marketing Sherpa, DemandGen Report, Gleanster Research, Leap Job

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.