Sales + Marketing 12: One Person?

sales and marketing oliver gwynne

I have been discussing the benefits and techniques of having your marketing and sales working much more closely together, so what if they were literally together as in one person (or perhaps conjoined twins) doing both roles…would that work?

Amalgamation

It’s not uncommon for me to see marketing people complaining on linkedin about how job specs often encapsulate several different specialisms within marketing. It is becoming far more normal to have someone who must understand strategy, be able to make a variety of marketing materials and also understand the seo/digital side of modern day marketing. Sales on the other hand has remained largely unchanged in its outlook although certainly understanding where to find opportunities online is becoming more predominant. It is in theory easier to teach sales to a marketer than it is to teach marketing to a salesman on the basis that there is usually an amount of technical knowledge/artistic skill that goes with marketing that although hardly rocket science, is perhaps harder to get your head around than a sales call.

Saves You Money?

Often the reason that these two quite different disciplines will be melted together is that a business is relatively small and the logic is that hiring one person to do both will be cheaper than hiring two separate people. I’m not sure that this is always the case however…generally speaking finding someone who can do both roles and do them well is not necessarily easier and will most likely come at a premium, although you may only be able to afford two more junior members of staff, but you are getting double the man hours for your money. It’s also important to remember that although one person may be able to cover both roles there will likely be a gap in their knowledge which may require third party assistance.

Turnover

Sales as a job sector is notorious for its high turnover of staff. There are a number of reasons behind this, as I’ve said in numerous posts in the past chief amongst them is that the only focus on sales is getting sales when in fact there is a more rounded job to be done. I think this is why we have seen the job description of ‘Business development’ rise to popularity as an alternative. The issue where you have someone that is both marketing and sales is that they are VERY much the face of your business, they set the tone, they make the calls and your fate is tied in with them. This is fine where you find the right person who you’ll trust can be around for a few years but can make that person very hard to replace and expensive to be parted with.

Overview

This potential disadvantage is also the major advantage of getting someone to handle both sales and marketing in a standalone role in that they will have complete oversight on the direction of your business. When they spot a potential sales opportunity they will be able to turn it around relatively quickly and where many smaller tasks like copywriting or cold calling might not seem to contribute much on a day to day basis, one person overseeing them will have an overall picture on the effect they are having as a whole.

If you can find the right person, which is half the battle, it may be worth having someone in a stand alone role and where you have teams in place having one director for both functions may just well help get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

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