If you are a sales and marketing professional, it is important to know how the sales and marketing functions have evolved in recent years.
Traditionally, the marketing departments of businesses were responsible for product design, identifying demographics, designing promotions, advertising and enabling the sales force with tools for their "go to market" strategy. If you are a sales and marketing professional, it is important to know how the sales and marketing functions have evolved in recent years.
Merging of the Sales and Marketing function
While many large businesses still operate within the traditional "marketing then sales" model, most small to mid-sized businesses have merged these two functions into one.
This has led to the rise of the “sales marketing specialist”. There are several advantages to merging the two. Most notably, it has created new and exciting career opportunities for creative thinking sales professionals who wish to benefit from the advantages of a dual-role position.
Multiple career paths
When experienced sales professionals are employed as sales marketing specialists, they bring the crucial missing piece that can make or break a marketing plan.
However, the possibility of multiple career paths also creates the potential for either one’s sales or marketing skills to wane, unless your position is one that places consistent demands on both your marketing and sales skills.
Employers should be aware of this potential risk and design job positions that reflect the university degree system commonly known as the "major-minor." This means that no employee should be 100% focused on sales or marketing, but should have a 3:1 split focusing on either marketing or sales at any one point of the career; with a ratio changing to suit varying needs.
Great talent retention strategy
Talent retention has become a key issue faced by many organisations today. With a sales marketing specialist role positioned as a prospective career advancement opportunity, employers are better positioned to both attract and retain quality employees.
While the typical career path for sales professionals is usually as follows: sales representative, followed by sales manager and finally sales director; blending marketing with sales creates multiple advancement paths.
Creating a combined role also creates a value add for employees and companies to benefit from the cross-training of mid and senior level executives.