It’s an age-old argument in business. Which is more important – marketing or sales?
According to Anisha Motwani, Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance, “It is all about how you look at it. Marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin with the same convergence point that reaches out to the consumers.”
The battle over which is better or more important when it comes to marketing and sales has been raging for as long as one can remember. Even though it’s these very two disciplines that make up any business’ overall marketing operation and should be working in tandem to achieve a common objective, they often don’t. Chandramouli Venkatesan, Director, Snacking, Indian & Strategy, Cadbury India, believes, “This often happens due to lack of aligned priorities. Mature leadership will help in generating simple recognition and if worked jointly marketing and sales both can drive to get a greater pie of profit.”
Sanjeev Kapur, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi Bank, who comes from the services marketing field, is of the option that, “Sales in service sector is about building relationships. First sales experience should always be perfect. Fundamentally, this has to be done to build long term goodwill and faith in the costumers.”
Hemant Malik, Chief Operating Officer, TM&D, ITC, who has headed marketing for several years, now heads the sales operations at ITC. Malik emphasises, “Job rotation is the best way to understand the long term journey of marketing and sales, that should ideally go hand in hand.” He further adds that sales have the power of data. The firsthand information that sales team gets from the ground is what should be taken into consideration in a big way.
“Healthy tension is healthy,” feels Dinesh Dayal, Chief Operating Officer, Loreal India. Dayal is also of the opinion that sales and marketing are mutually challenging. The arrival of e-commerce has generated a new breed of channel, which has the support of IT, supply chain, marketing and sales and which looks like the next big thing in the current market scenario.
Balancing marketing and sales is not an easy task, and it is one that’s made harder given limited manpower, money and time. Doing it right requires careful planning and a tremendous amount of discipline. Long-term successful business owners have mastered the delicate balance between the two and know how to make the necessary adjustments along the way without losing sight of the bigger picture. The panelists were part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Marketing Summit 2012, held in Mumbai.