Linking Marketing to Sales

By Aidie Street
7th July 2021

The Relationship Between Sales and Marketing

Often, when thinking about the relationship between sales and marketing, a dilemma can arise.

Which should you focus on? How do you know if your marketing is translating into sales? And where should you place most resource?

When all is said and done you need your marketing to bring in customers and sales to your business.  

For our Rural Roundtable on Wednesday 7th July, Dan explored how to take your marketing prospects on the journey to becoming your ideal clients. Discussing the link between marketing and sales and why the two shouldn’t work alone.

You can watch the Rural Roundtable here and get in touch with us today to discuss your sales and marketing.

Linking Marketing to Sales

Sales and marketing are inextricably linked, after all both should be aiming for the same outcome – finding the right customers and serving them profitably.

  1. Marketing and Sales are an Investment
  2. “Marketing makes sales a lot easier”
  3. Influencing
  4. Traditional Sales Funnel (AIDA) vs Product Staircase
  5. Conclusion

Marketing and Sales are an Investment

When looking at budgets, marketing is often seen as a fixed cost.

Changing the attitude towards this can transform your business. Let’s look at marketing as an investment.

Return On Investment:

Savings account 0.1%

Stocks and Shares ISA 8%

Marketing and Sales typically 400-600%

It’s a no-brainer surely?

“Marketing makes sales a lot easier”

In many businesses, the relationship between sales and marketing teams is less than ideal.

This creates a huge communication gap and a void of lost prospects.

The goal should always be to turn opportunities created by marketing into sales.

People don’t like to be sold to, but they do like to buy.

We’ve all had bad sales experiences, whether it’s the stereotypical double-glazing or car salesperson. For many of us, this makes us all wary of coming across as this desperate sales stereotype.

Ensuring customers’ need/want to buy remains greater than your need to sell, mitigates this risk.


Although it may seem that way, successful selling is not manipulation, its about positive influence.

Sales teams have a responsibility to help customer make the right decision for them. Keeping this in mind can improve your sales success, whilst creating a positive reputation for your business. Helping customers to buy, rather than pushing your sale.

6 Laws of Influence:

Robert Cialdini found that influence is based on six principles:

  • Liking – people are much more likely to be influenced and persuaded by those that they like, than those that they don’t
  • Reciprocity – when you give without expectation, people feel obliged to give back in return
  • Commitment and consistency – how you do anything is how you do everything
  • Social proof – other people talking about you positively builds trust
  • Authority – being a recognized expert with credibility
  • Scarcity – being too available creates a sense of lack of demand, this also applies to your business, not just your products

Overall, perception is key to the success of your business.

Traditional Sales Funnel (AIDA) vs Product Staircase

Although useful, the traditional sales funnel, or the AIDA, has become outdated. In this modern world, we need a more sophisticated model to structure our customer journeys, from prospect to customer.

Define perfect customer relationship

Key to this process is defining the ultimate relationship between you and your customer. Switching the perspective on this can be a game-changer. Ask the question, “what do your clients want from you?”

Product Staircase
Product Staircase

A product staircase is a sales model which breaks down the full process into small, manageable steps.

This is more successful as it allows customers to buy into you in smaller ways, rather than commiting to a long-term relationship. Letting them try-before-they-buy.

“But doesn’t that mean I’m giving away my service for free?”

The key here is to ensure nothing quite for free, always keeping an exchange of value. Whether that be information, data or a sale.

So for an initial step on the staircase, this exchange may be a phone number for a discovery call, or an email address for your expertise in the form of a resource – just like this one!

Take Your Prospects on a Journey

Lifecycle Stages

Here are some of the ways you can identify customers throughout the lifecycle:

Lead – someone of interest (prospecting) but not engaged

Marketing-qualified lead – a degree of engagement or subscribed to content, in our niche

Sales-qualified lead – Someone identified with a need and budget, potential customer

Opportunity – You have created a deal with them

Customer – You are doing business with them

Evangelist – An advocate of business (they talk about you in a positive way)

Subscriber – e.g. signed up to email newletters, could be interested in job offerings

Other – A partner/supplier/journalist etc

How we use this at Hillsgreen:

Hillsgreen's Staircase to Success demonstrating the relationship between sales and marketing



the relationship between sales and marketing is critical to your business’ success.

Organisations that abandon this partnership risk the development of silos and limiting their own growth.

If you want to explore how your sales and marketing can help your business to forge forward, get in touch today.


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