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Marketing in a Sales-Driven Culture

I have been working as a Marketing Manager at my current company, Texcan, for a couple of years now. When I took on the role, I knew from the onset that it would be an interesting challenge. Texcan, a distributor of cable and wire for various industrial markets, is a sales-driven organization. Marketing, although deemed important, was not exactly at the forefront when I started.

Personally, I viewed the role as a great opportunity to make an impact, while taking the lead in creating and growing a more strategic marketing mindset in the organization. Although there is plenty of work to do, much has changed during my tenure. Senior management and sales see marketing as a critical function and asset in driving growth, both through new customer acquisition and incremental sales amongst current customers. Further, marketing now has a more prominent role to play in corporate planning.

How was this achieved? Here are a few simple steps that I took.

Build Trust and Relationships

It goes without saying that relationships are such a cornerstone in business. From the outset, I made an effort to build personal relationships with the sales team. I listened to them, to gain an understanding of their unique sales challenges. Making an effort to attend become involved with sales meetings, and in general just make myself accessible, has made a difference.

Educate Colleagues

A strong component of my role at Texcan is to educate staff on the value of marketing, and provide a vision for what is possible. I consider myself to have a strong grounding in marketing fundamentals, I suppose the classic 4P’s we all learn. However, I also spend at least an hour each day educating myself on the latest in business and marketing innovations. Through communication with sales and senior management, some great ideas have been generated.

Be Proactive

Change can be hard, often times it’s much easier to stick to the status quo. Armed with insights gained from challenges faced by our sales team, I was assertive in providing strategic recommendations to senior management. I outlined challenges faced by our sales team, as well as opportunities, with corresponding strategies to execute and intended results. No, not all of my recommendations were approved, but some were. More importantly, however, by providing valuable insights I have gained management’s ear.

Demonstrate Results

Wherever and whenever possible, I communicate results of our marketing programs to senior management. For example, last year we re-launched our website in conjunction with a focus on search engine optimization. Our Google ranking, corresponding website traffic, and qualified leads from our contact form have all increased significantly. Senior management has gained confidence that our marketing initiatives generate strong returns, and as result funding has increased.

Have Patience

Change doesn’t happen overnight! It’s been a process at Texcan, and change is still ongoing. However, it’s been neat to see the transformation that has already occurred.