How Effective Sales Leaders in Manufacturing Leverage Marketing

4 min read
Sep 28, 2023 10:04:49 AM

Over the past fifteen years, selling has changed dramatically. Salespeople used to “own” the sales process. Salespeople held the keys to the information that buyers needed to make a buying decision. If a buyer wanted to know your pricing, service offering, or what it is like to do business with you, they had to talk to a salesperson. 

All of this has flipped upside-down. 

Today, buyers control the buying process. Information is readily available online and buyers already know all about your competitors, your market position, and your offering. They get this information from websites, customer reviews, and social media. In fact, buyers are overwhelmed with information. Sifting through the clutter is now one of their greatest challenges. 

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With information overload, your buyers often cannot tell the difference between your offering versus your competition. This is a real problem for sellers, especially in manufacturing where your products, services, and capabilities are often very similar and commoditized. 

Salespeople need every edge they can get.

So how do sales teams best leverage their marketing? The answer lies in three areas:

  1. Value Proposition, Messaging & Branding
  2. Brand Awareness
  3. Lead Generation


In my book, The Great 8 Pillars of ROI-Driven Marketing - for Manufacturing Companies, Pillar 2 is about value proposition, messaging, and branding. Helping buyers to understand how you are different than your competitors is paramount, and a strong marketing and sales strategy should place significant value on:

  • How your value proposition is differentiated from your competitors
  • How that value proposition is effectively portrayed in all of your communications
  • How your branding (look and feel) supports your value proposition and messaging

A strong marketing team will build a strong value proposition, messaging, and branding foundation, allowing sales teams to reap the benefits. It will allow prospects to clearly understand what you offer, how you are unique, and why they should choose you over the competition.


Another key aspect of sales effectiveness is brand awareness. Your buyers need to be familiar with your organization long before you pick up the phone and call them for a sale. 

Acquiring a new customer means that you have to cut through the clutter, build rapport, and be seen as a trustworthy asset to the buyer. The problem is that buyers are busy and they don’t want to be interrupted during their day. The last thing they want is for a salesperson to call on them and waste valuable time. If your brand awareness strategy is built upon your salespeople making repetitive calls to prospects, you are already losing the game.

This is where a strong marketing team can turn the tide. Utilizing the value proposition, messaging, and branding platform they have created, your marketing team can consistently and effectively increase brand awareness to your desired customer base. 

When done right, these buyers will begin to see your brand as a trusted resource that can help them accomplish their goals. This way, when you have the opportunity to interact with your buyers in a one-on-one sales situation, they are more likely to view you as a potential partner instead of a commission-hungry hunter.


Solid marketing should be driving leads to your sales team. Period. I like to think of marketing as “pre-sales.” Marketing’s ultimate objective is to generate quality leads for salespeople. 

If sales is the lifeblood of a company, marketing is the blood pressure. 

With that being said, let’s take a moment to unravel some unproductive thinking.

  1. Lead generation is not automatic. In order for marketing to produce quality leads to your sales team you must have a strong marketing infrastructure.

  2. Lead generation is not a sprint. Just like it used to take salespeople months or years to build relationships with prospective buyers, the same is true for marketing. Don’t expect leads to start pouring in a couple of months after launching a marketing strategy.

  3. Lead generation is not possible without a strong relationship with the sales team. Marketing teams will need to work with sales to uncover insights about their buyers to help them create a strong value proposition, messaging, and branding foundation that they can promote effectively. On top of this, a good marketing team will need access to sales data (such as average order values, customer lifetime value, sales close rates, etc.) to measure and maximize their impact.

It's important for sales and marketing teams to work closely together. Not every lead produced by marketing will be teed up with an immediate purchase order. In fact, most will not be. Salespeople still have to build the relationship, back up your organization’s claims, build trust, and complete the buyer’s journey. 


If you really want to increase your sales team’s effectiveness, marketing may be the missing piece of your puzzle. Building a marketing strategy that integrates effectively with sales is no easy task. 

Your competitor’s sales and marketing leaders focus on quick wins, resulting in tactical approaches that rarely yield long-term success. Take the time to define accountabilities for your sales and marketing team members. Draft integrated strategies for mutual success. Championship-level teams are not created overnight. 

If you are ready to get started on building your 10X-ROI sales and marketing team, start with our free marketing infrastructure questionnaire. 


Also, be sure to check out our Marketing and Sales Alignment Checklist to see the measures you need to implement to align your marketing and sales teams.

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