11 Tips For Transitioning From Sales to Marketing

What is one tip for someone transitioning from sales to marketing?

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Written by AMA Colorado

To help you transition smoothly from sales to marketing, we asked CEOs and marketing experts this question for their best insights. From identifying your niche to understanding customer trends in marketing, there are several tips that may help you leverage your sales background effectively to launch into marketing. 

Here are 11 tips for transitioning from sales to marketing :

  • Identify Your Niche
  • Internalize Marketing Through Blogging
  • Highlight Most Relevant Transferable Skills
  • Connect Your Sales Experience To Marketing Goals
  • Focus On Listening
  • Prove Your Value Through Numbers
  • Demonstrate Strong Social Media Skills
  • Learn To Write
  • Update Knowledge in Digital Marketing
  • Build New Networks
  • Understand Customer Trends in Marketing

Identify Your Niche

Look to industry reports, market trends, and new technologies to uncover potential opportunities that would be a fit you’re not just content with, but excited to try! Every industry needs marketers, so you should think hard about which ones interest you before you jump to specialize. Salespeople have very strong professional networks, so you should use yours to your advantage as you reach out to colleagues for advice and potential job opportunities.

Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress


Internalize Marketing Through Blogging

In digital marketing, understanding the ins and outs of SEO is critical to be effective, therefore acquiring those skills through creating and driving a blog can be one of your best moves. Over 50% of all marketers state that content creation through their blog is the top priority. Producing a frequently updated blog improves your writing skills, showcases your ability to a potential employee, teaches you how to write a compelling story, and most importantly, gets you familiar with the techniques surrounding SEO through keywords, long-tail phrases and authority generation. In addition, it can also provide training on the most used platforms such as WordPress and SquareSpace. By creating and driving your blog, you can gain the expertise necessary to build the foundation of a marketing career.

Cody Candee, Bounce


Highlight Most Relevant Transferable Skills

Sales and marketing are like siblings and go hand-in-hand. After all, the goal of both is the maximization of product/service sales and thus by extension revenue. While one is much more direct and tangible (sales) than the other (marketing) both utilize a lot of consumer psychology to tap into the wants, needs, and desires of the potential clientele. Thus, when transitioning from sales to marketing it's wise to highlight the overlap between the two and your knowledge and expertise in precisely that - knowing what makes the customer buy your products and why they do so. This is a treasure trove of invaluable information that any marketing department would drool over. While you might not have uncovered the "holy grail" your sales experiences can be a wonderful guide in that direction. 

Demonstrate these (strong) parallels in the interview and watch the job offers to come pouring in...hopefully. Good luck!

Peter Bryla, ResumeLab


Connect Sales Experience To Marketing Goals

Deepen your understanding of how sales KPIs connect to marketing KPIs. Companies that align and coordinate their sales and marketing departments have much higher marketing ROIs than those that don’t. Similarly, employees that grasp a cohesive understanding of sales and marketing strategy can inevitably perform better in both categories. Focus on learning about metrics that measure lead conversion, for example, to grasp how attracting qualified leads is connected to the sales funnel. 

Ultimately, the different arms of a business connect to one body and a larger goal. Leverage your previous experience to grow your business savvy and become a more well-rounded and insightful professional recognized by leadership.

James Shalhoub, Finn


Focus On Listening

Although sales and marketing are similar in nature, there are aspects of sales that do not transfer over. While a good salesperson spends most of their time talking and closing deals, a good marketer uses active listing to respond to changes in the market and industry trends. To be successful in marketing you must listen to learn about customer problems and needs, and respond with solutions. Understanding the difference between selling to prospects and attracting customers will accelerate your learning in the marketing field. Honing in on your listening skills will help the transition from sales to marketing and help you become a more successful marketer in the long run.

Jeffrey Pitrak, Transient Specialists


Prove Your Value Through Numbers

Successful salespeople will have a much easier time convincing a hiring manager to take a chance on them if they have the data to back up their performance. Though the roles differ, of course, a top-performing sales executive shows that they understand consumers and can successfully drive consumers to buy. With marketing, you’re performing the same duty on a much larger scale. Come to any interview armed with your greatest sales achievements and concrete numbers to impress the recruiter and up your odds of getting hired.

Samuel Devyver, EasyLlama


Demonstrate Strong Social Media Skills

Many businesses rely on marketers who have strong social media skills. A powerful digital presence is a key step for companies to survive, and it helps businesses stand out from its competitors. An employee who can own a social media strategy and focus on long-term growth will be a major asset to any business that's looking for public relations or content opportunities. While each industry has their own idea of digital marketing, this skill is necessary as social media continues to dominate business strategies.

Natália Sadowski, Nourishing Biologicals


Learn To Write

I've managed folks who have transitioned from Sales to Marketing, and it can be a bumpy road. The good news is that salespeople know the company, its offerings, benefits, and key differentiators. That's a huge head start over other candidates. However, they need to be able to turn that knowledge into Marketing content and campaigns. Writing flawless, sticky-clicky copy is not something most salespeople excel at, but it's critical to almost every role in Marketing. If you are a salesperson looking to move into Marketing and your writing is anything less than stellar, I strongly recommend a copywriting class. You will never regret it.

Kim Ann King, New Leaf Communications


Update Knowledge in Digital Marketing

Marketing usually requires experience or understanding of software and tools that are different from the ones in sales. Fill in gaps by taking some free marketing courses relevant to the area you’re interested in and might be asked to use. Most of these courses offer certifications to back up your knowledge on Google Analytics, Facebook Blueprint, Hubspot Inbound Certification, and more. It’s one thing to sell services to a client; it’s entirely different to roll your sleeves up and tackle these projects as part of the account team. As a digital marketer, you need to know the tactical side of digital marketing. Thus, classes and seminars that can help you advance your skill set in email marketing, Social Media, SEO, PPC, and more are a must.

Natalia Parcinska, Spacelift


Build New Networks

Just as you need to develop new skills to transition into a marketing role, you also need to start building new relationships with people who work in the marketing industry. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and follow relevant companies and thought leaders on social media. This will help ensure you stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and news and also give you a better idea of what marketing roles might be a good fit for you. When you’re ready to start applying for jobs, these new connections can also be a valuable resource in helping you get your foot in the door.

Danielle Bedford, Coople


Understand Customer Trends In Marketing

The best tip for transitioning from sales to marketing is to understand the customer journey. In sales, your focus is on getting the sale. In marketing, your focus is on creating a long-term relationship with the customer. You need to understand what the customer needs and wants at each stage of their journey, and then create content that will help them move to the next stage. It's also important to understand the different channels that you can use to reach your customers, and how to use each one effectively.

Eugene Chimpoy, Church Helper



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