How to Align Marketing and Sales Teams - Brand Positioning

Written by Sasha Bhardwaj

Sasha Bhardwaj is a Sales Development Representative at The Selling Factory and a fourth-year student at the University of Florida. He hopes to hone his communication skills and sales knowledge to build a career in the realm of music production and eventually own a creative space for recording artists.

Photo on Unsplash by @isaacmsmith

In today’s globalized world, the increased rate at which contemporary business practices evolve and expand has encouraged further study of marketing and brand strategy in driving sales success. The brand equity model and its various parts such as brand awareness, brand experience, and brand loyalty require integrated marketing and sales strategies that include both tangible and intangible aspects of brand strategy. 

One of the key processes behind creating brand equity is the practice of brand positioning, which can be defined as “the conceptual place you want to own in the target consumer’s mind — the benefits you want them to think of when they think of your brand” (EquiBrand, 2020). While marketing and sales teams are distinct in nature, marketing activities inspire interest in the product. They encourage demand from the target market by tailoring brand positioning on The Four Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) to their customer base.

In adapting to a known customer base, companies can present a product or service in the context of the needs and expectations of the targeted consumers and in contrast with competitors in the market, leaving them with an intended perception of the product or service. 

Finding Your Target Market

A brand strategy effort begins with asking the question, “Who is the customer?” An effective way to build this customer profile is through a buyer persona. Developing a buyer persona requires you to define customer demographics (e.g., age, sex, education, HHI) and psychographics (lifestyle, preferences, aspirations, pains). 

In identifying who a company’s sales strategies intend to reach, the provided product or service can be directed towards an audience, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship between business and customer. There are many buyer persona templates online to support this essential work. 

Attempts to demonstrate the relevance of an idea to a specific buyer persona will fortify the brand and serve as a basis for reflection and improvement. However, markets change, competitors enter, and ideas are always expanding. Approaching the branding process from this angle can allow businesses to innovate ways to serve a dynamic market, though it must remain credible from the customer’s perspective through these efforts.

As knowledge of the customer base grows, the quality of the brand can be evaluated through qualitative measures such as how appealing customers find the brand as well as how often they make unique associations with the brand. 

How to Identify the Competitive Environment

After realizing a target market, companies must work towards understanding their potential competitors. The competitive environment of the target market can help a business focus on differentiating its product or service. 

Product differentiation highlights the unique value of its product or service and ensures it stands out in the competitive environment. The marketing team holds the responsibility of communicating these features through campaigns and promotions, however, sales teams should be just as adamant about demonstrating the competitive advantage through their conversations as well. This increases the prospect’s likelihood of remembering and choosing your product over another one.

How to Find Strategic Value for Your Sales Team

Your business can choose some or many of the areas to differentiate their product or service, including features, quality, reliability, price, looks, or location. The area of differentiation that your marketing and sales team should prioritize is contingent on the type of strategy your brand is going for.

Emphasizing product differentiation has benefits and consequences. The method may create additional value to your brand, develop brand loyalty, and allow you to compete in different ways. On the flip side, revenue increases are not guaranteed, and the process might strain resources. For these reasons, your marketing and sales teams should differentiate in meaningful ways, rather than trying to differentiate across too many dimensions.

In more ways than one, brand positioning in the market influences the efficacy as well as the long-term sustainability of sales strategies. As much as sales is a methodical science, sales teams should employ thoughtful and creative strategies to better differentiate their brand throughout their conversations and outreach.

In further understanding the target market and a product’s relevance in that market through the lens of brand strategy, businesses can find novel forms of product differentiation and create sustainable strategies for their sales teams.

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.