How Do I Transition from a Sales Role to a Marketing Role?

Someone on Quora asked:

What are some good ways to transition from a sales role to a marketing role?

I have 2 years of experience in sales and one in vertical market development. (3+ years total with Fortune 500 companies) Lead gen is of interest.

This was my response:

This is exactly what I did. I had years of sales experience, yet I found that I was quite exhausted from selling to one person at a time, when I could share a much similar message yet hit a wider audience.

I studied relentlessly on how to effectively market, offline. Then I decided to take a sales role at a new company. On the side, I started to implement these strategies I had learned and was able to show my employer that I was much more efficient as a marketing lead as opposed to a sales person, and displayed I was much happier doing it as well.

Then I was promoted to VP of Marketing within three months.

As time progressed, offline marketing started to become a lot more inefficient as people started focusing their efforts online. So I decided to take the time to learn how to market online.

The key to being able to fulfill a marketing role is to prove to the audience, or in this case the employer, that you know what you are doing and are quite capable of handling the task at hand.

Side note: Marketing is completely different than sales. Most sales people cannot grasp how to translate their skills into marketing methods. However, if you’re able to figure it out, you’ll be much better than any candidate that just strictly has a marketing background, as you are able to better understand how the first line thinks and what really does trigger their interests.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media

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