Sales versus marketing

Sales and Marketing is a term loosely thrown together and is used as if it’s the same thing. It’s NOT!

Albeit related, it really is two very different things. In your company, like may others, it’s further confused in that it’s often the same staff or the same department, that handle both: Sales and Marketing.

So if we break it down into its components we should actually call it Marketing and Sales. Marketing comes first. Sales comes second. And then we repeat the process over and over as much as possible. More about that in a future article.

So Marketing is the process of generating a lead. Finding a suspect out there in the market that you can entice to become a prospect. Someone who fits your target market and that is possibly ready to buy from you in the short to medium term.

Your first role is to market to that group so that they express some form of interest and become aLead. Start by recording every single lead you get into your business and then by tracking where that lead came from. In doing so you quickly get to see what marketing is actually working. Don’t fall for the saying: “50% of marketing works we just don’t know which 50%”. As a business owner youmustknow and therefore youmusttest and measure it. Elaborate systems are not necessary in the beginning and a simple sheet of paper where you can mark off a walk in client, telephone enquiry, website expression of interest etc. will suffice.

The more you know and analyse these numbers, the easier it is to make real time adjustments in your marketing to influence the outcome in your favour. With technology today its become even easier so don’t ‘waste’ money on marketing ever again. See it as an investment that needs to generate a profitable return by giving you the right leads.

Sales is then the process of converting that lead into a client. A client is someone who likes you, likes what you can do for them and believes they will get value by parting with their money in exchange for your offering. This conversion process is also critical to test and measure as it allows you to track yourConversion Ratefrom lead to client. Further testing and measuring can even highlight what type of marketing generates what type of client. Huge insights can be gained from this simple testing and measuring but start just with the basics for now.

The conversion process should become a clearly defined sales process that you can document and use consistently across your company.It becomes the “this is how we sell here” manual that can always be refined over time. Most importantly it allows for predictable conversion to take place and thus ensure your sales process can be duplicated over and over by various staff and still deliver the same desired results.
Remember you can’t simply get clients. Focus on generating the right quality and quantity of leads (Marketing) and then through your conversion process (Sales) turn them into profitable happy clients.