The difference between sales and marketing is an important factor for any business owner or CEO to comprehend if they are grow their enterprise.

The lack of a solid sales or marketing plan is predominately the number one reason a business fails, as any shortcomings here will result in revenues and profitability falling short of expectations.  So, this area requires intense focus for any small business or startup to succeed.

Many business owners tend to gravitate towards organizing or focusing on internal processes. While this is crucial, no one has really organized themselves towards explosive growth. What has created explosive growth for some of the largest brands has been their intelligent and consistent branding, marketing, PR and sales.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is typically media driven, where your ad or other content (blog, video, ebook, white paper, podcast, etc.) is introducing your company to prospective customers. Marketing can be driven via multiple channels, including the internet, social media, word of mouth, print, TV, radio, billboards, events and direct mail.  What drives the ultimate success of your marketing strategy is an intelligent marketing team that has properly studied your prospective customer demographics, mindset, habits and ethos, and targets the appropriate marketing messages with appropriate media placements where these customers are looking.

The purpose of marketing is to generate awareness and interest in engaging with the business, such as following them on social media to all the way of walking in and making a purchase. The job of marketing is to stay ahead of the changes, and help management and sales professionals see where they should be focusing on in terms of opportunities and provide them with the right strategy and content.

What is Sales?

The job of Sales is to “sell the goods”. The company has specific products or services and the job of Sales is to sell those things, to close the deal. Sales develops relationships with customers and/or channel partners. Sales follows up on the leads generated from marketing, knocks on doors, visits and presents to the potential client, overcomes and and all objections, negotiate prices and terms, and often works internally to ensure that their customer’s orders are filled.

The perspective of Sales is from inside the company out toward the customers and their horizon is focused on this week, this month and this quarter. If Sales is not focused on the now or the somewhat immediate now, then there may not be any revenue this week, month or quarter. This is the difference between sales and marketing.

The Venture Capitalist That Discovered The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

I remember clearly the day I went to visit a well-known venture capitalist in Newport Beach, CA. I was referred to speak to him about his marketing strategy for one of his new high-tech start-ups. After about a half-hour of doing the customary introductions and telling each other about who we are and what we do, the tone became serious and to the point. “Edwin, I need to be honest with you. I’ve worked with a lot of marketing people over the last twenty years and none of them have really done anything positive for me, in terms of results. What makes you different?”

While this question would throw most marketers into a cold sweat, hemming and hawing for a perfect answer, I knew that this was the concern that all business owners and CEO’s have when it comes to investing their hard-won income into marketing.

My answer to this venture capitalist was simple and took less than three minutes. In essence, I told him that I reverse engineer the marketing process by starting with the client. Then I work backwards and then get with the sales people and discover what type of content they would most desire to possess in an effort to help them close more sales. I do not start with the marketing people, who tend to sit in an ivory tower and try to divine the gods for marketing inspiration. After my explanation, he told me that no one ever explained this marketing process that simply or effectively. I closed the deal and in the last year, his company has experienced significant growth in sales.

Whether or not this is expressed openly, I can assure you this is how the marketing people will be judged. Can Marketing be effective in working with Sales to effectively increase the company’s revenue. In fact, when all is said and done, there are two questions that you will have to answer and address to earn someone’s business.

  1. What do you do? (And they will want specifics in terms of processes, time lines and how you conduct yourself with them.)
  2. What results have you achieved with others? (Again, case studies that proves your acumen to elevate a business with greater customer acquisition and higher revenue.)

To any marketing professional that can effectively answer these questions, as well as prove them with fully documented case studies, positive customer reviews and bettered statistics, you will have plenty of new business coming on board with your firm.I love helping companies know the difference between sales and marketing, assisting them to generate higher levels of revenue. Contact me for a free sales and marketing coaching session. 

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