A Common Mistake.
A couple of months ago I was chatting to a friend who owns his own business. “I am looking for a marketer to sell my services to other businesses”, he said while taking a sip of his piping hot cappuccino. I asked him if this “marketer” will be doing his marketing strategy, and he quickly replied: “No, he should be on the road selling my services, not in the office doing admin!”
Many business owners are confusing marketing for sales, or underestimating the true value of effective, integrated marketing. What is the difference between the two you ask? It’s simple. Marketing is preparing the way for sales by generating leads using campaigns and customer centric engagements, while sales is the actual one-on-one meeting with a potential customer and closing the deal.
The Role of Marketing.
Is the one more important than the other? The straighforward answer is no. They each have a very specific role that they play. Marketing is not just a once off instance or event, but a series of consistent activities in the market to:
1. Create awareness around the business’s brand;
2. Build relationships with potential customers, suppliers, and partners;
3. Deliver on the brand’s promise;
4. Generate sales leads;
5. Convert customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
The Role of Sales.
Sales on the other hand, is the more personal approach and use this foundation, which the marketing activities have created, to launch from. It follows up on the leads which marketing has generated by making contact with the potential client or customer and understanding their business need on a very personal level. By understanding the customer’s need and the impact of not fulfilling this need has on the customer’s business, they can then tailor a solution specific to this customer’s needs.
Sales and marketing are natural companions in a business as they work hand-in-hand to generate revenue for the business, but the roles that they play are unique and quite different.