In small business, we often ‘lump’ sales and marketing into the same bucket. This is actually a problem because they are not one role, they are two separate roles with two separate outcomes.
If you speak to anyone that has worked in a large corporate company that had separate departments for sales and marketing and then ask them if the two departments like each other they will tell you – pretty fast too – that NO, they hated each other!
Because the marketing department would be saying to the sales department ‘We are getting you all these leads/enquiries, could you sell something?’ and the sales department then replies with ‘We’d sell something if you got us a better quality lead!’
When you are in small business and you put these two departments together, you are having this same battle – just in your own head or that of the person you have hired to do your sales and marketing.
Now this doesn’t mean the solution is to have a separate sales person to a separate marketing person, it is just understanding the difference between the two of them.
Marketing is all about generating leads or enquiries. How can we find people that are at least in the market or potentially interested in your product or service? How can we get them to talk to you, come into your shop/business, make a website enquiry, come to your website – how can we get them to consider enquiring to you about your product or service.
Now in sales, the goal of the sales department is to convert that lead/enquiry into a customer. How do we take that enquiry or person and have them buy from you?
The challenge for most small business owners is that they either hate sales (we can talk about this later) or they are thinking how do I get a customer to buy when doing marketing (instead of how do I find someone to enquire about our products/services).
Networking is a classic example. Many business owners go to business networking events to ‘get a customer’. Networking is a marketing strategy, not a sales strategy. The purpose of going to a networking event is marketing – so to generate a lead or enquiry. To find interest in your product or service. Next time you go to a networking event, have a look at the number of people who are trying to sell, rather than market.
To increase your business, you need to separate these two departments (even just in your own head and mindset) so that you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing and then also the effectiveness of your sales.
Yes, they work together, but have different goals. If you do better in both areas, you will see a multiplier effect in your business – which is what you want.