To many people, sales and marketing amount to the same thing but there are considerable differences. Understanding these differences will allow you to invest in the appropriate area to produce both immediate impact and long term results.
- Sales is the process of getting business. Sales is the fuel for the corporate machine and the immediate gratification for corporate hunger. Your company cannot survive without sales. In fishing terms, sales is about going out and catching fish.
- Marketing is the process for attracting sales. It is easily overlooked because it provides no immediate gratification and yet it is vital for the future prosperity (or even survival) of the company. In fishing terms again; marketing is the irresistible bait that brings large shoals of fish within the reach of your rod or net.
- Marketing establishes your brand. Your brand is what distinguishes you from the rest of your corporate competitors and whilst it is propagated by your sales people it is initially established by your marketing.
- Marketing requires investment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that marketing requires financial investment as there are numerous methods of marketing for free but it does mean that it requires investment in time, planning and careful implementation – and it sometimes can be more effective if you are prepared to spend some money on it as well.
- Effective marketing materials can act as salesmen. This means that an effective, direct response sales letter to 2,000 properly targeted prospects can be the equivalent of sending out 2,000 salesmen to visit those prospects. Difficult to believe, but true – and with the added benefit that even the most effective marketing material doesn’t require a company car, commission and an expense account!
- Increased sales is the climax of a good marketing campaign. As I said in 2. above, marketing is the irresistible bait that brings in the large shoals of fish. At that point, even the poorest fisherman can catch a few but the best fishermen will catch many. A good sales force will similarly maximise the results of an effective marketing campaign.
- Sales without marketing is like a car without an engine. It will go forwards and backwards, left and right but it constantly needs pushing and is downright hard work!
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