Sales and Marketing are two common business terms and are both important components of a successful business. And most of the time, the two are lumped together in the term “Sales and Marketing”. But sales and marketing are two completely different functions and should be treated as such in your organization.
Sales is the process by which you attempt to convert prospects into paying customers. Marketing is the process by which you identify prospects. Lumping the two together and trying to determine what steps you should take in “Sales and Marketing” clouds the picture, and in many cases, results in the wrong decision being taken.
Most small to medium sized businesses have limited resources to deploy in their organization. Therefore, it is especially critical to make sure that you deploy your resources towards securing the best opportunities or eliminating the biggest dangers. To do that, it is important to be able to clearly identify where the opportunities and dangers are so that the proper course of action is chosen.
For companies that have acceptable amounts of prospects but are not turning those prospects into customers at an acceptable rate, focusing on the sales process is most important. Ask yourself why you are not converting these prospects into customers. Also ask yourself if you are maximizing the share of wallet from the customers you do convert. It is much easier and less costly to sell more to an existing customer than to identify new prospects and convert them into customers.
For companies who are converting prospects into customers at an acceptable rate, but do not have enough prospects, focusing on the marketing process is most important. Ask yourself what you can do to create more interest in your product or service so that more prospects can be identified. Look at where your best customers have come from and focus on those channels.
The key issue to understand is the difference between the two functions and to focus on securing your biggest opportunities and eliminating your biggest dangers.
Written by Alan Schatten