The Marketing and Sales Difference: Why You Need Both to Grow Your Business
The marketing and sales difference can be confusing, but understanding the two can help you grow your business immensely. While marketing and sales are both key components to growing your business, they are very different from one another and serve very different purposes. This article will outline some of the key differences between marketing and sales and why you need both to grow your business in the long run. For more information, keep reading below!
Defining the Differences
Marketing is focused on creating an image for your business. Everything you do to promote yourself, from your brand image and logo to advertisements or social media campaigns, is considered marketing. It’s all about getting customers interested in what you have to offer. A marketer can be anyone who works at a company; it doesn’t necessarily require special training in business or communications. Marketing often works with salespeople who are responsible for closing deals with customers. Sales, on the other hand, focuses on generating leads so that marketing has something specific to work with down the line. They don’t necessarily create a product – they help create a demand by finding new clients or convincing current ones that they need more of whatever it is you’re selling.
What Do They Do?
One of biggest differences between marketing and sales is that marketers focus on what a company or brand offers, while sales teams concern themselves with who will buy it. It’s essential for business owners to understand these roles because they are crucial for growth. Marketing attracts new customers, while sales closes deals. By investing in both areas, companies can remain competitive in their respective industries. Marketing drives awareness of your brand; sales converts leads into paying customers. Marketing helps you attract new clients; sales helps you retain them. Marketing creates demand for your product or service; sales ensures there is someone there to fulfill it.
Anyone selling a product or service is part of marketing, from door-to-door salespeople to company executives. However, in today’s digital world, marketing encompasses many activities you don’t often think of as sales—including advertising, content creation and public relations. The best way to tell if something is marketing or sales? Ask yourself if it produces revenue for your business. If it does, it’s marketing. If it doesn’t, it’s sales. Who Buys?: Although marketing handles all aspects of bringing customers into your business, sales focuses on converting those leads into paying customers. Marketing may generate leads through social media campaigns or telemarketing calls; then it’s up to sales to close those deals. While some companies have one department that handles both marketing and sales (and there are pros and cons to each approach), most businesses separate these two functions because they require different skill sets. For example, marketers can be creative types who excel at creating ads but aren’t always great at closing deals; conversely, some top sellers may not be great at coming up with ideas for new campaigns. In short, marketers come up with ideas; sellers close deals.
Who Does Marketing?
Many entrepreneurs believe that marketing is a department, or role of an employee within their company. But marketing isn’t a role—it’s a process, and it shouldn’t be entrusted only to those with direct experience in it. Like any other facet of business, marketing should be thought of as a business in itself. Just as people aren’t born knowing how to write code, entrepreneurs shouldn’t need prior experience in marketing to launch their businesses successfully. Marketing is something you can learn, just like coding. It takes time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Marketing your startup can seem like a complicated task if you don’t know where to start, but there are many resources available online for beginners looking to understand marketing fundamentals before diving into more advanced topics. For example, HubSpot has created an online resource called Inbound Marketing University that teaches new marketers about SEO best practices, email marketing tactics and content marketing strategies for startups.
Filling the Gaps
The need for marketing and sales staff varies from business to business. If you’re an e-commerce company, for example, your customers may come across your site through online searches, so you won’t necessarily need a sales team. On top of that, most e-commerce companies operate on a highly automated sales process, meaning individual customers rarely interact with salespeople in order to make purchases. However, if you run a brick-and-mortar store or have a more traditional B2B business model, it’s likely that marketing and sales will be much more intertwined. In these cases, it makes sense to hire both marketing and sales staff—but how do you know what roles are right for your organization? Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining whether you need marketing and sales personnel: What type of product or service is your business selling? How does your target audience find out about new products? How much money can you afford to spend on marketing efforts? Do you have enough time available for marketing efforts (or does someone else in your organization)? How many clients do you want to reach per month/year/quarter/etc.? Does every client require personal attention from a salesperson?
Where Does Sales/Marketing Fit Into Your Company Structure?
What’s more important: marketing or sales? That’s a question you should ask yourself as soon as possible. Both marketing and sales have their place in your company structure, but they each serve different purposes, which is why they shouldn’t be treated equally. Understanding how they differ will help you decide where on your org chart they need to sit. (It might not be where you think.) Read More: The Marketing and Sales Difference: Why You Need Both to Grow Your Business . . . The biggest mistake startups make is that they try to create a one-size-fits-all approach for marketing and sales, so when things don’t go according to plan, it can feel like all hope is lost. But instead of trying to merge these two roles into one, understand what marketing does for your business—and what it doesn’t do—and apply that same knowledge when it comes time for you to hire someone for sales. By breaking down what makes them unique from one another, you’ll have a better idea of who needs (or doesn’t need) to report into either role.