A lot of people lump sales and marketing together into one entity, thinking they are the same thing. Businesses sometimes think if they focus on salespeople and those types of activities, then they are marketing. And vice versa – if they focus on marketing, then they are selling. But it’s just not true.
Sales and marketing are two different entities. So what’s the difference?
Marketing is the process of promoting your business and the products/services within it via materials, strategies and ideas. Marketing can take the form of inbound or outbound marketing, and there are many different techniques within these realms.
Some examples of marketing include websites, direct mail pieces, ads, email distribution lists, solicitations, newsletters, social media, etc. All of these entities involve things – people are involved in producing those things, but that’s where the interaction stops.
Sales involves directly talking to people. It’s a people to people job. It’s about converting those people you are marketing to into actual customers.
Sales can take the form of phone conversations or in-person visits. It can be attending a trade show and talking to people. It can be negotiating a contract based on your business structure, or making deals about rates. The key difference is that in sales, you are discussing the marketing materials you are presenting (or the business itself) with the goal of changing prospect interest into money for your business.
Can you run a successful business without both marketing and sales? Probably not. This is because you use your marketing materials and resources when you are trying to sell, so you need to create those materials first.
How often will you purchase something without a tangible object (brochure, product proof, written testimonials, etc.) or website to reference? Having printed materials, graphics, displays, websites…all of these things add credibility to what you are selling. Without it, you may as well be selling air.
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