Knowing the difference between sales and marketing is crucial for your business. Many think that they are the same because as I was recently told “if you are selling, you are marketing”. Creating a strategy combining the two will help you grow your online business.
Sales is the result of marketing. It requires social contact with your prospects so you can make a sale. Commonly used techniques include face to face meetings, telephone calls, texting, and other types of networking. The main concern of sales is to get people to pay the price for the product.
Marketing covers everything we do to increase demand for the products we promote. It is how our customers go from being unaware to making a buying decision. Included in advertising, sales, promotions, researching, product development, and strategic planning. Marketing’s main concern is customer needs and satisfaction.
Many use the two words interchangeably. Both sales and marketing is about building relationships.
Sales people market daily. Talking to people they come in contact with to find if they have a need. Overcoming buying objections by informing the customer of the benefits of the product. They build credibility and trust through their knowledge of the products. They build relationships through sales and marketing. In the end they close the sale.
Sales and Marketing Today
In today’s computer driven world sales and marketing merge. It takes about eight contact with your website for a prospect to make a buying decision. So how do we take what we know from personal sales to online sales? We take the sales process merge it with marketing to build or websites.
People start as a cold prospect. You would meet them through cold-calls, trade shows, networking events, and online social networks. Having a website, advertising, seminars, and special promotions are some cold marketing tactics you can use.
You start building relationships with them, and move them through the sales process. Now they become a warm prospect. How do you reach your warm prospects? Through e-mail, meetings, sales letters, and following up with them using advertising, broadcasts, newsletters, and other marketing tactics.
You get on the phone or give them a presentation and finally when they are ready they become a customer.
Put content on your site that helps people solve a problem. Set your site up to get their contact information, follow-up with valuable information explaining how you can benefit them, close the sale. By setting up your website like this you will start building trust, get more leads, make more sales.
Success online comes from creating programs combining sales and marketing. This allows you to reach customers wherever they are in the sales process.
Start by evaluating your skills and partnering, outsourcing, or hire the right people to get the skills you need.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published May 15, 2014 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Gordon, Kim, T. (),Defining Sales and Marketing, Entrepreneur, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/46086
Lake, Laura, (2015) Five Levels of Digital Marketing and the Sales Process, The Balance http://marketing.about.com/cs/internetstrategy/a/aanetmarketingc.htm
Business Dictionary, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/marketing.html