A client recently sent us a note about sales: “There has never been a company in the history of companies that has ever succeeded without sales”. Never has a truer statement been made. Whether it’s a product or a service, without customers buying their products or services, a company will fail.
But Sales is not the same as Marketing: they serve different purposes, and having one without the other will also lead to failure.
There is always a dynamic relationship between the business owner, marketing and sales.
Marketing brings together strategically all the facets of the company in order to bring customers to the door. This ‘door’ may be physical, or virtual (online).
Marketing knows the customer, and promotes the company’s brand, services and products to that customer, using a variety of channels and tools to do so. Marketing brings to the attention of as many people as possible that these products or services are available, and seeks to convince them that they could be right for them – better than any other alternative.
However, once the customer is in the ‘door’, so to speak, Marketing effectively ceases, and Sales takes over.
In Sales, the customer, generally through a one-to-one conversation or experience, is persuaded and convinced of their need to purchase this product or service.
However, they may look and investigate (marketing), but they do not always buy (sales).
Indeed, in real estate for example, it’s estimated that out of 100 enquiries, one person only will actually buy a property being marketed. In product sales, it’s generally one in 10 who end up purchasing the product.
There are many factors that influence a customer purchase: product or service quality, value (for money), price, uniqueness, recommendation and need. In most cases, these are determined prior to Marketing and Sales. The Business Owner determines these factors. It’s their product or service, not the province of Marketing or Sales. They have selected (often produced) the product or service and nominated it’s quality and price.
However, Marketing and Sales can advise the business owner on how to improve their products or services, or to shift focus, based on the data and feedback they collect from customers - but they never determine them.
So as a business owner, be aware of your expectations of Marketing - what it can achieve - and its relationship to Sales.
The most successful companies are those where the Business owner, Marketing and Sales work cooperatively and creatively together.