While technology continues to change the landscape of the sales and marketing world, you may not want to ditch the landline just yet. Clearly, 21st century communication vehicles have reshaped how people buy and sell. A social media presence can yield substantial rewards; yet, there are still plenty of lessons to be learned and implemented from the old-school marketing practices of the 20th century. (You remember - when we had to walk 10 miles to and from school in a blinding snowstorm – uphill, both ways!)
Sales vs. marketing
“Sales and Marketing” is a tenet often used together, as if both words have the same meaning. They do not. Let’s start with a definition of sales and a definition of marketing.
Sales are what you say and do during the moment your product or service is being purchased. In our world, the same sale can be processed at different points in time. For example, when a client gives you the “OK” on a proposal, you have a preliminary sale. When a delivery representative sets up that order, confirms its accuracy, and asks the client to sign the invoice, that is a final sale.
Marketing is what you do before and after the sale. It is about building awareness and relationships. Marketing is any action that makes “the phone ring” the first time and convinces customers to purchase from you again. For example, when you have any special menu or theme packages you create and promote, such as a “Superbowl Buffet” or your “Spring Specials,” you are marketing your operation.
How do sales and marketing work in synergy, and how can you measure the results?
These are a few areas to consider:
• How long does it take to build trusting business relationships?
• What is your process to get that first order (sale) placed?
• How do you convince a new customer to buy from you again or refer you to others?
First things first
Begin by attracting potential new customers. This is where marketing must take charge in the sales and marketing relationship. Marketing feeds sales. Some of your leads and prospects will convert into clients. The reality, however, is that many more will not. No matter how you slice it, marketing is the engine that drives future sales and revenues.
Sales and marketing will always be natural partners, but their functions are quite different. Regardless of the size of your operation, it is critical to decide which person or department is responsible for the different components.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of spending all your time in one area and none in the other. Ideally, they should be happening at the same time, but independently of each other.