Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Sales and Marketing

sales and marketing

Sales and marketing have a symbiotic relationship. In other words, they support one another. However, many people confuse the two and even treat them the same. (How often have you seen “sales and marketing” lumped together under the same header?) In the classic sense, sales = a transaction. For example, think of the stereotype of a door-to-door salesman. That person wants to sell you the set of pots or the vacuum cleaner right now. They have a quota to make.

How Do You Find Customers?

The Small Business Association defines marketing as “the process of creating customers…” How you create these customers, that’s marketing. It’s an important distinction. People won’t magically materialize and buy your stuff if they don’t know you exist. So you have to let them know you exist!

  1. Define your target audience.

Everyone isn’t your target. If you sell bridal jewellery, soon-to-be brides are your ideal audience. If you sell gluten-free dog treats, dog owners who buy premium pet food are your audience. Once you define who they are, you’ll know what they look like and can spot them easier. That way, you know what groups to join on Facebook and what to say.

  1. Define your brand.

How will you set yourself apart from your competition? Are you sassy? Fun? Buttoned up? Your brand sets you apart so you stand out from the pack. This will draw your right types of clients to you. If you’re not sure, ask your friends the words they use to describe you? What feels right to you? Examine your competition and see how they position themselves. This will give your insight for your brand.

  1. Determine how you’ll reach your ideal client or target audience.

Where do they hang out? If you want to reach moms of toddlers, you might spend time in parenting forums or Facebook groups that cater this audience. You may buy Facebook ads that target them, show up at real life events like preschools, and practice collaborative marketing with another business that targets the same audience.

  1. What if they don’t buy the first time?

That’s perfectly normal. In fact, veteran sales people say the majority of sales area are made between 5 and 12 “touches.” That’s why Facebook Ads and email marketing can work so well.

Define Your Sales and Marketing Process

If you’re an ecommerce business, your online store is a sales platform. Your pictures, your product descriptions, and your “buy now” button are all part of the sales process. Your marketing brings them to your web store. Many entrepreneurs spend most of their time on the sales process – setting it up – and then realize they need a process to get customers. Of course, you need both.

When you’re fulfilling orders you’re in the sales role. When you’re posting on Facebook and planning email campaigns, you’re wearing your marketing hat, and then of course the rest of the time you’re wearing your other hats, be it human resources, business planner or any other! You’ll make it easier on yourself to create a marketing system you can replicate. For most small businesses, social media will be a key piece of your successful marketing strategies. You can add other marketing strategies as you grow. The easiest way to achieve marketing success is to choose 3-4 tactics and do them consistently.

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