Sales and marketing may go hand in hand, but they are two very different functions with different purposes. The function of sales is primarily concerned with individual customers, while marketing is intended to appeal to a more broad audience. Although both are concerned with the final outcome of turning prospects into customers, sales and marketing should be approached differently in order to be successful.
Sales appeals to the individual
When approaching sales, the main goal is to explain to each prospect how your product or service solves problems that are specific to them. This may mean finding different ways in which to explain your product or emphasizing different features with each pitch. This Entrepreneur.com article notes, “Let’s look at typical sales activities. You spend a good amount of time one-on-one with individual clients, explaining to them what your products or services are for and what the benefits are compared to the alternatives.” The article goes on to explain how to utilize sales and marketing techniques to bolster your customer base.
Marketing leaves it up to the customer
Because marketing is very broad based, it allows entrepreneurs to tout the benefits of their products in a manner that lets the customer decide for themselves. A good marketing campaign coupled with a high quality product can often generate more sales through word-of-mouth, which is difficult to achieve using sales techniques. In a Forbes.com article titled “Sales vs. Marketing for Startups? Depends If You are B2B or B2C,” author George Deeb states, “Marketing can be driven via multiple channels, including the internet, social media, word of mouth, print, television, radio, billboards, events and direct mail, to name a few.” Deeb also notes that success in sales and marketing depends on having the right people in place, and that the salespeople and the marketing people know their roles and how to best execute them.
Neither sales nor marketing is “better” for attracting and retaining customers. Each has its own role in the business, but knowing the distinction and tailoring efforts to achieve results can help make both functions more successful.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse