Marketing & Sales Differences
Gary Begin/Sound Advantage Media
People often place Sales and Marketing together, even to the point that numerous sales jobs are now termed as “Marketing Directors”. This combination may seem like it would be beneficial because many managers fail to see a real variation between sales and marketing. Are they correct? How should your radio station(s) view sales and marketing?
Marketing is foundational – practical.
Build a house without a foundation; it holds no substance. Every structure, be it something in the physical world or in the conceptual world needs substance. Remember the 2000s dot com bubble? The problem wasn’t that there weren’t great ideas; the problem was that the great ideas had no substance. When they were released into the world many ideas simply collapsed because there was no substance. Marketing is the groundwork for a large sales approach. As such, marketing performs several key requirements:
• Define success. This may seem strange, success is making sales right? Wrong: success for sales is closing sales. Success for marketing is building your radio stations awareness.
How many times have you talked with someone that would have been a great customer for you only to realize they didn’t know you did what they needed? Without marketing, they never will. Word of mouth is great for small companies but only works for growth in severe cases. Defining your success means knowing how many people need to be reached to make a sale. Here is the formula
X Impressions are needed to make Y Contacts to get Z Visits = One Sale
• Provide consistency. I once worked with a radio station that had three different messages for the same sales package. Sales used whichever seemed to work, the company promoted on whichever one was the fad of the moment and the radio station eventually bankrupted. Their message was inconsistent; no one really knew what they were about, how they did it or how they could benefit a client.
Marketing “controls” what the brand is really saying: marketing manages the same message consistently. Message being the words, colors and designs. And before you get flippant that colors and design don’t matter – remember the human brain retains by communicating with several pathways. That is why you remember the words to a song from when you were twelve but have to use your phone for your appointments tomorrow.
• Explore the possibilities. The best analogy is marketing goes off in the forest hacking away areas that may or may not lead to something great. Once you’ve found a place, Sales comes in building a road to see if there is potential for growth followed by Service, which builds the city.
Marketing provides the guidance to know where to go into the forest of business by using educated, foundational analysis and research. This educated approach is why you need professionals, not uneducated people who are loyal but don’t know what else to do.
Sales is growth – responsive
Once you establish your marketing, with a nice marketing plan, then Sales moves in to begin dealing responsively with the results of the plan.
• Cultivate Relationships. It is a lot easier to fire a faceless corporation then it is to fire Bob who you know so well. Relationship building is the key to growing a diverse product/service offering. A sale is the face of the company. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you had a great experience in a retail store? Was it the company or the person you dealt with that made it great? For me, it has always been the person. Anytime someone goes above my expectations, I‘ll overlook other problems. So will your clients.
• Provide real-time feedback. Sales know a lot about what is going on in your market. They can determine where problems are going to be coming to inform management, and marketing. One of the greatest ways is to simply ask them to provide it. When I’ve sat in Sales team calls that are mostly brow beating sessions by management for not meeting numbers while discounting that Sales is providing essential information about changes in the marketplace; I immediately see the problem that no one wants the real-time feedback being provided. Sales see problems in the short-term, which is why marketing needs that information.
• Conclude business. The most important part is putting everything together for a prospect to move to becoming a client. Key to this is realizing a prospect’s needs in terms of the solutions offered, that means listening. Taking that information and blending it with the solutions a company offers. All these things happen because awareness was created, relationships were built; feedback was acted upon to lead to a strong client relationship.
Marketing comes first, Sales second and Service keeps the client. When the boundaries are set, expectations are established and people can be held responsible for their part in the company. When the lines get blurred, chaos reigns. No client ever likes chaos. Keep marketing and sales separate but working together as a team, allowing them to perform their jobs and empowering success with these straightforward concepts.