Understanding Sales and Marketing
Is sales marketing? Is marketing sales? Does sales come after marketing? Does marketing precede sales? Or, does sales precede marketing? How does it all work?
I want to really simplify it and I want to put it in the context. Here is where I believe the value is; that being how it relates to businesses and the size of the businesses, where businesses are at, and how they scale. When you’re a small business and you’re starting out, quite often you’ve got very little funds. Further, you’re self-funding and chances are you’re going to boot-strap everything you have. If that’s the case, nothing, as far as I’m concerned, beats sales.
To note, this is where the marketing spectrum often comes into play. The reason being, I see it every day. Where people starting businesses contact me and say “Hey Kevin, I want to do digital marketing, I want to do Facebook marketing, I want to design a website, I need this, I need that, I need this, but I have no money”. And I get it. We’ve all been in that position. We know what it’s like to start off and so, typically, my number one piece of advice is start selling. This is essential, where you need to get out there, be proactive, sell, talk, and network. You need the ability to convince people you’re the one for them. This needs to be done so that it allows you to bring in some revenue to pay the bills, and for you to re-invest back in your business.
The minute I said I was going into business for myself I did just that. I just put it out there and I started having the conversations. In saying that, I wasn’t precious about what I took on either. To put it simply, I sold. I went out and I sold. I barely even had a brand when I started. So, when I hear people say, ‘oh selling is too hard’, it’s not the case. And so that’s what I want to share, is that the sales portion always has to be there. We’re perpetually selling. And when you’re starting off, it’s more important than ever.
But then as you start to grow and you start to scale, there becomes a limit on the number of referrals or recommendations, whether you’re selling a product or a service, there becomes a point in time where you need to have an influx of interest, where you need to be having these conversations at scale in order to drive potential clients and increase your business. And that’s where the marketing side comes in.
Now, at this stage I will assume you have a logo and at least a basic Wix or Square Space website, which is a great way to start off when you have very little money. It is now time to invest your time into creating the foundations to kick off.
As you want to grow, and you want to scale, this is where the marketing function in its traditional sense makes the process to sale so much easier and so much more fluent and fluid.
So, the objective here is to delve into your potential channels. In some of my video content I talk about touch points, so you need to start thinking about what your touch points are or potentially could be. How are you engaging with your potential customers or target audience? What are you doing to communicate and tell the narrative, the story. This answers the questions about what you do, how you do it, why they should do business with you, who you are, what you know about them, how you can help them and where you can add value. So, this is where you set yourself up on the types of platforms that you believe you can achieve this at scale.
Here is where the marketing stuff kicks in; You’re now at the point you’re realising I need to do this to scale. I need to use the digital and social channels to help multiply those efforts. So, you create a LinkedIn profile, an Instagram, a Facebook page, and all the platforms that you believe your customers will be using.
Then you can delineate between outbound and inbound marketing. You can start with outbound marketing where you’re actively building a database and then you’re communicating with that database, you’re getting on the phone and you’re telling them a bit about your business. Then, you’ve got inbound marketing; where you’re building campaigns in order to drive or you create really great content in order to drive that interest and drive those people to you to start having that conversation at scale.
In short, that’s how I delineate between sales and marketing. Overall, I think they mesh, they go hand in hand. The sale is where the revenue comes from, but the marketing is the foundation that supports that sale. But the lines are blurred. Ultimately, when using these collectively to provide value to your potential customers, this is where it works really well.
I hope that gives you a bit of perspective, especially if you’re starting out or if you’re trying to find your feet. This also applies to those who are well-established but realise your need for further growth at scale. Here’s where the inbound marketing comes in.
I hope that helps. Feel free to check out my content on my Instagram or Facebook pages, or my Website where I produce regular blogs that give away tips and insights into marketing, digital and social media. If you want to learn more about the digital space, take a look at the book I recently authored ‘I Just Want It To Work, A Guide To Understanding Digital Marketing And Social Media For Frustrated Business Owners, Managers and Marketers’.