Sales and marketing tend to get lumped together — one couldn’t exist without the other — but they are two distinct business functions. Marketers believe their efforts are what drive sales; many in sales subscribe to the theory that marketing is unnecessary, even a hindrance, in generating revenue. While the argument rages on, you can take comfort in these simple distinguishing characteristics:
- The Strategic versus the Tactical — Marketers focus on strategy first. Devising the communications efforts, the messaging, and the branding is what positions products to simplify the sales process. For those in sales, the tactics of selling are what lead to results. Building relationships, making calls, and understanding customer pain points leads to success.
- The Brand versus the Customers — Marketers believe positioning the brand and defining what makes it valuable and important is how you connect with customers. Without first positioning your product or service, you’re stumbling through the dark. Sales, however, puts the customer first. Understanding what they want or need is what enables you to deliver a product that solves their problem — and you can’t know that until you build a solid relationship.
- The Place in the Market versus Revenue — Marketers strive to position products and services so they’re the perfect choice for a particular audience. Apple, for example, has established a well-defined position as the leader in upper-tier technology. Marketers are what make that happen. On the sales of the equation, positioning takes time, which isn’t always available when revenue numbers need to be hit. Sales exists to make money; positioning and place in the market is secondary.
Does your organization clearly distinguish between sales and marketing? Do you see opportunities for improvement? Contact us today to learn more.