‘Marketing’ is not ‘Sales’

So many times I hear small business owners speak of ‘marketing and sales’ as if they are the same thing. Apparently for some people anything not directly related to making the product is lumped under the category of  ‘marketing and sales’. I’ve also noticed that the people who do this are generally the same ones who have an aversion to promoting their business and usually need to work on their marketing mindset if they are going to be more effective.

A simple way to differentiate marketing from sales is by the old telephone analogy. The role of marketing is to get the phone to ring while the role of sales is answer it and make something happen. Big business clearly defines the roles by having different people in charge who work in different groups (not always good). For small businesses, where the same person has to wear multiple hats, there can be a problem realizing when you are in a marketing role from when you need to start selling.

Many people say the one-and-only role of marketing is to generate leads. While this might be a little simplistic it does have some truth to it. Classic marketing (i.e. the 4 P’s) talks about product, pricing, promotional strategies, and placement/distribution. For small business owners it’s all about promotional strategies … or how do I get my message out there so people know about what I offer.

Sales (on the other hand) is measured by conversion rate. This is the percentage of leads (or prospects) that you are able to convert to paying customers. If marketing has done their job then sales has plenty of leads to work on. The sales challenge is knowing how to get customers to value your product or service so they commit to purchasing it. The goal is to get more paying customers by working on a selling system (or strategy) that is right for your specific business and your personality and comfort level.

So why keep marketing and sales separate?

  1. To clearly measure how successful we are at each piece.
  2. Because the strategies for success are quite different.  
  3. To avoid selling to a prospect who is not ready to buy.
  4. To quit marketing to someone who is now ready to buy.

Sometimes just a little change in how we view things can have great results. For more information on marketing and sales try the following site;


– Steve   (www.SPMsolutions.NET)

This entry was posted in Marketing, Sales and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ‘Marketing’ is not ‘Sales’

  1. Pingback: SANDLER: A Non-Tradional Selling System « SPM Business Solutions

  2. bmattoon says:

    One differentiation I found between marketing and sales is the process of evaluation of what is working in terms of making successful sales or relationships with new clients so to impact and provide feedback to the marketing process of lead generation.

    so for example, I found that the 2 most effective generators of high probability leads for my sales process were through referrals and through development through known associates. cold calling was completely ineffectual for me.

    therefore through the above sales success evaluation, I changed my marketing approach for finding qualified leads for my sales process to focusing on leads through referrals and through known associates. This has changed how I spend my marketing time and resources and has changed my selling approach and sales success with selling my products/services to new clients.

    I am of the opinion that there are many steps within each major process (marketing and sales), and it is best to identify the sub-steps within each major process and therefore assess the overall effectivness of your marketing and of your sales processes. you can’t really assess what you don’t identify and don’t evaluate.

    Bob Mattoon, ISC Networks, Inc.

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