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Sales Versus Marketing

How Can the Differences Help your Business Grow?

As owners, operators, leaders, and practitioners we have had to wear both the sales hat and the marketing hat. However, what I have learned in my 25 years of serving small businesses is that most do not operate with the differences in mind, and therefore, have not had much success with marketing.

I often joke that I have been in sales for 20+ years, but I have been a marketer for only 8 of those years. I do this to prove a point. Sales and marketing are two different functions. They each have different skill sets, strategies, and action plans. Goals and objectives are different, and budgets are different. Unfortunately, most small businesses lump marketing with sales and expect the same people to do both. I get it. Budgets are small. We want our sales organization to be our engines and our loudest voices to promote what we do and how we can help the businesses we serve.

Does any of this sound familiar? How many times have you invested in marketing only to come out of the situation feeling unproductive and not getting the ROI you needed? It happens too often. I find myself in many conversations with owners about the past disappointments with marketing. The root cause is typically due to the lack of intentionality and delineation between what you wanted from the marketing effort and what your sales organization (or you) would do to leverage the marketing effort to increase sales.

Here are a few differences to keep in mind between the two, as you plan your 2021 marketing and sales efforts.*

1. Marketing is one-to-many and sales is one-to-one
2. Marketing tells stories and sales is where our business becomes real for the prospect and our stories come to life
3. Marketing looks after the brand’s reputation and sales is relationship-driven
4. Marketing needs to keep stories circulating and resonating with the target markets and sales looks after individuals

None of this information is likely new, but it is hard to keep top of mind as you work with your teams to develop key initiatives. Considering the number of touchpoints required to acquire a lead (6-8) and then develop that lead into a prospect(10+) before we can even convert, you must be mindful of these differences to be successful.

As you are finalizing your 2021 plans, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or (513) 309-0719 to discuss how you can develop a strong marketing program for your business to help feed your sales efforts or check out our programs at https://eminetwork.com/programs/ for details on how we can help your business grow.


*Seven differences between sales and marketing – SmartCompany.com