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What is the difference between marketing and sales?

Let’s think about this question for a moment. Without marketing you would not have prospects or leads to follow up with, but yet without a good sales technique and strategy your effectiveness in turning prospects into paying customers would not be so good.

Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects that you are the company for them. It’s the message that prepares the prospect for the sales. It consists of advertising, public relations, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.

Sales involves everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. It consists of interpersonal interaction. It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It’s anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance.

Both marketing and sales are important components in the overall success of a business. You cannot do without either process. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced it can vary well hinder the growth of your business.

Your marketing efforts begin the process of the eight contacts that studies show it takes to move a prospect or potential client to the close of the sale. If marketing is done effectively you can begin to move that prospect from a cold to a warm lead. By the time a prospect become a “warm” lead it’s much easier for the sales professional to close the sale.

 Do you see the cycle?
As you see in my explanation above it takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect from one level to the next. That is why it is import that you develop a process that combines both sales and marketing. This will enable you to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot. It’s all about balance.

 How do you integrate your marketing and sales processes?

Start by taking a few moments and divide your prospect lists and database into categories of cold, warm, and hot leads. Then sit down and identify a strategy on how to proceed with each individual group.

For example you could try the following methods of contact:
  • Cold Lead Strategy – Use direct mailing, special promotions and other mediums to introduce your company and products to prospects.
  • Warm Lead Strategy – Try a follow-up call, send out a sales letter, or schedule a special seminar or training session to get all of your warm leads together.
  • Hot Lead Strategy – Proceed in closing the sale. You can do this by conducting a one-on-one call, a presentation, or present a proposal, invoice or contract.

Remember the key to success in marketing and in sales is finding the right balance! Sales and marketing must pull together for successful business development.