Marketing and Sales have a lot in common. Both are very important points of interest for generating revenue in your business, and they both are to be covered within the marketing plan subset of your overall business plan. Truthfully, it’d be hard to imagine your business operating without a marketing or sales division in place; they are both absolutely essential. But which one comes first when establishing your business; marketing or sales?
The short answer is marketing; establishing a business without marketing infrastructure is akin to building a house without a foundation. When first beginning, a marketing plan should be concise, only covering one year. This will allow you to accommodate for things changing such as team dynamics and the market structure; you can worry about a two to four year plan later on down the road. Your plan should be made with the insight of all of your team-members; getting feedback from all parts of your company will better provide an all-encompassing strategy, improving your likelihood for success.
He goes on to say that without a marketing plan, you won’t be able to build your brand as effectively as you could. Once you have a marketing strategy set up only then can you begin to focus on sales. But you need sales to survive right? That may be true, but good marketing creates awareness of your firm on a broad scale, allowing you to grow exponentially in the future. Small businesses may be able to survive by word of mouth but they’ll never grow to their true potential. By creating a solid marketing plan you are being proactive in managing your company. Upon creating the marketing plan you then utilize your sales division reactively to achieve the results you desire. A sales team will utilize the company’s marketing philosophy to drive sales numbers up. For example, marketing plan’s often will include situation analyses discussing the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Armed with this information, salesmen for your company will be better suited to sell the product or service in ways that will highlight your company’s unique strengths while circumventing your weaknesses. Furthermore by knowing what your target audience is, salesmen can refine their focus on likely customers instead of wasting their efforts on empty leads. Marketing also establishes goals for your firm (for example, to increase clients by 15% in the next 3 months) which holds your sales force accountable in the long-term and encourages success.
To conclude, marketing and sales should never be an afterthought. They will always be essential parts of any business and they should be used jointly to expand your enterprise. That being said, they do indeed offer very different purposes. Marketing is about information gathering and perpetuation; in a marketing plan you intend to learn about your market and your customer, while finding ways to target them and to inform them about your brand. Sales on the other hand uses that information as a means to an end, to sell more products and to increase profitability for your company. Whichever way you look at it, both should be a high priority for your company. However, without a marketing strategy, your sales will inevitably suffer and your company could fail before your dreams come to fruition.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Marketing or Sales – Which Comes First?
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