Understanding Marketing & Sales (for small business owners)
Small business owners often rush into their marketing & sales campaigns with little understanding of how these two key functions work together. Very often they cannot afford to hire teams in to manage Marketing & Sales so they end up handling everything themselves.
Marketing and Sales always work hand-in-hand together: one develops the brand and the other one assumes the image of the brand. One cannot operate without the other. While the marketing department determines the brand message and uses promotion to motivate the customer to take an action, the sales department actually converts the customer to a buyer by closing the deal. Marketing & Sales are two distinct but closely related functions. Both have to work together to build ongoing relationships with customers. If you are fortunate enough to have staff employed in these two departments of your small business, you will want to encourage them to work together to create a customer-centric environment. Your sales force is your most visible manifestation of your brand. The customer doesn’t see two separate departments, he/she only sees one brand (your product or service).
Because the salesperson (very often the business owner) is a primary touch-point and has personal interaction with the customer, the salesperson IS the brand in the eyes of the customer. This is why it is so easy for salespeople to steal your customers when they migrate to another employer.
If you are a small business owner and you handle all your own sales, my advice is to get some sales training. Ultimately you have to be likeable because people do business with people they like. Not a people’s person? Then hire an experienced sales person to handle your sales, or your business will suffer.
Business owners generally know and understand that the sales force is the life-blood of the company but the sales team cannot operate without the brand development that is undertaken by the marketing team. You really cannot have one without the other.