The fundamentals of sales and marketing

February 6, 2009

It seems to me that there are two fundamentals of sales and marketing which always get overlooked. Firstly, without sales there is no revenue, without revenue no company, no company, no job. Without marketing there can be no sales.

Before someone comments that there’s been plenty of sales with no marketing campaigns or budgets let me define what I feel is “sales” and “marketing”. Sales is anything you do which directly results, at that moment, with an exchange of money for the good you are selling. Marketing is anything you do which promotes, communicates and informs about your good. The line is definitely blurred and is not a function of job title, it’s a function of the moment.

Retail is built on sales, which happen in a forum (store floor, phone etc.). Outside of retail, most sales guys spend most of their time marketing. Another way to put it is that marketing builds the relationship between the customer and the good, sales leverages that relationship to provide revenue.

Understanding what makes a “good” sales guy good and a “bad” one bad is normally not obvious. Companies tend to know which one they have but have little idea what made the good one good and the bad one bad. A friend of mine, who is a national sales manager, summed it up well. “As long as my boss sees me working, sales are going up and she thinks these two things are related, we’re fine”.

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