Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Business people sometimes confuse sales with marketing. A sale occurs when money actually changes hands and your product or service is being used. Marketing builds awareness for the product or service.

If I asked you to name a beverage you might say "Coke". The "Coke is It' campaign did it's job. Coke is in your awareness.

If my next question to you is 'what are you drinking?' and your answer is "water", water represents the sale. You are aware of Coke but you actually consumed water.

In this example you might perceive that the water was free. You walked over and got it from your tap. Someone, somewhere pays a water bill. You also invested your time to pour the water. It was not exactly free.

Coke's competition is now water. In order to sell Coke to you, a sales rep would have to convince you to use your money to purchase Coke when your preference is water.

If you purchase Coke, the sales person was now successful. If not, no sale was made and the rep needs to move onto the next opportunity. The salesperson did have an advantage because Coke was in your awareness, they did not, however, close the sale.

It's important that sales and marketing partner to achieve the same result - increased sales. In an ideal situation the sales rep would report back the objections they heard from the prospect in choosing water over Coke. The marketing rep would then incorporate new selling features into their campaigns making the sale easier for the sales rep next time.

When it works, it's harmonious.

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