Do you know the difference between marketing and sales?
Even if you are crystal clear, do you know exactly when to use marketing versus when to use sales in your business?
The conventional wisdom goes like this: Marketing is designed to bring interested prospects to you. Sales is designed to close those leads and turn them into customers.
The trouble with those definitions, though, is it makes it sound like you need BOTH marketing AND sales, because they're two parts of one process.
Marketing and Sales are two very different exercises, requiring very different inputs and producing very different outputs.
Some businesses have no business marketing, and should only focus on sales.
Others have no business selling, and should only do marketing.
So how do you know which to do?
My general rule of thumb is this: If you're in B2B, you should have a sales plan. If you're B2C, you should create a marketing plan.
That rule doesn't always hold true though. For instance, a larger ticket item usually needs to be "sold," even if it's B2C, while a smaller value item can be marketed and bought without a sales conversation if you have the right funnel to begin with.
This has important implications for how you sell and market. I see many entrepreneurs get bogged down in marketing activities who really need to go out and develop a sales funnel. Sometimes I see the reverse, and see entrepreneurs selling when they should be marketing, but usually it's people who are marketing and should be selling.
The big tell-tale sign is this: How long is your sales cycle? If you can't answer that, chances are you're pursuing the wrong one. If you can, then you have control over your funnel (sales OR marketing) and that's a good sign you're on the right track and just need to optimize.
What about you? Do you have a crystal clear lead generation plan? Do you know when to market and when to sell? If not, let's chat.