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Sales and Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

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It’s important to know the difference between marketing and sales and to not mistake one for the other. Misunderstanding one for the other and the purpose of each type of business function can lead a start-up or small business to miss out on important opportunities. Flat Planet is an Australian offshoring company based in the Philippines that can help small businesses generate sales and put together marketing campaigns. It has teams of professionals to perform these functions for clients.

The Difference between Sales and Marketing

 “Sales” refers to the process of reaching out to people from the target audience/market of your business, turning them into leads, and taking care of these leads until they are convinced to eventually subscribe to the service the business offers, or buy its products.  In a nutshell, the work of the sales department is to sell whatever the company/business has to sell.  Usually, the goals of sales are short-term and simple: sell as many products or service subscriptions as possible within a set period.

On the other hand, marketing has many goals. The most basic goal is to generate more brand awareness among members of the target market/audience. Marketing people aim to create positive, recognizable, and lasting brand awareness to create interest for the products and services of the business.

Unlike sales teams, marketing teams and departments usually keep long-term goals and targets. The achievements of marketing efforts are also difficult to measure quantitatively. The results and impact of marketing activities and campaigns usually appear over a long period of time.

These are the most basic differences between sales and marketing: sales is all about gaining short term success, but marketing maintains more long term perspectives.

These two functions, however, should support one another. Marketing efforts should support sales, to make the process of closing more sales deals easier. If there’s an effective marketing campaign in place, the members of the target market will recognize the company/business/product even before the sales people approach them to introduce the brand. Marketing should support the efforts of the sales team to generate leads and convert them into sales.

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Marketing Should Help Sales

Good marketing will help a business make its services and products credible and trustworthy in the eyes of buyers and clients. Effective marketing will help sales make initial contact with prospects and potential clients.  The right marketing can even help sales establish first contact with interested prospects.

On the other hand, even good marketing has limits. Take social media marketing for instance: the usual social media channels should not be used for hard-sell sales efforts.  Social media marketing should be used to introduce the business and what it offers, but not to sell products and services. Of course this can still be done, but in a way that is not too obvious or blatant as to be off-putting. Remember: marketing is not a shortcut for the sales process. Trying to force sales through marketing can backfire and hurt the company’s reputation, as well as the credibility of the products and services it offers.

The joint goal of sales and marketing is to convert a person from the target group into a lead, and turn the lead into a client. To do this, marketing has to be used to build a relationship with the leads, before turning them over to sales.

Flat Planet is an Australian offshoring company based in the Philippines that can help small businesses generate sales and put together marketing campaigns. It has teams of professionals to perform these functions for clients.

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