Sales and Marketing: Necessary Ingredients for Business Success

Every business is selling something. Whether it is a product, a service, or persuading people to support or buy in to a concept (for example, a charity or institution) there is a sale involved in some form or another. However, in order for there to be sales, there inevitably needs to be marketing. And marketing without sales would be, well, rather pointless. So let's take a closer look at both sales and marketing separately, and then look at how they beautifully complement each other when they are used together.

Marketing: Paving the Way for Sales

Since marketing precedes sales, we will look at marketing first. Marketing involves all the things that a business does in order to reach its current and potential customers. The ultimate goal in marketing is to persuasively create interest in consumers so they will eventually buy or use the products or services.

Marketing includes many things. It involves creating the message that is to be conveyed to a business's target market. It also includes creating the image or brand of the company to both influence prospective customers and set it apart from competitors.

Marketing also involves all the strategies used to make consumers aware of the product or service. This includes how the product is advertised. Advertising includes both how the product or service is portrayed, as well as the means in which the message is delivered. For example, a company may choose to advertise in a variety of ways, such as the internet, direct mail, telemarketing, newspaper ads, and television or radio ads.

A company may also choose to advertise by choosing a location which makes it very visible to its target market. For example, opening up a new clothing boutique at the mall will automatically exposes hundreds of potential customers to your business as they walk by.

Marketing also includes all of the initial research conducted prior to developing or introducing a new product. This research includes such things as determining customer needs, evaluating how competitors are (or are not) currently meeting those needs, looking at consumer buying habits, and studying marketing trends. There is often a significant amount of research involved behind a product or service.

Sales: Picking Up Where Marketing Left Off

As you can see, marketing paves the way for the sales process to take place.

In a nutshell, sales is the process of leading a potential buyer to purchase a product or a service. Sales are typically done by people who interact directly with the consumer. This may be face to face, via telephone, or even by mail or email.

However, sales can also take place without a sales person. Take for example a vending machine: sales happen all day long as people walk up and put their money into the machine in order to purchase a product. The product is then delivered on the spot. Also, with the Internet, many sales are made "virtually". People peruse the Web and often end up making a purchase online. Again, the process was set up without the need for the consumer to interact directly with a sales person.

The sales of products and services are how businesses make a profit. They generate the income for a company.

Marketing and Sales Together: Keys to Success

So let's look at how marketing and sales naturally go together and compliment each other. Marketing generates potential leads; this means that as a result of marketing strategies such as advertising, potential customers are now aware of a company's product or service and hopefully interested in it.

As soon as marketing achieves that goal of creating awareness and interest, the sales process begins. Just like you need good marketing methods and strategies to generate potential leads, you need good sales methods and techniques to close the sale. A successful company knows how to effectively combine the efforts of both their marketing team and their sales team to get consumers to buy their products and services.

You can't really have one without the other. And in order for them to be the most effective, marketing and sales need to be balanced. A solid, balanced and well-implemented marketing and sales strategy is the key to success for any business!