Which is more important, Sales or Marketing?


Which is more important, Sales or Marketing? Can you effectively grow your business using one and not the other? If you’re on a tight budget, do you put your resources into just one activity? And if so, which one?

Marketing is more important because …

… without Marketing you can’t generate leads and enquiries into your business. If you don’t generate new leads, you can’t sell to them. Marketing is about telling the world what you can do to help solve other people’s problems. It’s about finding out what issues other people and businesses are struggling with and what they want to achieve. Then it’s about you creating services and products that solve those challenges, which people are prepared to invest in. Selling without Marketing is like phoning someone who lives in a first floor flat and trying to sell them a conservatory!

Marketing is about creating a reputation for your business and getting people to talk about you. Without Marketing, how will anyone know that you exist?

Sales is more important because …

… you can generate all the leads you want, but if you can’t sell and close the deal, how will those prospects become clients? Sales is about helping prospective customers identify a gap in what they have – their turnover or number of clients, for instance. It’s about helping them to see the opportunity to fill that gap and then about you creating a solution that you can provide to fill that gap. If they can’t recognize the opportunity to change, they will never buy what you’re offering. Sales is about presenting the best solution that meets the needs of your prospective client – both their business and their personal needs. It’s about showing why your solution is perfectly aligned to them and why it’s the best solution.

Sales is about gaining the trust of a prospect – without that trust they will never sign the deal.

Sales and Marketing working together

As a Marketing Consultant, I might be tempted to say that Marketing is definitely more important than Sales. However, I’ve helped clients create great marketing materials, raise their business profile and generate lots of leads, only to see all the hard work come to nothing because they’re not comfortable closing the sale.

On the other hand, I can see how important Sales is, because I’ve received many phone calls from complete strangers wanting to sell me something, who make no attempt to help me realize I have a need for what they can sell. They don’t get very far!

I think the real answer is that Marketing and Sales have to work hand in hand. One without the other will cost a lot of money and produce fewer returns. To really maximise your efforts and investment, you need to make sure your Marketing and Sales activity (and people, if you work in a company large enough to have different departments) are working together. Companies who get their Marketing and Sales Strategy to work in unison can create really powerful results.

What do you think? Have you grown your business through Sales alone? Or do you think you can create a successful business just with Marketing? Is one more important than the other, or should they work together in equal measures?


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