Marketing vs Sales?

Here’s a question I answered recently on the Agency Access podcast in the blog, The Lab. I’m curious to hear how others would answer it too.

What is the best way to seamlessly integrate marketing and sales?

First, let’s define our terms: marketing is everything you do to creative visibility and get the attention of your prospects. The focus in marketing is often on yourself and your materials. Sales is what you do to convert that prospect into a client when they have a project on the table. The focus in sales is on the needs of the prospect and showing you’re the “right” choice.

So marketing tools include the email marketing campaigns, the social media (depending on how you use it), even cold calling to me is part of marketing. Until the moment when they say, “I’d like to talk to you about a project.”

That’s when you turn on the sales machine, which can include a proposal, conversations about the project, defining the scope, negotiating the price, and of course, following up until they make a decision. Integrating the two isn’t usually the issue for the creative professionals I know.

Rather the issue is putting enough attention on the relationships as opposed to the materials. It’s so easy to perfect your portfolio or your web site and so much more challenging to pick up the phone or reach out to a prospect. Both feel productive but only one takes you that much closer to a real job.

What about you? How do you differentiate marketing from sales?

2 thoughts on “Marketing vs Sales?

  1. Elsy Aumann

    One of my favorite Marketing Tools is Public Relations. Every time I show up to any local: public or private event I get a one of a kind -one on one- opportunity to promote my business and myself and get the attention of prospects. On a different note I just recently had the opportunity to discuss with a client an invoice that was sent for some services rendered. This client has not modified their brochure / marketing kit in 10 years (or more) and finally had decided to call me to ask me to give their material a fresh look from what they currently have. Once the invoice was sent, the client contacted me to understand the charges on the invoice I submitted, and once all her questions where answered, I had an opportunity to ask her about their website and suggested her that another way to strengthen her marketing efforts was to keep consistency throughout all her corporate image. Then she said: Wow, “Elsy, you also design websites!” Sadly I realize, and shame on me for neglecting this client, and never keeping an eye on them and making sure they knew I have expanded my services. Ultimately, she has giving me the opportunity to provide her with a Website Proposal. I wanted to share this Marketing and Sales experience here. Now I just need to make sure that when she gets that proposal I can convert that prospect (project) into a client (invoice). And I will feel successful and the cycle repeats one more time.

  2. Kenn Schroder

    Great question Ilise.

    I like your clarification.

    One odd thing is that if marketing is well done, the sales is easier, so theres something of an overlap.

    Also, if the product is good, well that helps spread the word, so it’s indirectly marketing.

    Anyhow … I like the way you explain it – marketing = visibility/outreach, sales = converting opportunities into paying work.

    I suppose following up with past clients and old leads would be marketing, and once they re-indicate some sort of need, the selling begins.

    Kenn Schroder

    Web Designers: 8 Mistakes that Stop You from Getting Clients