Q: What is the difference between sales and marketing?
A: Sales is where you call the prospect. Marketing is where the prospect calls you.
The difference is significant and it parallels the changes we have seen in advertising and marketing over the last decade or so.
Advertising, that outbound, interruptive tactic that we all once relied on to generate sales, has become less effective as consumers gained control of their media consumption. Time-shifting, downloading, fast-forwarding and blocking have all become obstacles to advertising success. There’s also the general resentment at being advertised to in an untargeted and intrusive manner.
It’s a bit like sales. I mean, really, who enjoys receiving calls from salespeople? Or unsolicited walk-ins? Who opens the junk mail or the spammy emails?
And who enjoys doing it? Sales are hard.
Inbound marketing is the exact opposite. It delivers the customer to you, pre-qualified and ready to deal. Inbound marketing recognises and respects the consumer by giving potential buyers what they need, when they need it in order to make informed decisions. Inbound marketers aim to provide value and educate, avoiding the one-way communication of sales focused advertising.
Inbound marketing tactics include blogging, social media, SEO, email opt-ins and pay-per-click. It pulls the prospect in with quality content and information.
The difference in results is significant too. Various studies indicate that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing, while conversion rates from inbound marketing leads are generally much higher too. That’s because the inbound marketer has built trust and rapport before the prospect even makes the enquiry.
In the inbound marketing process the”salesperson” role becomes more an advisory role, guiding the pre-qualified prospect towards the ideal outcome. Less selling, more helping.
What would you prefer: a team of salespeople slogging away contacting prospects, or a steady stream of prospects contacting you?
If you’re ready to stop selling and start marketing then let’s talk.