Today we’re going to break down three different aspects of the sales process.
While often used interchangeably, marketing, advertising, and sales refer to three related, yet distinct, aspects of business.
First, let’s take a look at each term individually, and then we’ll turn to how they work together to help build a successful business.
This is the broadest of the three terms we’ll be exploring in this post. Marketing encompasses everything that gets your product, service, or brand ready for sharing with the masses.
It is the process of determining how to align your product with a target audience. Market research and analysis will help you determine exactly what your target audience is, how you can best reach them, and ways you can make your product appeal to that audience specifically. This research can also help you determine price points, packaging, and distribution systems.
Marketing also entails a creative aspect, including crafting slogans, mission statements, and branding guidelines.
But it doesn’t stop there! Marketing also plays a role in customer service, public relations, and sales strategy. A successful marketing plan will bring all of these factors together to support and bolster one another in order to create a strong brand.
In this step, advertisers take information and materials gathered by the marketing team to create a campaign that draws awareness to your brand.
Here, brand guidelines and market information are used in creative and strategic ways to reach the target demographic. This includes choosing the method of delivery, such as social media, mail flyers, radio, TV, or billboards, and crafting ads that suit each chosen method of communication.
While marketing and advertising focus on mass communication, in the sales step, we’re dealing with conversations that involve fewer parties. Here, a salesperson or team is working directly with a client to determine their needs, offer solutions, and hopefully “close the deal.”
For this part of the process, the salesperson needs to know the product and brand they’re selling inside and out, while also being very familiar with the needs of a potential client. Whether selling one-on-one in a retail environment or in bulk in a business-to-business scenario, salespeople must know what need their product serves, and how to convince the prospect of its usefulness.
Bringing It All Together
Marketing is the umbrella that encompasses advertising and sales efforts, among others. It sets the stage for how the other departments will function, what materials they will use, and what processes they will follow.
Let’s use a fictional ice cream truck business as an example.
The marketing team would determine which route the truck will take, which flavours it will carry, and how much a scoop of ice cream will cost. They will also choose a company name, slogan, and color scheme, as well as the song the truck will play and the uniforms the employees will wear.
The advertising team will make sure that the communities served by the truck are aware of its existence. This might include a social media campaign that shares videos of the truck in action, backed by the music the truck plays while in operation. This advertising campaign might also include mailing coupons to households along the routes the truck will drive.
Everything created by the advertising team will be utilizing assets and information gathered by the marketing department. They have worked to develop a recognizable brand, and the advertising team is now making sure the public is aware of it.
The salesperson in this example is the driver of the ice cream truck. While the bright colours and music from the truck itself will help attract customers to it, it’s the job of the driver to stop for customers and help them make decisions on the type of frozen treat to purchase. All of the driver’s tasks are made easier by the previous efforts of the marketing and advertising teams, as the community now knows to expect the truck, but his or her job is still an integral part of the chain. Without the truck operator, there would be no one to choose the right place to stop, or to make recommendations on the best available gluten-free chocolate-flavoured ice cream.
In essence, marketing and advertising teams look to capture leads, while sales closes them.
To learn more about how to relate to your customers and close a sale, register for a Dale Carnegie Sales Training course.
“Arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him.” – Dale Carnegie