I had a journalist ask me the other day to define the difference between sales and marketing for the typical entrepreneur.
So, here’s what I said: It’s way more than this, but let’s use this definition – Marketing is lead generation and sales is lead conversion.
That definition fits the real world for most small businesses although it’s sorely lacking in many ways.
She then proceeded to ask, which is more important. Now the fun begins.
My response of course is that neither is more important, nor are they separate. The world’s most successful businesses may indeed have a separation along these lines, but they meet and work hand in hand in the middle to effectively do what I’ve heard marketers call Lead Nurturing.
The gap between generating a high quality, ideal lead and that lead becoming a client requires harmony between sales and marketing and the joint development of an ideal client profile, core marketing message based on customer input, and the education based tools required to nurture a lead along an evolving, logical path to becoming a converted lead or client.
There is no money in us and them, sales and marketing. Get the sales folks, the marketing folks and a handful of ideal clients in a room for a day and figure out what really makes each one tick.