Welcome to the Small Business Guide to Sales.
You may have an incredible product, a stellar marketing team, and the greatest value proposition that ever was, but without a solid approach to sales, you don't have a business. Taking a holistic approach to sales, integrating the sales and marketing teams, and empowering your salespeople to be involved throughout the customer journey will allow you to establish a strong customer base and to keep them coming back and referring others for years to come.
Full table of contents
Sales and Marketing explained
Since the dawn of business time, there's been a perceived rivalry between the sales and marketing departments. Marketing teams attract the business, but sales teams close the deal and get the glory. It doesn't have to be that way; you can create a sales and marketing approach that brings the two teams together, keeps everyone happy, and leads to healthier returns.
Outbound vs Inbound
Outbound sales and marketing tactics are about interruption: the television spot, the cold call, the billboard ad. You're putting your business out there for anyone to encounter and hoping that it generates leads and sales. By contrast, inbound lets the prospects come to you. Tactics like social media, paid online advertising, and subscription-based emails allow customers to find you on their own terms. There are pros and cons to each approach and a lot to learn about how to use them most effectively in tandem.
Sales as part of the customer journey
Building an effective approach to sales is about more than just supporting that first transaction with a customer. Sales should be incorporated into all phases of the customer journey, from the moment a prospect first encounters your brand to the time they make their hundredth purchase or refer their twentieth friend.
Sales training options
Not everyone is a natural born salesperson. There's a lot to be learned about the best approach to sales and a lot of training options available to you and your team. Understanding your business's needs, your team's strengths and weaknesses, and where to go for the best educational materials are all part of empowering your sales team to be its strongest and most successful self.