Many business owners get confused about what is what, and often want to “do marketing” but “hate/fear/suck at sales.”
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What is the function of marketing?
In reality, these activities go hand in hand but are far too often confused with each other. While both functions ultimately have the same goal: getting clients and customers – the actual functions and activities are very different, and the goals should be measured differently.
There’s also not one without the other; however, it’s crucial you know what is what, so you know what kind of results you should expect from these individual activities!
- You see, marketing does NOT give you clients.
- Branding does NOT give you customers.
- Sales activities do that.
But you can’t sell if you don’t have the right people to sell to, so marketing precedes sales. However, you can’t start with marketing if your sales system is not in place.
Marketing has only one goal: to get more people to know about your brand & business, and raise their hands as potential customers. Also, many business owners measure the activity of marketing with the number of sales. That measurement is somewhat misleading since the goal of marketing is not sales in the first beginning!
So the only role, albeit an essential one, is to feed the sales function with leads that the sales function can then turn into prospects and customers.
Marketing can be divided roughly into two separate but interconnected sets of activities: branding & lead generation.
Branding is not, on the contrary to the shared beliefs, about your logo or your images. It’s a set of activities carried out by the marketing/brand team (well, everyone who represents the company) to increase the awareness of the solution you provide for the specific target audience. Once the particular target audience starts seeing your brand as the category leader – your branding activities can be considered successful.
A specific activity that, unfortunately, is being missed by most business owners. The majority of businesses focus on the mindless collection of likes and followers or sharing advice on social channels without understanding the function of generating leads.
The role of lead generation is to attract the right people into your life, by providing value in advance, and demonstrating how you can help them by actually helping them.
Why most business owners happily do marketing yet dislike sales?
For two main reasons:
- They make it about themselves. Sales have nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person whose pain, frustration, or problem you can solve when she’s ready to invest in herself to solve it. Read that again.
- They don’t have a system for sales. They are not clear about how to confidently invite the prospects to the next step, and what to communicate at different stages of the sales process.
A well-engineered marketing function will only send qualified leads to your sales function. These are the people and organizations who have raised their hands and asked for a solution you provide.
Furthermore, your sales functionality should include a specific set of pre-qualifiers that ensure only the right people enter your sales activities! By ensuring this, you also increase the total effectiveness of your client acquisition activities.
When we start engineering client acquisition systems for our clients, we always start with the end in mind. We specify the most effective sales activity that can and should be practiced by the specific client, depending on their industry, product/ service, price point, target group, and various other key features.
Once we have identified the most effective sales activity, then we engineer a lead-generating asset that is being used in all marketing activities.
From that, we move on to engineering the bridge between lead generation and sales event:
- the magic touch of your communication
- the assets that build trust, need, and urgency
- the pre-qualifiers to ensure only the right people end up in your sales activity, with the right mindset and understanding of the problem you solve, how you work, and how she can get started
After this, then we open the traffic gates and start ‘doing marketing’ ie, getting more of the right people into your sales system.
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