I hear a ton of confusion out there from business owners about the differences between marketing and sales; what comes first, do you need both to build a successful business and so on. I believe that if you spend more than a couple of minutes wringing your hands over the distinction between the two, then you’ve wasted time you can’t get back and you fail to focus on what is really important.
In fact, I would suggest that you adopt the attitude espoused by Lefty (Al Pacino) in the movie Donnie Brasco . . . . “Forget About It”.
Understand that both marketing and sales systems are critical to the growth of your business, they are connected and they should actually come under the category of Business Development.
So, what is Business Development?
“Google” the term and you won’t get one consistent answer. What you will find is a myriad of answers that, in my mind, don’t adequately answer the question of what business development really encompasses.
So before we go much further, I would like to provide you with my definition of business development and one that I truly believe will help make this idea much easier to understand:
Business Development is the system that connects marketing and sales. It allows you to communicate your unique value and difference to your prospects and customers so that you can generate revenue and growth for your business.
Let’s explore the components of this definition a bit further to really bring this idea to life.
System - Everything you do in your business should be a step-by-step systematic process so that nothing is left to chance, your consistent in your interactions with prospects, customers, and referral partners. Some of the key systems you should develop in your business include lead generation, lead conversion, and referral programs.
Connects Sales and Marketing - They are both critical to your business and connected to fully grow your company. Stop worrying about the definitions of marketing and sales and what comes first.
Communicate your unique value and difference to your prospects and customers – One of the greatest mistakes that I see business owners consistently make, is their lack of a compelling, unique and useful brand and positioning strategy. This results in marketing communications that are weak and do absolutely nothing to show their prospects and customers why they should choose them as the best choice in the marketplace. If you can’t express your unique value and difference, then how in the world are you prospects and customers going to know and understand what you bring to the table.
But, unless your generating revenue, profit and growing, you want be around long enough in business to help anyone.
I hope this helps you understand that BOTH marketing and sales are connected, and critical to building and growing a successful business. Define all your marketing and sales efforts as BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT and ‘forget about the rest’.
Think differently to achieve amazing results.