Sales vs. marketing?
Special attention to the “versus” part today. We talk to companies of all sizes and categories, often sorting them into four distinct tribes: sales-driven, outbound-marketing-driven, inbound-marketing-driven, and confused.
One sign of a confused company is a single person in charge of “sales and marketing,” which should raise a red flag. Which one is she really good at? Are these part-time functions?
For total neglect of marketing, however, nothing beats the sales-driven company. They’re still out there, still grinding away at dial-and-smile cold calling. Old school. Glengarry Glen Ross coffee-is-for-closers old school.
“But it works!” they say. Make 300 phone calls, endure 299 rejections, e voilá! A lead! Sales managers everywhere still demand call sheets showing great quantities of calls, on the (dubious) assumption that this is the best use of a salespersons’ time. But frankly, the arithmetic stinks.
Consider your 1000 best prospects, the unknown ones who need you most, the ones searching for your product/service/policy/membership/idea, scattered out there among the enormous masses of non-prospects. Lots of haystacks, very few needles. You don’t have Coca-Cola’s budget, so you can’t afford to talk to everybody.
Better to have those hot-to-trot 1000 perfect prospects find you. Raise a hand, make contact, inquire, open a dialog. You’d better hope they do, because you finding them is a costly, slow, inefficient process compared with today’s digital inbound marketing strategies.
Which reminds us of the guy who made a toaster from scratch. He mined and smelted the iron and copper, and made his own plastic in a heroic if quixotic experiment. It cost 500 times as much as one you could buy at a store, and took 9 months to build. Yes, it could be done, and yes it worked (however briefly) before blowing up.