People often use the words “marketing” and “sales” interchangeably as they start their businesses. These two words may be grouped together in the aisle at your local bookstore, but they are not the same thing.

According to the American Marketing Association, as approved July 2013 – “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

This one is a little more cut and dry; it is closing the deal. Exchanging cash or other compensation for products or services provided.

As you can see marketing and sales are not the same. Marketing is the strategy you use to drive interested parties into your sales pipeline, but marketing cannot close the deal for you. Marketing, when done properly, should drive the right people to your business and from that point your sales strategy should take them the rest of the way.

Let’s use a sports analogy; marketing is your quarterback, but the receiver is your sales strategy. The quarterback gets the ball to the receiver, and he then takes it into the end zone for the touchdown. Sometimes it takes the quarterback a few passes to get the touchdown to the right receiver; think of this as the multiple touches during the sales process.

Have You Created Your Marketing & Sales Plans?
When you’re first starting out, it is important to outline both your marketing and your sales processes. You should identify the tools you will need to get started and for you to grow. This is a perfect reason to sit down with a SCORE small business mentor.

Your SCORE Westchester small business mentor will help you understand important marketing items like:
• Writing your positioning statement
• Identifying your customer base and ways of reaching your audience
• Understanding marketing channels: print, web, email, broadcast and more
• Creating a marketing budget

From marketing to sales, your SCORE small business mentor can help you:
• Create your sales goals
• Outline the steps in your sales pipeline
• Pinpoint the barriers to closing a sale

Successful businesses need both a sales and a marketing plan. Sit down with a SCORE Westchester small business mentor and work through your plans together.

The Distinction Between Marketing and Sales