Contrary to beliefs throughout the industrial age; marketing and sales are not interchangeable words. Independently, they seem to be infinitely complex and divergent, but when blended together properly they blend create powerful synergies.
Described separately and in overly-simplified terms;
‘Sales’ is about creating and maintaining a relationship that results in a transaction. ‘Marketing’ is about the communications that help give value to the relationship.
Borrowing one of the most powerful tools known to man;
Marketing is to sales what a pulley is to lifting. It doesn’t do the work necessarily, but it makes the work easier AND more effective.
Let’s explore how pulleys work for a brief moment. They help you reverse the direction of your lifting force – to lift a weight up; you pull down.
Now let’s say that the weight we are lifting represents the increase of revenue through a salesperson. In this image we can see how using one pulley makes the job possible, and there is a direct connection between effort and result. Improvements in techniques (building strength, active encouragement, performance rewards, and the like) will get incrementally improved results.
Adding members to the team (all doing similar work) will generate more revenues as well. However as dictated by the laws of physics, there is only an additive impact on outputs – the force of effort is perfectly balanced by the results it can produce.
When we invest into building a system of connected pulleys (known as a block and tackle), one person can produce what 2, 4, or 10+ people could with a simple system. There is a multiplier effect, not just one of addition
In physics we refer to this as the mechanical advantage of the system. For thousands of years we have been developing practical applications of getting multiplied results from comparatively little effort. In business there are far more variables that are more challenging to measure, but there is an undeniable parallel.
The more integrated we make our sales and marketing systems; the more effective we can become at generating revenues.
Think of flyers, brochures and print materials as one pulley; media advertising as another; social media and engagement; Website; digital media and outlets; CRM and content engagement; sponsorships; distribution channels; advocates and loyal customers; public relations, and so on. They are simply additional pulleys that help magnify the results of your invested energy.
It is critical that business leaders understand that none these tools (independently) are as powerful as several (why not all) of them together. Rather than just putting your head down and getting to work; it helps to design a system that makes better use of the work you can do.
What is really amazing is what you can do when you lead a team of people to use and design ideal systems! THAT is the key to transformational growth!!
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david r frick is a business artist and founder of SuccessVentures – a consulting firm focused on helping
owners and entrepreneurs through a holistic approach to transformational growth and
helping companies meet the demands of contemporary business environments.
He regularly writes about leadership, success, and integrating marketing with sales.
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