Here's a question I answered recently on the Agency Access podcast in the blog, The Lab. I'm curious to hear how others would answer it too.
What is the best way to seamlessly integrate marketing and sales?
First, let’s define our terms: marketing is everything you do to creative visibility and get the attention of your prospects. The focus in marketing is often on yourself and your materials. Sales is what you do to convert that prospect into a client when they have a project on the table. The focus in sales is on the needs of the prospect and showing you’re the “right” choice.
So marketing tools include the email marketing campaigns, the social media (depending on how you use it), even cold calling to me is part of marketing. Until the moment when they say, “I’d like to talk to you about a project.”
That’s when you turn on the sales machine, which can include a proposal, conversations about the project, defining the scope, negotiating the price, and of course, following up until they make a decision. Integrating the two isn’t usually the issue for the creative professionals I know.
Rather the issue is putting enough attention on the relationships as opposed to the materials. It’s so easy to perfect your portfolio or your web site and so much more challenging to pick up the phone or reach out to a prospect. Both feel productive but only one takes you that much closer to a real job.
What about you? How do you differentiate marketing from sales?