It’s been 81 days since my last blog and I was feeling strong until I recently opened a discussion on Facebook with:
“should we just get rid of the term marketing all together and just call it sales? thoughts?”
Who knew that this topic would get such a big response…. I received 21 comments within half an hour and my inbox was flooded with opinions from both sides of the argument.
So I thought I would share my thoughts and opinions with you, and maybe you can either add to the controversial statement or simply add your own views!
To do this blog justice, I wanted to have as many facts as possible – so I went to Google ! I typed in “what is marketing”, and low and behold the first link to pop up was the definitions page, so I clicked on it and the first sentence reads: “selling: the exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money”… interesting – that the first definition is all about selling! However, I can’t simply use that as my proof – so hear is the real definition: ”marketing is the process by which companies decide on the right products and services to promote to their clientele, and therefore the strategy for the sales teams to use”.
Seems like a fair definition.
I wonder why it is that large organisations both here in Australia and overseas insist on having separate sales and marketing divisions, when they have clearly the same objectives – get the right message to the right client so they buy the right product or service… seems simple.
In my company we teach marketing as part of our sales training, we believe that you can’t and shouldn’t separate the two… in order to be able to market properly you need to start with the objective, the sales objective – then you work backwards until you are able to delineate exactly what it is that you need to be marketing and the message that you need to get across. The type of marketing and sales activities may vary – but the process is always the same.
I am aware that there are many types of marketing degrees and that they even teach marketing subjects in MBAs, but is there no wonder that many people struggle with selling when there is no formal education – so the Australian market is forced to seek out privatised sales training, some of which are very good, but most… very poor.
This causes a form of an “elitist” attitude between marketing and sales, where in all honesty I believe there should be a degree called “sales and marketing” – because as previously discussed, you can’t have one without the other. Marketeers are currently getting the best form of education and sellers are left to use their innate ability to be flexible to the environment and learn what they can on the fly. The best sellers are high achievers, can you imagine what would happen if they received formalised training in both sales and marketing??? Would be fantastic.
It is said that if you were to place a seller into a marketing role that they will do very well, because a seller knows that the key strategy is to always understand the clients needs, where as if you put a marketeer into a sales role then they will simply hand out a brochure . Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, what is blindingly clear is that sales skills help marketing ability and maybe all marketeers should start with sales training and experience?!?!
This leads me to believe that all marketing is is a pre sales activity… so why the need for another term. I wonder what kind of questions you would ask a sales trainer if marketing was simply part of the process of sales – and therefore they needed to include it in everything they taught? I think the number of sales trainers would diminish rapidly – and maybe that’s not a bad thing!
I would love your opinions on sales and marketing and where you see it all fitting in. Are you with me in saying that marketing is simple a pre sales activity or do you believe that marketing is bigger than that.. and if that’s the case how do you go about designing your marketing strategy?
That’s it for me today… I am off to the gym, I have 300 cardio minutes to complete this week…. wish me luck!