BOOST SPOTLIGHT | Business Planning
As one of Boost's Business Relationship Managers, Tim Smith works with growing business in Lancashire to advise and direct them to the most relevant support for their company. As part of Boost's spotlight on business planning, he shares his thoughts on how planning your sales and marketing approach is important for any growth strategy.
Sales and marketing are often seen as two sides of the same coin by many SMEs, and often responsibility for both lies with the same 'sales and marketing manager/director'. However, although they are indeed linked areas of business, it’s important to distinguish between them. This understanding can help business to develop a successful growth strategy and a healthy sales pipeline.
So what is marketing? In its most simple term, it is trying to identify potential markets and customers for the company that are a ‘good fit’ with their offering and capabilities. Many people think that marketing has changed in recent years – surprisingly it hasn’t. What has changed are the tools of marketing, and especially digital tools, which have created numerous different ways to communicate with potential and existing customers. Once the potential targets have been identified, we can begin the serious job of winning them and ultimately keeping and developing a long-term profitable relationship with them.
Selling is a marketing communications tool that aims to create the transaction between two organisations. It is about finding out what the specific needs of a potential customer are and how those needs can be satisfied. Professional selling has been described as ‘problem-seeking and problem-solving’. As such, we need to dispel the often negative caricature of the 'salesperson' for a good listener and problem solver.
So, both disciplines are crucial to the growth of a business and the activities of sales and marketing need to be congruent. Most importantly they both need to be built on the firm foundation of a robust marketing strategy. Never forget one of the oldest models of marketing: A I D A –Attention Interest Desire and Action. Successful linking of sales and marketing will help the company to take a potential client on this voyage. As a Business Relationship Manager for Boost Business Lancashire, I enjoy matchmaking companies with a range of tremendous support, including sales and marketing advice. Start your #GrowthConversation with Boost. Thanks for reading. To start your growth conversation, click here or call 0800 488 0057.