They’re not the same.
This is something I know rationally, but when I stumbled on an article, it was really a “duh” moment. I’d fallen into the same trap I advise our clients against: Wanting to grow sales, but grouping all 3 of sales, marketing, and biz dev together.
When you have a small business, you’re in the business of solving some catch-22’s – you need the marketing, sales, and biz dev in order to generate the income, and need the income to pay all those people – right?
Not entirely. Fortunately, marketing is the easiest to outsource… closing, not so much. You’re presumably an expert at whatever you do, but need to communicate your benefit to the audience, and that’s a science in itself.
As you’ll see all over this website, Big Relevant Traffic + Irresistible Profitable Offer = Success. That’s a bit simplistic, but if you have a complex sale, it’s a heck of a lot easier to delegate marketing (a.k.a. communicating benefit + offer) than it is to delegate closing, at least until you can have a full time trained sales guy/gal/team – and before you hire them, you need to have leads.
Without the leads, they’ll fall flat. Great closers are rarely great marketers, it’s just not the same skillset, interest, disposition… marketing is more like science and engineering, and a lot of computer work finding audiences to communicate to. Sales is of course, a “people people” skillset. “Hugs and handshakes” type of guys/gals are rarely content to sit behind a computer analyzing PPC ROI (pay-per-click advertising return on investment) or bounce rates by demographic.
So don’t do it. Even if you can only afford 1 person for sales, marketing, and biz dev, it’s better to split that role up and work something out. Once the leads come in, you can close yourself, then hire a sales guy/gal and focus on biz dev (generating lead-sources and joint ventures that produce more business, which is really more like a recruiting role), then eventually hire that out and focus on PR (public relations and publicity)… and after that, sell your company for millions and retire, or rinse and repeat with another company. Or keep it as a cash cow and play golf.
But it all starts with the leads. We can, of course, help.
Before you start, realize you’re probably great at one of these roles but not all. If you are, you’re a unicorn, or else delusional – but this is a good thing, because as you hire people, find those who are better at that one task, and thus increase your company income. Personally, I’ll take more cash over personal pride any day when it comes to hiring vs. doing it myself. For owners of existing companies, take a look at your sales team (which might be only you, or include you) – how much more effective would your sales team be with more incoming leads? Can time-per-sale be reduced and still keep the closing ratios by using more video or better qualifying leads? Segmenting and delegation will increase quality of work due to more focused, more accountable workers. Even if you wear multiple hats getting clear about the exact separated role will help you do a better job, help you grow faster, and help you reach your goals.
If this strikes a chord with you, and you want more leads – call us. We can help.