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Startup Sales Video Series: Start with a Marketing Plan

Michael Scholl startup sales expert on a slide explaining startup sales process vs sales stages
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Call it Marketing and Sales

Marketing is the strategy and sales are the tactics

Marketing and sales, while often used interchangeably, serve distinct roles within a business. When you consider marketing as the strategy and sales as the tactics, you can better align the broader goals and day-to-day execution within your company. Here’s a breakdown of this perspective:

Holistic View vs. Specific Action:

Marketing: Concerned with understanding the market’s needs, targeting the right audience segments, and positioning the company’s products or services accordingly. It lays out the roadmap and high-level strategy for reaching potential customers.


Sales: Focuses on one-on-one interactions, converting potential leads into paying customers by addressing individual concerns, handling objections, and closing deals.


Long-Term vs. Short-Term:

Marketing: Aims to build brand awareness, trust, and loyalty over time. It seeks to establish and nurture relationships with potential customers through various touchpoints before they’re ready to buy.


Sales: Concerned with meeting immediate targets and quotas. It seeks to convert interest into revenue as efficiently as possible.


Broad Scope vs. Detailed Execution:

Marketing: Involves understanding market dynamics, researching competitors, crafting the value proposition, and developing messaging. It’s about creating an environment conducive to sales.


Sales: Involves understanding specific customer needs, presenting tailored solutions, negotiating terms, and closing the deal.


Framework vs. Direct Results:

Marketing: Sets the stage for sales by generating interest and demand. It defines the customer journey, touchpoints, and overall messaging. Marketing activities might not always lead to immediate revenue but instead focus on setting the conditions for future sales.


Sales: Driven by results and immediate revenue generation. The efforts here are more direct, focusing on finalizing transactions and getting customers to commit.


Feedback and Iteration:

Marketing: Gathers broader market feedback and adjusts the strategy based on trends, shifts in consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes.


Sales: Provides ground-level feedback on customer objections, concerns, and preferences, which can be used to refine marketing strategies and product offerings.


By viewing marketing as the overarching strategy and sales as the tactics, businesses can ensure that they’re not just making individual sales, but they’re building a sustainable framework for long-term growth and success. This perspective ensures that the company’s offerings resonate with the target audience’s needs and desires, while the sales team can efficiently and effectively execute on that strategic foundation.

Check out Hubspot’s ‘How to create a marketing strategy’ for one resource on marketing strategies.

Check out our blog about the startup sales process