sales

For most early-stage startups, marketing usually ranks behind product development and sales in terms of priorities and budget.

Startups focus on building a product and then allocate resources to selling it. It’s a straightforward formula for business success, right?

Meanwhile, marketing remains in the background. Maybe there’s some social media activity but marketing isn’t a priority because it costs money, rather than generating revenue….or so many startups believe.

For early-stage startups, marketing is sales and sales is marketing. There is no delineation between them. They’re one and the same. In fact, they should probably be lumped together into customer or business development.

Sales and marketing. It’s like trying to mix oil and water, right? No, it’s not.

Think about it this way: when a startup is trying to drive sales, a few things need to happen. It needs to make potential customers aware their product exists and why it matters to them. Then, it needs to help customers get to know the brand in different ways. It could be infographics, blog posts, videos or the Website. Then, the startup has to nurture and encourage customers through demos,

Then, it needs to help prospects get to know the brand in different ways. It could be infographics, blog posts, videos or the Website. Then, the startup has to nurture and encourage customers through demos,

Then, the startup has to nurture and encourage prospects through demos, sales sheets, presentations, Webinars and trials.

If everything works as planned, the prospect turns into a customer.

Every step along the way involves selling to get prospects into and through the sales funnel. At the same time, every step involves marketing to drive awareness, education, engagement and encouragement.

Sales needs marketing to support their efforts, and marketing needs sales to deliver collateral in different ways. Both sides are working together to convince prospects that a startup’s product is worth considering and purchasing.

Together, they’re a potent and necessary one-two punch.

Too many early-stage startups see sales and marketing as separate activities. They probably see sales as more important because there is a direct correlation, in theory, between sales and revenue. But it’s a simplistic view of how a business operates. In some respects, it’s like trying to run with one hand tied behind your back. It’s possible but the most efficient way to operate.

But it’s a simplistic view of how a business operates. In some respects, it’s like trying to run with one hand tied behind your back. It’s possible but the most efficient way to operate.

A better and smarter approach is making sure sales and marketing work as a collaborative team. Sales has to tell marketing what it needs to nurture and close deals, while marketing has to ask sales what it needs to do or create to make the funnel more efficient.

It’s a 1 + 1 = 3 proposition for startup success.


Are you a startup looking to jump-start your marketing? I helped dozens of startups drive more awareness, leads, and sales. There are different ways we can work together – everything from messaging to strategic planning and content to get customers into and through the sales funnel.

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