Marketing Vs Sales for a Startup


Marketing and Sales are the essentials for the growth of any company. They are the key forces of the company’s revenues.  Most of the Businesses fail due to the lack of a clear and solid sales or marketing plan. This is the typical problem behind the failure of any business and its impact on revenues or profits. This subject requires intense focus for any startup to succeed.

So, does a startup need a Marketing team more than a Sales team?

Marketing vs Sales

To understand the importance of sales or marketing for a startup, it is best to know the difference between marketing and sales.  Sales typically involves human touch, with a salesperson introducing the product or service to prospective customers turning them to leads. Salesperson can either be inbound or outbound depending on the work.

Outbound Salespeople prospect for their leads. They attend networking events, purchase lead lists, cold call and send out emails. Once they find a prospective, they hunt leads as long as it takes to close. Outbound sales is to generate commission and revenue, up-selling is always the ultimate goal. Leads are delivered to the Inbound salespeople where marketing is an integral part of the process. In a Startup, hiring the right salesperson with the right connections will make or break the company’s success.

Marketing is mostly media run aspect, where a promotion or other communication is introducing the product or service to the prospective customers. Marketing is run via multiple channels which includes the internet, social media, word of mouth, print, television, radio, billboards, events, and direct mail. And it can be in any form of promotion. Proper research on Customer demographics and target audience is the key to the success of marketing. Placement of the marketing material is the major force to drive leads. Marketing involves desired budget to run the promotions which will make or break the company’s success.

In general, most of the B2B startup companies are sales driven organisations and need a very strong sales plan than a marketing plan, and most B2C startup companies are marketing driven organisations, and sometimes it happens so that many companies may overlap between the two.  B2B startups are more sales driven because they deal with a smaller customer base and is easily approachable by a sales team. The other major reason is that most of B2B sales are relationship based which requires a personal touch of a salesperson which includes trust factor. So, it is best to understand the greater importance of a sales plan for a B2B startup.

But the major downside of a sales driven organisation is the processing or lead time before transactions. This will require to spend a lot of funds until the business starts driving revenues. It takes lot of time of business to clock the break-even point. The recognition of the brand is also a time taking process.

B2C startups are more marketing driven organisations. The major reason being the media which the most efficient way to promote to the prospective customers. This kind of startup requires a large force of marketing than sales. Marketing also requires a desired budget which is a major factor for startup. Most B2C startups use social media as the effective marketing channel due to the constrained funds. Their best way is to get free inbound traffic with keyword based ads in search results. For a B2C company, word of mouth rules the marketing plan. It is achieved through re-targeting and cross-promotions.

But the major downside of marketing is the budget expenses which may end up being costly. It also needs A/B testing to find the right customer base. This involves running multiple marketing campaigns which ends up spending a lot.B2C startups can make a good revenue depending upon their marketing output. The time to attain brand recognition is less with right plan.

Marketing Vs SAles Plan

A sales plan outlines the business goals in relation to selling of product or service. Sales plan is structured around goals for the company to reach its financial targets. Whereas the goals included in the sales plan should be very specific and relevant to the customer needs and sales projections. Sales plan often becomes part of the complete marketing plan of the company. It includes target market, marketing strategy, verticals, attributes and consumer location.

Marketing and Sales
Elements of B2B Sales plan

Marketing plan is the road to reach the customer base. It largely involves defining the target audience. It includes consumer’s personal and professional information, lifestyle, challenges and social information. All these are required to define the target audience and the place promotional content in front of them.

Marketing and Sales
Elements of B2C Marketing plan

Even though a startup is B2B or B2C, both the sales and marketing plans are inter-related. But the composition of the Marketing and Sales teams may vary according to the business.

If you run a startup or small business ensure which team is important for you depending on your Marketing and Sales plan. And what do you think is suitable for your business?

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