Marketing is crap, selling is all you need.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

I advertised an event via email recently – a workshop on marketing planning.

As usual I got a fair number of direct replies as well as some bookings.  Some of the replies were the usual sort of rudeness about spam and what I had to say – these people seem to have several minutes to spare to write to me but not the three seconds it takes to unsubscribe.

One reply stood out however.  It was from a business owner close to retirement who obviously had had many years experience in the corporate world, specifically leading large sales teams.

The first line of the email was “Marketing is crap, selling is all you need.”

He went to explain his position, including the line “MARKETING NEVER ‘sold’ anything”.

Well, in one sense of course this is correct.  No matter how good your marketing is, there needs to be something or someone that actually closes the deal.

And in another sense this can be correct:  If your marketing consists of some ill-thought out adverts and a website it won’t help sales much.

But if your marketing defines a clear niche, their need, your better solution and how to bring these three things together in the most effective way then it will provide a high number of good quality leads for your salespeople.  When your sales appointment is structured around understanding this niche, pain and proposition then this will transform conversion and margin performance.

I too have led sales teams, and worked with many business leaders to improve their sales teams.  When I hear about poor performers and sales staff turnover I don’t start with Sales – I start with Marketing.


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