Sales neither start nor end with the “sale”
Marketing raises awareness. Sales brings in revenues. The goal of marketing is to create awareness of your company and product. Ideally, customers will start calling your salespeople, but at the very least you want customers to know something about your product or company before a salesperson calls or emails.
The marketing team gets the ball rolling, and the sales team closes the sale.
For startups, it is not uncommon for one person, often one of the founders, to be responsible for both marketing and sales. As your company grows, these two responsibilities will eventually separate.
However, as companies grow, many companies do not set up clear responsibilities for the marketing team, separate from the responsibilities of the sales team, and this is the cause of some tension.
In most startups, total sales are smaller and take longer than anyone on the team expects. Multiple questions then arise. Are the slow sales due to issues with the sales process? Can better marketing fix the problem, for instance, by providing more awareness (a.k.a. “warmer” leads) and sales materials (a.k.a. “messaging”) that better represent the solution and are more relevant to the customer?
Generally, both sales and marketing efforts could be improved. For marketing, go back to the previous section of this book and refine the messaging. For improving the sales process, keep reading.