As I write and talk about my job, I often end up referring to both sales and marketing, sometimes interchangeably. What’s the difference, you may be wondering. 

In simple terms, marketing is the major discipline covering all aspects of product, pricing, people and profit maximisation. Sales is the pro-active ‘get out there and sell’ element of the wider marketing discipline.

Almost every business engages in marketing, even if it’s at the very basic level. But not every company does sales, and I have found that it can make all the difference in growing a company and building a successful business. So let’s look a little deeper into the differences. 

Marketing is the broad discipline of telling people about your company. From the website to promotional materials, to the brand and how it is applied, it’s all about communicating who you are and what you stand for. It tells your story and broadcasts your identity. Usually, it does so indiscriminately – you can’t control who sees your van with the logo and strapline on the side, for example. Everyone in the street sees it, whether or not they’re in the market for your services. 

Sales is a much narrower field of work. Where marketing talks to everyone, sales zeroes in on key clients. Where marketing communicates information, sales looks to build relationships. It’s one to one, targeted to specific clients or potential clients, and it’s personalised. It builds on the background information of marketing, and applies it to particular contexts: here’s what our business could mean for you, how we can work together, the solutions we can offer to your specific needs. 

Because it is strategic, sales is very effective at generating the right kinds of enquiries – the kind of clients you want, the kind of work you’re good at and enjoy doing. You can’t sit back and wait for those sorts of jobs to come to you. You have to get on the phone and chase them down. 

Sales is a particular skill in any business sector, and construction sales is particularly specialist. It can be learned, or you might want to call in an expert – it’s our speciality at CMS, and we can make a big difference to your business. One of our sales agents, working alongside your team to identify key contacts, could deliver a genuine step change in your company’s fortunes. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.

Where next?

Download our free guide:
The Really Useful Guide To Construction Marketing
You can read it as part of your CPD with the CIOB

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