It is all about sales. Let’s get that clear. Everything in between is secondary.

How do you make the sale? That’s the question! But here’s the thing: the sale is the end result of a process. The better your process, the more your sales will be.

So actually, it is all about the process. Academics call this process “marketing”, and you can study it at university. Included in there is topics such as: advertising, sales force management, brand positioning, distribution, pricing and market research. It is largely an analytical field.

Outside the academic world it looks differently. The process of the sale has been sliced and diced in a desperate effort to find shortcuts. Subsequently the term “marketing” has become synonymous with “advertising”, and the term “sales” with the anxious guy trying to fill his order book.

What should be one process, i.e. the process of marketing and sales, is now two departments, and what’s more – they’re often in conflict!

The process has been bastardised and the victim is your income statement.

But this is wrong. It is not about marketing or sales. It is about the process. The process of systematically bringing value to the customer in exchange for money. The rest is politics.

What is your process for making the sale? What do you do firstly, secondly, thirdly? How do you raise awareness, spark interest, drive trial and convert to purchase?

As a business owner, don’t choose sides between the traditional roles of sales and marketing. Don’t be tempted to under rate one, and over rate the other. Don’t play politics. Crucially, don’t take shortcuts.

Invest in a complete process to grow your business. Do both sales, and marketing!