Are Your Sales and Marketing Efforts a Person or a Process?

Many CEO’s, Founders, and Owners seem to lean towards the former rather than the latter. I think this a mistake, especially in today’s world of social media marketing.

Hiring a person as the way to grow your sales has its risks. Here are a few:

  1. It may take them several weeks or months to fully understand the value proposition for your business and the intended target audience.
  2. You might disagree with each other, particularly if you hire someone from your industry.
  3. You hire them expecting them to “know what to do” because “you don’t know what to do”. You shouldn’t take this as a criticism. We can’t know everything about everything.
  4. You end up with turnover and churn in the position. I’m reminded of an old baseball story. Leo Durocher, frustrated in spring training infield practice, asked for the glove of a young second baseman to demonstrate a technique. Leo promptly let the ball go through his legs. “See,” he said, “you’ve got this position so screwed up nobody can play it”.

When I coach business leaders about sales and marketing, I encourage them to see it at first as a process rather than as a person.

When you look at it as a process and start to map the steps, you end up with a very different outcome. To map the process, you need to identify, and therefore communicate, the target customer segment(s) you wish to serve. Next, the best practice is to align your website and your personal online profiles so they all say the same thing. Consistency is important.

Once this preliminary work is done, you can design the way you intend to get leads. You might use social media campaigns, online advertising, blog posts, or email campaigns. You might encourage referrals or do cold calling.

Whatever you do, at first consider it to be an assumption and prove to yourself it will work. If not, pivot on your plans and go a different direction until you are satisfied with the results you are getting.

Once you have established the process for getting leads, what is your process for following up? Do you make sales calls? Generate quotes? Do presentations? Do you track metrics for these activities?

After you have established a complete process for developing leads and closing sales, then you can plug people into the process and give them direction. And have a much better plan for growth.

About the Author: Bob Kroon is a coach for high-performing Founders, CEO’s, and Owners. He founded Expeerious, LLC ( in 2015 to exclusively focus on coaching the success of Top Executives. For over 25 years, Bob served variously as CEO, COO, Division President, and Group Vice President. The majority of his career was in manufacturing durable goods. Bob is an enthusiast and practitioner of Lean Thinking since 1986.

He also has broad skills in M&A including financial modeling, deal structure, diligence, and post-close integration.

Bob’s current clients are diverse and include businesses in healthcare, agricultural products, robotics, luxury goods, and education.

To learn more about how Bob coaches and thinks, you can find over 200 questions he’s answered on Quora ( Visit his website at: for additional blog posts.

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