Managers often need reminding that the bottom line may
be the end-all of business activity, but that the top
line literally comes first. Unless somebody, somewhere
makes the vital decision to purchase from you, there is
no profit - only expense. Yet sales has long been ranked
behind a younger business skill - that wonderful stuff
called marketing. The marketeers, you see, are managers,
who make decisions and give orders. The sales people are
operatives who do what they are told.
The distinction is both wrong-headed and dangerous. It’s
true that some people are natural born sellers, who are
unhappy with ‘soft’ issues like strategy, planning and
branding. But the strategists, planners and brand
managers are a long way, sometimes inordinately long,
from the front line.