Most Critical Part of a Sales & Marketing Plan

Recently someone asked me what was the most critical piece of the sales and marketing plan. In other words what matters most? Advertising? Quality products? Good service? Prompt delivery? Plenty of cash?

All these matter of course, but I wouldn’t choose any of them as most critical. I was tempted to answer “a great product” but I thought about all the successful companies whose products are just ordinary.

I concluded that providing a path for prospective customers to do business with you is the most important thing you can do. If you don’t have a convenient way for customers to buy what you sell, it’s all futile. This can be a store, a sales force, a distributor, the Internet, mail, television, radio, etc. Somehow you must give customers access to your products.

Good sales people in the right places, a quality network of dealers or distributors, a quality online e-commerce presence… all work. With the right sales infrastructure you can overcome just about anything.