A sales management team has to determine whether they want to build demand for their product or service prior to or after they drive sales, as one of these methods may be a better business decision for the company.
This can be dependent on the type of business, as certain companies may benefit from an aggressive marketing campaign prior to building up sales, and vice versa.
One example that would help to illustrate the idea of creating demand is Apple and their personal music player products.
People do not need an iPhone, but there is a high demand for them that exists. The company came out with the product and created the demand for it because of their marketing push.
There was a music industry prior to the release of this product, but the creation of the personal MP3 player led to a revolution within the sector. There was not a demand for an iPod prior to its creation, but after the product was commercialized, there was a jump in sales because it became the thing to have.
There is that kind of demand, which is driven by marketing and an emerging technology on the market, and then there is the demand for the nuts, bolts and screws that are needed for a certain product.
There is a need for the nuts, bolts and screws, and this necessitates the creation of these parts. There is already a demand for these items, and this may create a different marketing or sales plan for a company.
There is an inherent need for this for the manufacturing of a product because other companies will not be able to operate without the specific parts, and the market already exists.
It comes down to needs vs. wants, marketing and positions, leveraging features and benefits and identifying how the product can be a value add to another company. Sales will be dependent on filling the needs of other firms through providing the best product, not a move toward creating a separate market for it.
This is different than the cases where there is a discovery of demand, like the iPod. Once you build it, they will come. If the product is not created, there will not be a loss from other companies and the market will not exist.
It all depends on the product or service that you are providing. There is an argument for both methods and what is best for your company has to be determined based on the type of demand that exists.
Image Credit: MIC Gadget