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On Choosing How to Invest in Sales Growth

Advertising or Salespeople? I have a limited amount of capital for growing sales in my business – should I put it into paid advertising or hire employees to sell?

Well, the first question to ask yourself is:  how do I acquire new customers?  If your sales model is designed to attract buyers to “self-select” your product, then clearly you want to increase the type of advertising that brings them to your virtual or physical door.  However, if your product is complex and requires professional selling in order to find, engage, and educate buyers – you don’t have a choice.  Advertising isn’t going to result in a purchase.

In a previous owner question about sales, I explained that selling is an operational process designed around the specific product and the specific buyer profile.  When an owner invests her capital to grow revenue, the sales process dictates what form that investment takes.  Remember, though, that all investment needs to be carefully managed.  You want to establish the specific results you’re shooting for before laying out the money (whether it’s for advertising or salaries) and monitor the spending dollar-by-dollar to be sure it’s producing those results.  Growth doesn’t just happen from spending money – it’s an active effort that demands the owner’s attention.