Differences between sales and marketing

Marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing revenue. They are so closely intertwined that people often don’t realize the difference between the two. Indeed, in small organizations, the same people typically perform both sales and marketing tasks. Nevertheless, marketing is different from sales and as the organization grows, the roles and responsibilities become more specialized.


Sales and marketing have often enjoyed some sort of sibling rivalry, but if a business is to thrive, it’s vital that we have a clear understanding of how sales and marketing can work together effectively.


For too long, there have been unfruitful turf wars between sales and marketing teams. For too long, too many people have been fooled into believing that ‘sales’ lives under marketing’s directive. And for too long, too many people have been calling selling ‘marketing’, which it is not.


Sales and marketing are different disciplines with different mandates, with some overlapping and grey areas that don’t determine where one stops and the other one starts. 


So, what are some of the differences?


  • Definition:

Sales: A sale is a transaction between two parties where the buyer receives goods (tangible or intangible), services and/or assets in exchange for money.

Marketing: is the systematic planning, implementation and control of business activities to bring together buyers and sellers.


  • Approach:

Sales: Make customer demand match the products the company currently offers.

Marketing: Broader range of activities to sell product/service, client relationship etc.; determine future needs and has a strategy in place to meet those needs for the long-term relationship.


  • Focus:

Sales: Fulfil sales volume objectives.

Marketing: Overall picture to promote, distribute, price products/services; fulfil customer's wants and needs through products and/or services the company can offer.


  • Process:

Sales: Usually one to one.

Marketing: Analysis of market, distribution channels, competitive products and services; Pricing strategies; Sales tracking and market share analysis; Budget.


  • Scope:

Sales: Once a product has been created for a customer need, persuade the customer to purchase the product to fulfil her needs.

Marketing: Market research; Advertising; Sales; Public relations; Customer service and satisfaction.


  • Horizon:

Sales: Short term.

Marketing: Long Term.


  • Strategy:

Sales: Push.

Marketing: Pull.


  • Priority:

Sales: Selling is the ultimate result of marketing.

Marketing: Marketing shows how to reach to the Customers and build long lasting relationship.


  • Identity:

Sales: Sales is the strategy of meeting needs in an opportunistic, individual method, driven by human interaction. There's no premise of brand identity, longevity or continuity. It's simply the ability to meet a need at the right time.

Marketing: Marketing targets the construction of a brand identity so that it becomes easily associated with need fulfilment.




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