Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Difference Between Sales and Marketing

“Is there a difference between sales and marketing” is a question we have heard a lot of times. If you also have a similar query, this article addresses it once and for all.

The terms sales and marketing look a whole lot similar and are often used interchangeably. But there are a few striking differences between them.

Before understanding what is the difference between marketing and sales, you must understand them in isolation first.

If you know what these terms mean individually, it will be easier to explain the difference between sales and marketing. Hence, let us jump right into the article by studying the term “sales” in detail.

Understanding Sales Better to Learn the Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Understanding Sales

Simply put, the term sales is concerned with selling or making the goods and services available to clients. Moreover, it also encompasses maintaining relationships with current and prospective customers. For example, the sales department of an organization convinces potential customers to buy the product or service they are offering.

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And once the product or service is sold, it is the responsibility of the salesperson to maintain relationships with the customers for future sales and address their queries. Further, the more the sales, the more is the company’s revenue. Hence, you may often see salespeople trying to maximize the volume of products/services sold to the customers.

Now, talking about marketing, it is a somewhat broader concept than sales. Let us understand it to see how it compares with sales.

What Is Marketing and Its Difference with Sales

What Is Marketing

Traditionally, business organizations were only concerned with sales. But as society progressed and the concept of “customer satisfaction” gained prominence, they began to realize the importance of marketing their products and services.

Then businesses realized that they cannot persuade someone to purchase their products/avail of their services unless the person is really interested in them. If the product or service delivers value to the customer and he finds some interest in them, only then the company can have long-term growth.

Hence, evolved a concept we know today as marketing. Marketing personnel or marketers are concerned with building the potential customer’s interest in the product or service through various channels (like blogs, social media platforms, etc.)

After interest generation, a potential customer is better motivated to become a customer to add to the sales and revenue of the company.

Now, you might have noticed that the core goal of sales and marketing is one, i.e., to increase revenue. But does this mean they are the same? Well, no. There are many differences between sales and marketing.

The basic difference between sales and marketing is that sales targets a small group of people to maximize profit through sales volumes. Whereas, marketing focuses on a larger group of people or the entire public to earn profits through customer satisfaction.

marketing and sales

Moreover, there are many other differences between marketing and sales. Let us explain them in points in the following section.

Difference Between Marketing and Sales in Points

The following points explain the difference between sales and marketing clearly.

Goals of sales and marketing

Goals of sales and marketing

The broad objective of both marketing and sales is to generate revenue for the company. But the nature of their goals is significantly different.

Marketing aims to promote the brand and its products/services among a larger segment of the population. The marketing department decides the product’s price and communicates to the prospective customers how the product/service justifies the set price (the value they get from the product or service). And the marketing goals are not a one-time affair, they continue for many months/years.

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On the other hand, sales goals are more concerned with achieving the set quotas and sales targets. Generally measured on a monthly basis, these goals are short-term.

The process of sales and marketing

Sales and marketing seem similar, but they are performed a lot differently. The process of marketing begins with detailing the company’s history, goals, and objectives of marketing taking into consideration the 4Ps, i.e., Price, Product, Place, and Promotion.

Moreover, the marketing plan determines what channels the company will use to promote the product/service. Furthermore, it sets a budget for the campaigns the marketing team needs to undertake. The below figure shows the marketing process in detail.

process of sales and marketing

Whereas, the sales plan is more focused on the process of selling the product/service, the structure of the team, and goals (which is primarily the maximization of sales volume). The sales plan sets targets that the sales team needs to achieve. It also describes the necessary tools, action plans, and resources to achieve them. The following figure shows a common sales plan template.

common sales plan

Sales and marketing strategies

Strategies are also a significant factor when it comes to the difference between sales and marketing. Sales and marketing differ a lot in terms of the strategies adopted to achieve the goals and objectives.

Hence, look at some of the sales and marketing strategies to understand the difference between sales management and marketing management.

Marketing strategies

The strategies adopted for marketing depend upon the target market and the type of campaign. However, the following are the most widely used marketing strategies.

  • Blog marketing
  • Internet marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Print marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing

Marketing strategies

Sales strategies

The strategies adopted to sell a company’s products or services depend upon the type of product/service, customer attitudes, and the industry as a whole. However, below are some most commonly used strategies to boost sales.

  • N.E.A.T selling
  • SPIN selling
  • Conceptual selling
  • Solution selling
  • SNAP selling
  • Inbound selling
  • The challenger sale
  • CustomerCentric selling
  • The Sandler system
  • Cold calling

Sales and marketing tools

The tools used for marketing and selling a product/service are also a major difference between sales and marketing. For example, Search Engine Optimization is a marketing tool whereas email management software is a sales tool.

Therefore, below we list some common sales and marketing tools.

Tools used in sales

Like sale strategies, tools also depend on the product/service, target market, and the industry. However, here are some frequently used sales tools.

  • Software for inventory and order management
  • Programs for invoicing
  • Tools for email management
  • Documents software
  • Meetings application
  • Tools for lead generation and sales prospecting
  • Performance management tools

Tools used in marketing

Below are the most commonly used marketing tools.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools
  • Project management tools
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tools
  • Content creation tool
  • Data reporting tools
  • Landing page and lead capturing tools
  • Tools for social media marketing

Tools used in marketing

So, these were some of the most basic differences between sales and marketing. Let us now explain them in a tabular format for your convenience.

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Difference Between Sales and Marketing in Tabular Form

We can summarize the above differences between the marketing funnel and sales funnel in the following table.

Basis of Difference Sales Marketing
Scope and goals Narrow and short-term Wide and long-term
Process Revolves around maximizing the sale volume Centered around 4Ps, namely, product, price, place, and promotion
Strategies Involve strategies like N.E.A.T, SPIN, SNAP, etc. Involve blog marketing, SEO, social media marketing, etc.
Tools Use tools like invoicing programs, meetings apps, lead generation software, etc. Use tools like data reporting software, content creation tools, project management tools, etc.

Bottom Line

This article explained the basic difference between sales and marketing with examples. We hope these concepts and their differences are now clear to you.

Before leaving you should note that sales and marketing are separate functions but interconnected to achieve the overall organization’s overall objective of wealth and profit maximization.

If you have any more questions or suggestions about this write-up, you may put them in the comments section for us to get in touch with you.

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