Seth Godin has said that, “Marketing tells a story that spreads. Sales overcomes the natural resistance to say yes”. But what exactly is the difference between marketing and sales? The truth is that while sales and marketing do have some major core differences, its important to note that they should both share the same business goals. Both business functions should support each other, and align their efforts to meet these goals.
Let's dive into some bite-sized differences between sales and marketing:
The term ‘sales’ refers to activities within your business that lead to the actual selling of your product or service. It can be seen as the transfer of goods or services from one party to another in exchange for value (or revenue).
Marketing looks at the bigger picture. It communicates the value of the product and how it fills the needs and wants of the customer. It provides quality services in exchange for customer satisfaction.
The focus of sales is to reach targeted sales goals over a short term period. Marketing is a much longer term, continuous process. Marketing constantly evaluates the market and its demands.
The goal of most marketing efforts is to drive leads. These leads must then be converted to new customers. Sales will convert leads into customers.
Marketing is about the message a brand sends to an audience, whereas sales is a more one- on-one process.
Sales is a more customer driven activity. Marketing, on the other hand, is more media driven.
Marketing makes decisions on the research, targeting, segmentation, positioning, strategizing and measurement of a company’s offering. Sales then takes this information and these decisions out to market to sell the products/services, using the messaging that Marketing has chosen.
It has been said that marketing owns the message, and sales owns the relationships. The truth is, that both business functions need to take ownership of messaging as well as relationships. Sales and marketing are, more often than not, divided into separate departments, especially in larger organizations. However, integrating the two is important for an organization to increase revenue and profit. Think of it as a relationship: marketing is everything that happens leading up to the marriage proposal. Sales gets the ring on the finger and seals the deal!