Marketing vs Sales - What Is the Difference?

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The terms Marketing and Sales are so closely intertwined with each other that people often confuse between the two. If a business is to prosper, it is crucial to learn how these concepts can be employed together effectively. 

Strong sales techniques are important to drive growth but if the company does not have a constructive marketing strategy, then it will not have any prospects to sell their products to.

The balance of sales and marketing requires an elaborate plan that can smoothly guide a lead into becoming a future customer. Though they share a common goal of increasing the company’s earnings, the two terms differ in their functions within an organization.

Simply put, marketing encompasses the groundwork for the sales process. It involves attracting prospects and leads to your business by satisfying their needs or solving their problems. Sales, on the other hand, include closing the deal. 

While sales are based more on transactions, marketing aims at capturing the attention of customers and retaining them in the long run.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? 

Let us explore more and find out clear differences between them.

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of identifying and meeting consumers’ needs profitably. It is a business action that generates information about a potential buyer. The central role of marketing is to create value for consumers. 

Marketers analyse the prevailing market conditions, understand the needs of the target audience, and plan how the company’s products or services will best meet them.

The contents of a marketing plan are situation analysis, marketing strategy and tactics, financial projections and implementation. The plan lays out the 4P’s also known as the Marketing Mix- Product, Price, Place and Promotion. 

After setting goals, channels are chosen and a budget is made to pursue the campaigns suggested by the marketing team. This means creating advertisements on social media, buying media space, or designing content on the website to educate consumers about your products and services. 

What Is Sales?

Sales is the process of persuading a lead to buy your product or avail the service. It is relationship-driven and involves interpersonal interaction to convince the customers how the company’s product will be beneficial for them.

The strategies are about developing an understanding of the customers and handling their objections. A key function of the sales team is to get in contact with the leads generated by the marketing department.

Modern sales focus on creating trust between a buyer and a seller. An effective salesperson comprehends the needs of the buyer and develops a persuasive but not pushy pitch to sell the company’s product. 

The proficiency in sales is determined by one’s ability to convert leads into future customers and develop relationships with them. The plan outlines the tools and resources necessary to hit the targets set by the authorities. 

Differences Between Marketing and Sales

  1. Marketing stresses on the needs of the market or groups of people who respond similarly to market stimuli while sales focus on the needs of the company.

  2. Sales is product-oriented as salesmen emphasize on increasing sales of the product. On the other hand, Marketing keeps customers in mind.

  3. Marketing tries to identify and define leads while sales try to persuade them to buy.

  4. The primary goal of marketing is to raise brand awareness and to promote the company’s products or services. The marketing team is responsible for suitably pricing the product and communicating to the consumers how it satisfies their needs. For sales, the goal is to fulfill sales volume, to increase the number of customers, and to raise profits.

  5. As the marketing campaign can span the course of many months, it is considered to be a long term process. Sales targets are defined and measured over monthly basis and hence it is a short-term process.

  6. Marketing utilizes the ‘Pull’ strategy where the customer is drawn to the product by himself. Sales create a ‘Push’ such as the product is sold to the customer.

  7. The aim of marketing is to try to get the company to make what the consumer wants whereas sales is to try and get the consumers to want what the company makes.

  8. Marketing activities include consumer research, product development, promotions and pricing. Sales activities include direct interaction with the prospects to steer them towards making a purchase.

A Blended Approach

Fundamentally, both sales and marketing try to achieve the same goal of increasing customers and revenue but they look at things in a slightly different way. A business would not thrive without marketing because that is what drives sales and without sales, it would not generate any revenue. 

When sales and marketing align, returns increase, the cycle of sales shortens and the rate of conversion improves. Businesses must have both working together to provide the buyer with high quality, relevant content, and an overall collaborative environment.

Written by - Aishwarya Khandekar

Edited by - Daity Talukdar

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