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What is the difference between sales and marketing?

Looking for jobs I see both of these terms used constantly, but is there actually a difference? #marketing #sales

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Kevin’s Answer

Daniela has provided a fantastic answer I just want to supplement what she has with a few examples of job requirements in each role.

For marketing you may be responsible for:

Creating campaigns - what is the profile of the customer we want to target? ie. executive level customer, by age group or demographic, geographical region, etc? How do we want to frame a message to this defined group? How will we bring them into our sales team as leads?

Creating marketing pieces - What form of communication is best to reach a large segment of the market? ie. E-mail, paper brochure, commercial, sponsored event, etc. How do we frame our message? Should we use more pictures, statistics, how do our customers want to consume our message?

Sales is responsible for following up on these campaigns. Once marketing has provided a list of customers who responded to their ads then it is the responsibility of the sales rep to:

1) Gauge their interest - find out why they are looking at your product/solution.
2) Find the key decision makers (whether you are selling to consumers and it is the husband and/or wife, the whole family, possibly a parent or if you sell into businesses it could be the CEO, CFO, manager or even the direct employee contact may have buying power).
3) Determine if they have the budget to purchase your product.
4) Find out their timeline to purchase.
5) Walk them through the buying process and maintaining a relationship if necessary.

Otherwise a sales rep is also responsible for finding their own leads if marketing and lead generation are not sufficient to meet your goal/quota then a good sales rep will supplement their warm leads by any means necessary which includes cold calls, personal marketing, personal referrals, etc.

Sales is the front line of a company that sells the product and directly generates revenue. Marketing is the support team that sales relies on to promote their product and help create awareness of your company/product and hopefully bring in as many warm leads interested in your solution as possible.

I hope this helps answer your question!


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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Trey,

Let's think about this question for a moment. Without marketing, you would not have prospects or leads to follow up with, but yet without a good sales technique and strategy, your closing rate may depress you. Marketing and sales should work simultaneously, but in most companies they are departments that don't even speak to each other.

If we broke it down to the basics, marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. If you work to strategically combine both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced or departments don't communicate it can detour business growth.

Your marketing should consist of strategies that you can measure your reach and work to persuade your prospects that you are the company for them. It's the message that prepares the prospect for the sale. It could consist of advertising, public relations, social media, relationship marketing, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.

The sales process consists of interpersonal interaction.

It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It's anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance. Most the time the prospect or potential customer has been driven to you via marketing efforts.

How to integrate your marketing and sales?

Try this. Take a few moments and divide your prospect lists and database into categories of cold, warm, and hot leads. Then sit down and identify a strategy on how to proceed with each individual group.

For example, you could try the following methods of contact:

Cold Lead Strategy - Send out a direct mailing or offer them a special promotion
Warm Lead Strategy - Try a follow-up call, send out a sales letter, or schedule a special seminar or training session to get all of your warm leads together.
Once you've moved your prospect to the "warm" level it's time to proceed in closing the sale, call it passing the baton if you'd like. This will be easier to do if you somehow engage the prospect. You can do this by conducting a one-on-one call, make a presentation, or present a proposal, estimate, or contract.

What if you are uncomfortable with the sales or marketing process?

An alternative that often proves successful is to partner with someone that possess the talents that you feel you lack in. If you are stronger in marketing, find someone who understands and gets the sales process. If you are better at sales find someone that can help you strengthen the message, create marketing materials that sell and give you tactics and ideas. If you don't work in a company that has both departments and you are working solo you can do this by creating a partnership, subcontracting, or hiring in that talent.

Remember the key to success in marketing and in sales is balance!

Read all the article in:


Good luck!

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Roxana’s Answer

Hi Trey, great question; they both have the same goal of increasing revenue for a company so they are sometimes considered the same. Marketing shows how to reach customers, set up a long lasting relationship with the customer and promotes products and services. It catches the customer's eye so they contact company to begin a conversation/negotiation about a product or service. Sales is the actual transaction, the agreement between a customer and sales rep where the company's products and services are actually purchased. You really do need both for success in a business! Hope this helps :)

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Rachel’s Answer

Sales and marketing are closely connected. They are both trying to achieve the same goal of turning leads into opportunities and sales, but their approach to reach the customer is different. Marketing leverages tools such as media, technology, campaigns, white papers, video content, advertisements, etc. to reach a potential customer. The impact from marketing will directly benefit the sales process, providing a lead or a "warm" introduction to the sales professional reaching out to a potential customer. The sales process begins when there is an exchange or contact with a customer, with the end goal of converting that lead to a customer. When marketing is closely connected to the sales process, there is often a higher the probability of converting a lead to a customer.

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Patrick’s Answer

Both marketing and sales are closely connected. Marketing drives product/company awareness. Sales is transactional and brings in the revenue. Think of marketing as public and sales and individually focused. Sales is dependent upon marketing to drive awareness, interest and then leads for new business. If you are people person, sales can be a very good job for you. If you like to work behind the scenes, marketing can be a very good job for you.

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Barbara’s Answer

Marketing is the activity and process of creating , communicating , delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for the customer or clients. Marketing is creating an interest for the product and showing it has value. It is the art of enticement.
Sales is the activity related to selling the product and having direct interaction with the customer.

Without marketing there would be no sales.

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Patrick’s Answer

Both marketing and sales are closely connected. Marketing drives product/company awareness. Sales is transactional and brings in the revenue. Think of marketing as public and sales and individually focused. Sales is dependent upon marketing to drive awareness, interest and then leads for new business. If you are people person, sales can be a very good job for you. If you like to work behind the scenes, marketing can be a very good job for you.

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Mandy’s Answer

I have a long sales background. And yes, a lot of the answers below are correct.

Depending on your position and size of company, marketing and sales teams work very closely together.

In my early career, I had very little interaction with marketing unless I was working on a pilot program.

If you're thinking about which direction to go in, I would consider the following:

  • Sales is competitive, cyclical, and individual, but you get paid extra with something called "commission", which essentially means that the more you sell, the more money you make!
  • In Marketing, you're more directed by the business itself, and what products they want to push, and your job is to create demand for that product through creative ways.

So while both take consistency and creativity, sales is a place to make money, learn great sales tactics and listening skills, marketing is more passive and measured on how much you influence the sales team.

Mandy recommends the following next steps:

Take a myers-briggs test (they're free) - to see what kind of personality type you have, and what kind of career path that would be most suitable for.
There are also many other aptitude tests you can take online that will give you some idea of what kind of jobs might be good for you. They're all free and really interesting in how they tend to confirm the assumptions you may have already had, but didn't have the experience to understand. Best of luck!

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Kumar’s Answer

Here are the key differences between Sales & Marketing:-

1) Meaning

2) Focus


4) Type





So let's start in detail.

Meaning: Sales are the subset of Marketing it's a small part that comes in between the business and the customer. Selling is an activity, an action, a kind of transaction we can say. Marketing identifies the needs of the customers and tries to fulfill them as effectively as possible.

Focus: Sales is product-centric while marketing is customer-centric. Sales focus on the volume of products sold or the amount of revenue generated. Whereas Marketing focuses on customer satisfaction.

Leads: Marketing generates leads and the sales team converts the leads.

Type: Sales is logical while Marketing is emotional. A salesperson will ask some problem-solving questions and then listen and at last, he/she will try to sell the product. But in Marketing, they try to touch emotions.

Targeting: In selling one can target a small group of people whereas in marketing a large number of people can be targeted.

Measurement: One can measure the results in sales, but cannot measure the results in marketing (except Digital Marketing).

Orientation: Sales is short term oriented while Marketing is long term because sales are just a subset of marketing whereas marketing starts right from identifying the needs of the customers and stays till very last.

Feedback: It is ignored in the sales department whereas in the Marketing department it is taken very seriously. The Marketing team needs to convert the negative feedback into positive for the reputation of the company

How the sales team and the marketing team can work together for the growth of the company????

They need to collaborate and work parallelly because they both are the main pillars of any organization. Respecting each other from different departments is very important because at last, we are working for the same goal.