sales vs. marketing

Sales and marketing are two essential functions every business needs. Many people use the terms sales and marketing interchangeably; however, they differ. Although both processes focus on increasing a company’s revenue, how they accomplish this varies.


Do you know what the difference is between sales and marketing? Understanding the distinction between sales and marketing is essential to help you better incorporate them to reach your company’s revenue targets. This article discusses the difference you need to know between sales and marketing.


What is Sales?


The activities that lead to selling products or services are referred to as sales. Salespeople manage relationships with potential clients (called prospects) and supply prospects with a solution that leads to a sale.


Salespeople are also in charge of persuading potential customers to make a purchase. T his can be accomplished in various ways, including discussing the benefits of your product, offering discounts, or making your product more appealing than competitors’ products.


Cold calling, one-on-one meetings with business prospects, participation in trade shows and promotional events, and cross-selling are all standard methods of generating sales.


A contract between a company and its clients begins with sales. Therefore, sales is essential in cultivating a positive relationship with its customers and increasing customer retention.


Inbound Sales and Outbound Sales


Inbound sales occur when a customer comes to a business to purchase a product or service. On the other hand, outbound sales refers to when a company contacts a prospect, generally through its sales staff, and closes a deal.


Inbound sales leads are generally easier to convert because the customer is already interested in your company’s product. However, specific inbound sales inquiries may be exploratory, requiring additional efforts and follow-up by your salespeople.


What is Marketing?


Marketing attracts customers to your goods and services through various strategies such as pricing, packaging, brand positioning, placement, and promotion. Marketing includes any efforts that can generate interest in your company.


To achieve this, marketing departments run campaigns to attract customers to your brand, product, or service. Furthermore, market research and analysis are used by marketers to understand the interests of potential clients better.


Your company’s marketing efforts may or may not focus on producing direct sales leads; however, they intend to make sales more accessible and improve revenues over time.


Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing


Instead of explicitly advertising a company’s products, an inbound marketing campaign takes an indirect route. Inbound marketing aims to make potential customers search for your brand. Publishing engaging content on social media or your company’s blog is an example of inbound marketing.


On the other hand, outbound marketing refers to traditional marketing methods such as television advertisements, billboards, and product mailers. It emphasizes advertising a company’s products and services directly to its target market.


Difference Between Sales and Marketing


Although there are goals and responsibilities that sales and marketing share, there are also many significant differences between the two.


What marketing does is attract leads to your business by building brand awareness. Sales then convert those leads into customers by persuading them to purchase.


Goals and Responsibilities


Even though both sales and marketing work towards increasing revenue, they have different goals and responsibilities.


The main goal of marketing is to promote your company, including your brand, products, and services. Marketing focuses on the big picture by promoting how your product or service will benefit prospective customers. Marketing goals are long-term since campaigns run for several months.


The responsibilities of your marketing department include setting prices and finding ways to communicate how your product or service fills a gap in your target market’s life.


On the other hand, sales goals are short-term, and they focus on meeting sales quotas and increasing sales volume. For example, sales goals tend to be measured month over month.


You will determine the sales goals for your company by calculating the quotas your salespeople need to meet to stay operational. In terms of responsibilities, each salesperson is responsible for hitting their quotas.




To run successful campaigns, your marketing team will utilize specific strategies depending on your target audience. Internet, SEO, print, blog, and social media marketing are all common marketing strategies.


Similarly, sales strategies will also vary depending on your industry and target market. Typical sales methods include SPIN, solution, and SNAP selling.


All sales strategies focus on helping clients solve problems, achieve goals, or satisfy needs. Your sales team will utilize selling techniques to lead to a sale and a new customer.


Final Words: Sales and Marketing


Sales and marketing are both crucial factors in your business’ success. The two work together to increase your company’s revenue. However, these two functions serve different purposes.


Marketing promotes your brand, products, and services to spark interest and create new leads. It is then when sales come in and is responsible for building relationships with prospects and transforming your leads into sales.


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