Differences between sales and marketing

Businesses are set up for different goals and objectives but one common denominator is the desire to make profits. But how can profits be made without sales? And how can sales happen if marketing isn’t done and rightly so? While these concepts may seem identical and closely related, there’s a bit of difference between them, and here’s an attempt at helping you differentiate these terms without ever needing to rack your brain whenever it’s needed.

What is sales?

The term Sales comprises all the activities that lead to the exchange of goods or services for money. Unlike marketing which aims at winning and retaining customers for the long term, sales is more transaction-focused and short-term. 

What’s marketing?

Marketing is all the activities done to spark interest, attract, inform, and convert people into paying customers. At the forefront of these activities is market research, which aims at understanding the market, customers’ pain points, purchasing power, and the best form or type of product customers will be interested in. Marketing doesn’t just end at these, it moves further to creating measures to ensure customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and a high rate of repeat customers. It also consists of business functions such as advertising, logistics, and selling.

What are the differences between sales and marketing?

In detail, sales and marketing differ in the following ways:

1. Target market: marketing functions to bring brand awareness to the entire public or selected demographic where products are needed. Whereas, sales targets subsets or smaller groups of people. 

2. Process: The marketing team process will include activities that focus on product, price, place, and promotion which are called the 4Ps of marketing. They are responsible for setting product goals and objectives, campaign budget, and determining the marketing channels. 

On the other hand, the Sales process will include a detailed breakdown of the target market, action plans, goals to be achieved, tools, team structure, and resources needed to achieve the set goals.

3. Roles: the sales team is responsible for managing the relationships created by the marketing team ( through Ads, Social media campaigns, etc). They nurture the leads until a purchase is made and the marketing team takes over from there to ensure future purchases, brand loyalty, and referrals. 

4. Strategies: sales and marketing differ in the strategies used in meeting their goals. Sales strategy can include: SPIN Selling, inbound selling, Solution selling, Conceptual selling, The Challenger sale strategy, etc. While marketing strategies will include: content marketing( blogs, articles, infographics, videos, etc), print marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and internet marketing. 

5. Cost: Marketing is more expensive than sales because it is all-encompassing sales, advertising, logistics, etc., and runs longer than sales.

6. Ultimate goal: sales’ ultimate goal is profit maximization through sales maximization( via price promotion, special offers, discount sales, referral bonuses, etc). While marketing looks to achieve profit maximization through increased consumer satisfaction and larger market share.

Every business comes into existence to make some profit, and this is achieved through selling. Thus, the importance of selling in any business success. But sales can’t happen without proper marketing that concentrates on the customer demands and needs. When done right, marketing yields good results, and sales is one of them. 

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