It is surprising that how sales and marketing are used interchangeably even though they have completely different context. In fact, the differences are always highlighted clearly in all sales and marketing courses, yet the overlapping prevails in the real world. But, probably this happens because they share a common goal – boost business revenues.
Sales and marketing are distinct from each other on various parameters:
Marketing has a much broader scope – it comprises of 4 Ps of marketing namely product, price, promotion and place. Sales is just one of the elements of marketing. While marketing is a huge top to down funnel and relates to the overall strategy on reaching the target customers, sales is at the lower end of the funnel and aimed at completing the sales transaction.
Sales usually involves activities such as finding leads, calling prospective customers, making a sales pitch, addressing customer queries about the product and closing the sales. Marketing encompasses branding, email marketing, social media marketing, advertising, public relations and all those activities that can make sales happen.
Research and Feasibility
Marketing begins with research and ends with sales. In order to develop a product to sell, the marketers do thorough market research to understand customer needs. They also do a feasibility study to find out whether the product will be a success. After these parameters are checked, the product development takes place and a marketing strategy is designed as to how the product should be sold. Sales has zero involvement in research and feasibility.
Alignment with Future
The marketing environment constantly changes owing to various economic, demographic and social factors. The task of marketing is to anticipate the changes, develop a proactive response strategy and even know how to handle a crisis situation. The job of sales is to follow the advice and strategy laid down by marketing.
The sales process is heavily inclined towards inter-personal interaction. It usually takes place through emails, phone calls, video chats or face-to-face meetings. Networking plays an important role in sales. The salesperson knows the customer personally. However, marketing aims to reach the target audience in mass because establishing a one-to-one relationship is a herculean task. So, the focus is on mass personalization.
Marketing is one-way communication – the message flows from brand to customers. The purpose is to create awareness about the product in the market. Sales is two-way communication – there is direct interaction with customers and possibility of getting feedback is very high.
The key to maximizing the effectiveness of sales is to create a robust marketing strategy. If you wish to explore the differences further, it is recommended to obtain certification course in sales and marketing.