Marketing and Sales, Synonymous or Not?

Sales and Marketing are crucial to the success of any business. Some people consider both as the same and often use them interchangeably. It’s no doubt that both the terms have the same end goal i.e. to increase the overall sale, customer base, and revenues of the company. But they are two different concepts and it is important to understand those differences.

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to creating, anticipating, and identifying customer needs and then meeting those with the products and services that have value for customers. It aims at creating, keeping, and satisfying customers with quality products and services. It includes all the decisions and activities involved in the coordination of 4Ps i.e. product, price, place, and promotion.

What is Sales?

Sales is an act of selling products and services of the business to the target audience in exchange for consideration. Selling is an action that converts the product/service into cash. Here relationships with customers and channel partners are built. They go door to door, negotiate the deals, clarify doubts and overcome objections, etc.

Marketing vs Sales 

Let’s dive deeper into the concept and look at further points of distinctions between the two-

  • Focus

In sales company first makes the product and then figures out how to sell it but in marketing company first determines the customer wants and then figures out to fulfill it. Thus the focus of the sales is on how to sell the product and in marketing the focus is on how to fulfill customer wants and needs.

  • Orientation

Marketing is customer-oriented whereas sales is product-oriented as in marketing the product revolves around the customer and in sales the customer revolves around the product.

  • Pull vs Push strategies

Marketing pulls people towards the business by using different marketing strategies and tactics like attractive ads, smart targeting, etc. Sales on the other hand push the products towards the potential buys.

  • Short vs Long term

Marketing is a long term and continuous process as it a total of 360 degrees of understanding and analysis of the dynamic market in which business operates. On the other hand, sales are relatively a short term process. It is for a particular time, does not take a long-term view and changes are fast, short, and swift.

  • Generating vs Converting

The role of marketing in the pipeline is to generate the leads however the next stage i.e. converting leads depends on the sales team. We can say that marketing brings the potential customer to the door but converting those shoppers into buyers is the task of sales.

  • The Process

The process of sales and marketing is different and shows that sales is in fact a subset and part of marketing. (Refer to the video to understand the process of sales and marketing)

Why must Sales and Marketing work together?

As Peter Drucker says, “There will always, one can assume, be a need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to the selling superfluous. Marketing aims to understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Drucker stresses that regardless of how effective the marketing function performs, it will not eliminate the need for personal selling, particularly in business or industrial markets.

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Mahak Bhatewara6 Posts

A marketing enthusiast who loves to observe, write, learn and create. Mahak has always found a strange solace in ambiguous things in life like fogs, hazy pictures, vague memories, cryptic writings and the grey areas of life.


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