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Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Sales vs Marketing

Sales and marketing are the two popular business terms within an organization, which impact the revenue for any organization. The primary goal of sales and marketing is to increase overall revenue. Although there is no big gap between sales and marketing, they are different disciplines with different strategies and processes.

In this article, we are discussing the significant differences between Sales and Marketing, which will help us to understand the usage and benefits of both. This will also help us to understand how sales and marketing work together and impact any business project's overall results.

Let's first understand both with the definitions:

What is Sales?

Sales are the primary goal of any business venture, meaning all company operations and strategies are primarily focused on increasing overall sales. Typically, this involves the process of convincing customers that whatever product the company is offering will be truly beneficial to them in one way or another. The sales department is responsible for converting leads into customers. Most companies have a specialized department for selling their products and services, which consists of different teams.

Salespersons are usually given a sales target based on volumes and specific time-period (e.g., a month, quarter or year). They are required to complete their target by building a great relationship with customers. People usually consider sales as the conversation, which changes customers' minds and encourages them to buy products; however, there are several processes for selling products or services on high-levels. To complete sales, the salesperson should have great communication skills and knowledge about the products, so that he will be able to satisfy customers while answering their questions regarding the products.

Note: It is important to note that the terms 'Sales' and 'sale' are slightly different from each other. The sales include individual sale that usually describes that the goods have been transferred from manufacturer to customer in exchange for money. Besides, the sale is a broader category that includes all the individual sold products/services.

Process of Sales

Sales mainly involve the following processes:

  • Prospecting and Initiate Contact: Identifying potential buyers and contacting them through phone calls, Email, social media, or live events.
  • Qualifying Lead: Gathering key information and determining if leads are a good match for the products we are offering. Qualifying questions related to needs, budget, authority, and timeline are helpful for the assessment.
  • Approaching: Understanding the customer's situation and needs and motivating them to change the lifestyle by purchasing the company's product or service.
  • Product Demonstration: Explaining the product features, functionalities and quality and how it will fulfill the needs of customers.
  • Proposal and Handling Objections: Explaining the product's unique features and answering customers' questions in the best way to close the sale.
  • Closing Sale: When all the above steps are done appropriately, the sale is finalized. The customer agrees with all the terms and conditions and purchases the product or service in exchange for money.
  • Following up, Repeat business and Referrals: Building a good relationship with customers as they are the best traffic source for repeat business and referrals. This means satisfied customers may first think about the same company if they have the relevant requirements or if someone else in their circle has the same requirements.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is nothing but a process that helps to promote business and educate people about selling the company's products or services. It usually tells people how the product or services will meet their needs. The marketing process itself begins with analyzing the needs of the customers. Besides, it includes procedures for making or providing such products that meet customer requirements in return for a reasonable price. Market researchers' primary objective is to target the audience, their needs and determine how the company's products or services will meet their needs.

Although the main focus is to generate interest in the target audience and encourage them in the company's offerings, there are many other activities that fall under the term marketing. Some such activities include market analysis, product creation, promotion, distribution, sales and after-sales services and support etc. It is about showing what product we are offering and its value related to customer needs. Marketing is no longer limited to just print platforms; there are many other promotional options, such as TV, content marketing, online advertising, social media platforms, websites, email marketing, etc.

Process of Marketing

Marketing mainly involves the following processes:

  • Research: Gathering data to understand the market and customers' needs properly.
  • Segment: Diving customers into different categories or segments as per their age groups, characteristics, needs, etc.
  • Target: Focusing on the segment looking for such products that we are offering because they are the most valued customers.
  • Position: Distinguishing our products from top vendors or competitors and including a unique but attractive selling proposition.
  • Strategize: Creating efficient and impactful P-factors strategies, such as product, place, promotion and price.
  • Implement: Implementing the best strategy from all 4P's, whichever may be more beneficial.
  • Measure: Measuring the results by comparing all the strategies implemented before.

Key Differences Between Sales and Marketing

Few key differences between Sales and Marketing are listed below:

  • Sales can be defined as the process of selling goods to the customer in exchange for money. Here, the ownership of the product is transferred from one person to another. Besides, marketing is the process of identifying the customers' needs so that whenever a new product is manufactured, it meets the customer needs and sells itself without making much effort. In simple terms, marketing is the process of establishing a ready market for upcoming or current products and services.
  • Sales are completely product-oriented, and increasing the sales for the products is the main target of salespersons. In contrast, marketing is entirely customer-oriented, where several advertisements and promotional events are performed to target the customers.
  • Sales follow the concept of one-to-one, whereas marketing is about one-to-many.
  • Sales usually look after individuals, while marketing looks after the brand's value and reputation.
  • Sales can be understood as a short-term process because it is transaction-based. On the other side, marketing can be understood as a long-term process because it focuses on customer needs. Also, it takes lots of effort to create a ready-to-buy market and retain customers in the future.
  • Sales have a fragmented approach, which emphasizes selling manufactured products. However, marketing consists of an integrated approach that emphasizes finding the customer's needs and providing them the products they need.
  • In sales, a customer is seen as the last link, which means that the product is manufactured first and then sold to the customer. Besides, the customer is considered the first priority for marketing. In marketing, all the customers' needs are analyzed, and then an attempt is made to manufacture products to meet their needs.
  • Push strategy is implemented in sales in which the product is forced on customers. On the other hand, the pull strategy is implemented in marketing in which the customers come themselves.
  • The sales process requires good communication skills, convincing skills and the ability to sell products. On the other hand, marketing requires people who have good analytical skills and foresight.

Major Differences Between Sales and Marketing

The other major differences between Sales and Marketing can be explained in a tabulated form, as below:

Attributes Sales Marketing
Short Definition A sale is usually defined as a transaction between buyer and seller, where the buyer receives goods (tangible/intangible), property, assets, or services by paying money. The entire process of selling goods to the customer is referred to as 'Sales'. Marketing is a systematic process, implementing and managing business activities and operations that bring buyers and sellers together.
Approach It follows the Fragmented approach. This helps to make customer demands satisfy the products whatever the company provides. It follows the Integrated approach. This helps set up various activities to sell company products or services and maintain good client relationships for a longer period.
Focus It is primarily focused on the company's requirements. To be specific, the main focus of sales is to fulfill the objectives of sales volumes. It is primarily focused on market needs. Typically, the main focus is to promote, distribute, and set up the price for products or services based on customers' wants and needs.
Orientation It is product-oriented. It is customer-oriented.
Related to It is mainly related to the flow of goods, products, or services to customers. It is related to the total activities used to facilitate the flow of goods to customers.
Duration This is based on short-term duration plans. This is based on longer-term duration plans.
Objective The objective of the sales is to motivate shoppers in the direction that they appear as buyers. The primary objective of marketing is to analyze customer requirements and manufacture products or offer services to meet those requirements.
Relationship It follows a one-to-one relationship. It follows a one-to-many relationship.
Target Individual or small groups are the primary targets of sales. The primary target of marketing is the general public.
Scope The primary scope of sales is to sell products. When the product is manufactured according to the customer's needs, the sales department tries to convince them to buy the product and meet their needs. The main marketing scope includes advertising, market research, building customer relationships, customer satisfaction, after-sales services, etc.
Activity It is customer-driven. It is media-driven.
Rule For sales, the basic rule is referred to as 'Caveat Emptor'. For marketing, the basic rule is referred to as 'Caveat Vendor'.
Strategy It uses the Push Strategy. It uses the Pull Strategy.
Process The sales process involves the exchange of products/services for adequate consideration. The marketing process analyzes customer needs and tries to complete them. It typically involves market analysis, distribution channels, market share analysis, sales tracking, pricing strategies, etc.
Technique Essential selling techniques are price promotion, special offers, and discounts, etc. The most important marketing technique is to build customer relationships by integrating according to customers' needs.
Skills Required A person must have selling and conversational skills to work in a sales department. A person must have analytical skills to work in the marketing department.
Types Some common sales types are conceptual selling, solution selling, inbound selling, benefits selling, and value proposition selling. Some most common marketing types are online marketing, print marketing, social media marketing, Email marketing, and video marketing.
Aims at The primary aim of sales is to maximize the organization's overall profit in parallel through sales maximization. The primary aim of marketing is to maximize profit through market share and maximum customer satisfaction for good market value.

Why Sales and Marketing work together?

Without proper sales, no company can generate the necessary revenue required to continue developing more products and stay in business. Without proper marketing, the company might not get the expected numbers of potential customers. This clarifies that both sales and marketing are important factors for any company, and the need for both is evident. That is why both sales and marketing work together to generate maximum revenue and brand value.

To create a proper connection between sales and marketing, they are aligned using SLA (Service-level agreement). SLA is a written contract between seller and buyer, consisting of a set of deliverables that the seller agrees to provide. To fulfill the SLA objectives, both sales and marketing departments list down the shared goals, analyze buyer personals, and standardize lead definitions. This eventually helps setting up protocols for lead management and measure the performance of sales and marketing. When both sales and marketing work together, businesses more likely to attract a higher number of leads, grow their brand value and generate more revenue.

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