Whether you’re running a business, you’re in charge of hiring new talents, or you’re looking for a job opportunity in this market, understanding the main differences between sales and marketing is crucial to achieving your goals. These activities may look similar, like two drops of water, but they have important differences. In essence, marketing creates awareness about your business, while sales focus on making a profit.
However, as long as these two departments dance at the same beat, management should expect good results in the short, mid and long term.
Understanding what truly separates these two areas of expertise helps us know exactly what we can expect from each aspect and where to focus your strategy.
With that in mind, let’s check out the five key differences between sales and marketing:
The first difference, and perhaps the most relevant, is that marketing objectives are based on how a company and its product can benefit a particular audience. A team must develop concise communicational messages to achieve this and grow leads.
Instead, a sales team focuses on volume and timing. The key is how much has to be sold in a period for the business to continue operating.
It’s all about teamwork. Marketing warms up the lead and gives information and resources to engage with the brand and its products, usually by creating a funnel involving all the customer journey.
Sales are about closing the deal and converting these deals into customers.
Marketing is based on determining what the target bites, and it does that by using multiple resources such as content marketing, SEO optimization, PPC marketing, to name a few.
Sales strategies are, by far, more direct. The usual sales strategy involves contacting a prospect in a phone call and then trying different approaches until the sale is made. Some examples of this are Conceptual Selling, Value Proposition Selling, Solution Selling, Benefits Selling, and Inbound Selling.
Unlike marketing, sales plans are more “quantifiable,” like establishing sales goals, building sales processes, and generating specific profit.
Meanwhile, marketing works with abstract concepts, such as buyer persona, customer journey stages, and defining value and awareness. For the most part, all of these theoretical approaches must be tested until you find patterns in data collection that will tell whether the strategy has been effective or not.
During this journey, marketing transforms leads into prospects, collecting as much data as possible about what these prospects need, objections, pain points and goals.
Sales team deals with new prospects, known prospects and current customers.
As explained, marketing and sales concepts are easily confused. Yet, being aware of their differences will help us achieve company goals and determine which department should enhance their staff or improve their methods to succeed.
Also, despite their differences, both marketing and sales should be aligned with each other. Integration and cooperation in these two departments will deliver better results.
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