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Sales and marketing, both play an important role in any business.
But, do you truly understand the difference between sales and marketing?
Sales and marketing both share the aim of attracting prospects and turning them into customers. Alongside this, they both have the ultimate goal of generating revenue for your business.
However, do you know what it is that makes one so different from the other?
No worries! In this article, we will examine sales and marketing in greater detail. Alongside this, we will also take a closer look at what’s the difference between them.
What is Sales?
In simple terms, sales refers to the activities that result in the selling of goods or services.
Typically, businesses have different teams within their sales organizations. These sales teams are often formed on the basis of various deciding factors. For example, the region they’re selling the product to, target audience, the specific product they’re selling, etc.
In fact, most companies have entire departments of dedicated sales employees to sell their products and services. These salespeople reach out to individuals who might be interested in purchasing your company’s product.
The goal of this process is to reach out to leads that match your company’s target customer description. More importantly, try to provide them with a solution that results in a sale.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is defined as any actions taken by an organization to attract an audience to their products/ services.
The aim of marketing is to showcase value to your prospects and consumers via content. However, the long term goal is to demonstrate the value of your product and strengthen brand loyalty. Thus, boosting sales.
Marketing occurs through a series of processes like research, analysis and studying your customer’s interests. It concerns various aspects of your business from product development to distribution methods to advertising and sales.
The Difference between Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing are both two functions within a business. Both of these activities affect your revenue and lead generation.
Sales is defined as the activities concerning the selling of goods or services within a time period. Meanwhile, marketing involves getting individuals interested in what goods and services you’re selling.
Sales is product-oriented while marketing tends to be more customer-oriented. Moreover, sales uses a rather fragmented approach and focuses on the short term. However, marketing uses an integrated approach and focuses on the long-term.
To better understand the partnership between sales and marketing, we need to understand the differences between their core elements:
The sales process involves crafting a plan that outlines your business’ actions, resources, tools and overarching sales goals. Your sales plan should include details concerning company history, long term goals and your initiatives.
Here, your sales teams are most interested in converting prospects with brand awareness into customers to earn profits. As such, your team interacts with customers and provides them with information related to your products and services.
In comparison, the marketing process focuses on familiarizing new customers with your brand or refamiliarizing existing customers. As such, your marketing plan explores the 4Ps of marketing – product price, place and promotion.
Your business needs to come up with new ways to market yourself. This involves how to explain your product, what issues it solves for consumers alongside its price point. After this, your marketing team can determine who’s interested in your product and where to find them.
With sales goals, sales teams set them based on volume goals and quotas. Furthermore, they’re usually based on shorter time periods, like your financial quarter or a month.
Sales goals and targets are primarily decided based on how much you need to sell. Your business must sell enough to generate enough profit to remain operational.
With marketing, your goals involve using clear communication to promote your product, brand or company. These goals are often long term as marketing campaigns can last several months.
Marketing goals focus on seeing the big picture. Based on this, you must explain how your product benefits a wide audience group. Thus, generating potential leads.
Sales strategies revolve around connecting with your potential customers alongside talking and listening to them. This is very important when converting leads into paying customers.
Generally, salespeople contact prospects via phone calls, online or at networking events. After this, based on your product/ service, they will pitch it to them in hopes of closing a sale. Popular sales strategies include SPIN selling, Conceptual selling, Customer Centric selling, Solution selling, etc.
Alternatively, marketing strategies focus on gathering information about your target audience. This helps you see what does and doesn’t work. As soon as your team pinpoints your target audience for a specific campaign, they can test out marketing strategies.
Some of the most popular marketing strategies are print marketing, online marketing, focus groups and blog marketing.
It is a fact that marketing prospects are larger than those of sales. This is because marketing focuses on determining a target audience and establishing awareness.
Quite simply, marketing wants to gain new prospects whereas sales wants to optimally use connections with existing prospects and clients.
Tools and Resources
A common tool that is used by sales and marketing alongside the company as a whole is a CRM database. They help your departments manage relationships with contacts, irrespective of which stage of the customer lifecycle they are at.
In addition to this, social media can also be used by both business units. With marketing, social media can be utilized to actively promote content and engage with your audience. As for sales, it can be used in your social selling strategy.
However, there are certain tools that are specific to each department:
Sales and Marketing Tools
It’s important to note that a major factor affecting the introduction of resources into marketing/ sales, is new technology. For example, take AI and live chat. These are both fairly new tools that sales and marketing teams use to further develop relationships with leads.
In retrospect, this kind of personalized communication method wasn’t possible until recently. As such, it’s important to remember that businesses can only adapt new tools and tech whenever it’s created.
Overall, both sales and marketing have their own important role to help in the functioning of any business.
Marketing attracts as well as informs leads about your company and its products. Alongside this, sales works directly with your prospects to reinforce the value of your business’ products. This is done with the aim of converting your prospects into actual customers.
The difference between sales and marketing lies with their aims and purpose. However, together, they both help your organization to generate revenue and profits.