What’s the difference between sales and marketing? Isn’t it the case that if you’re marketing to someone your selling? If so, does this make marketing the same as selling?
Many small businesses bundle both disciplines together in a singular Sales & Marketing department. This can make it even harder to understand the difference between sales and marketing.
Let’s clear this up by saying that sales and marketing are not the same. So, what is the difference?
Well, sales is a subset of marketing as shown in the diagram below:
To clarify this further, another way to think about the difference between sales and marketing is to look at things from an end-to-end point of view:
It should be clear by now that marketing is so much more than sales. Its made up of brand management, market research, value creation, pricing strategies, CRM, advertising, and sales amongst others.
If you’re still a little confused about the difference between sales and marketing then the following table should help. It clarifies how each discipline has a different focus around common themes.
|Audience||One to many. Many people are reached by a single marketing campaign.||One to one. Sales happen when one person helps another to get across the line and become a customer.|
|Strategy||Marketing tries to pull people towards the company or product.||Sales try to push people over the line.|
|Time Horizon||Marketing focuses on the long term. How can we grow our sales over the longer term?||Sales focus on the short term. They are judged on what they sell each day or week.|
|Targets||Marketing relies on sales to close deals.||Sales rely on marketing to generate leads.|
|Product||Have a range of products that they shape so they meet the needs of the customer.||Has a product that they need to sell.|
|Buying Cycle||Develops relationships with new customers and builds long-lasting relationships with existing ones.||Short-term relationships to get people to buy.|
|Promotion||Promotions are created to resonate with the target audience and anyone who has an influence on the target audience.||Promotions are generally discounts offered to close the deal.|
|Reputation||Marketing is concerned with building and maintaining the brand’s reputation.||Sales are concerned with relationships. It’s relationship driven.|
Sales and marketing are often mistaken for being the same discipline. It’s easy to see why this happens when you consider that many companies bundle both disciplines into a single Sales & Marketing department.
The key distinction between sales and marketing is that sales is a subset of marketing.
STP Marketing Model
Three Product Levels (Kotler)
Gap Model of Service Quality
Services Marketing Triangle
Services Marketing Mix: The 7 P’s of Marketing
Five Product Levels (Kotler)
The Marketing Funnel Explained