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Difference Between Sales And Marketing
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Difference Between Sales And Marketing

I was always confused with the terms Sales and Marketing, wondering why and how they differ from each other. To me it looked like both do the same job, the ultimate result being selling a product to the end user or consumer. I have seen Sales Managers, Sales Executives, Marketing Managers and Salesman but in my eyes all looked like one who sells a finished product or service.

When I thought deeply about their functions, I could realize that there exists a basic difference in the type of their job functions. Further research on the subject gave me an idea of the difference between sales and marketing. The Marketing division works on identifying the potential market where a product can be sold and the product promotion activities. The Sales people actually works on the logistics and sales of a product to the outlets and customers.

Thus if we look at marketing and sales, we see a need of coordination between them without which we cannot sell products effectively and to the customer’s satisfaction.

The Marketing Division has to discover the needs of the customer, develop the product in coordination with the production team, do a correct pricing, and organize events and promotions to introduce the product in the market.

The Sales Team is finally responsible to provide the products to the wholesale or retail distributors and agents. In many cases they even have to get the products to the outlets and to the customers. Sales team enters into a contract or agreement with the customer or the selling outlets.

A customer is persuaded by the Sales Team to buy a product or Service which the Marketing Team would have promoted. The marketing activities are different compared to sales activities. The sales activities are supported by the marketing activities. Marketing activities like promotional events and campaigns must happen much before the sales starts.

The marketing team usually has a say in changing the company’s products. But the sales team do not have the same directly. They have to go via the marketing team. Sales team may listen to customer’s requirements and often suggest changes in products or services.

The sales activity consists of various processes

• Find out the qualified prospects for a company’s products

• Fix an appointment with the customer and have an initial dialog

• Presentation of the products or services

• Handling customer’s comments and remarks about the product if they do not want to buy the same

• Executing the sales contract or making the direct sales

• Provide after sales survey, support and service

Marketing creates opportunities for a company. But the sales give them the revenue or profit. Marketing does not make calls to the customers whether prospect or existing. They don’t deal with customer’s complaints and they don’t normally build a strong relationship with the customer. Marketing deals with finding a product, putting a price on it, finding a proper place to launch the sales and then do the product promotion.

The marketing team may assist the sales team in finding the prospect customers. But it is normally the sales team who makes the sales calls. Marketing team can assist the sales team in resolving customer objections by reviewing the customer needs. In effect, marketing acts as the support or back bone for sales.

So, if you look at it, sales and marketing are working hand in hand. In small organizations, the same person wears the hats of marketing as well as sales interchanging as needed. In bigger organizations, there will be a marketing division and a sales division where they have lot of products and deal with many customers than the smaller ones. There will be clear demarcation of activities and processes handled by these divisions.

Sales will say they are bringing revenue for the company and marketing will say that it is because of them the sales could sell the products. But to the company they both are equally important, for customers? – I leave it up to you to decide.


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