What is the difference between sales and marketing?

In this article we discuss what sales and marketing is, outline some of the key differences between them but also discuss how they should be aligned.

Shark Finesse
June 29, 2022

Both sales and marketing play a vital role in increasing your company’s revenue but they do have different functionalities. The key to having a successful business and to generate profit is to align both sales and marketing together. We discuss what sales and marketing is and outline some of the key differences between them.

Sales definition

In business operations, sales are any transactions where money or value is exchanged for the ownership of a good or an entitlement to a particular service. Sales is the primary aim of any business where all the activities of the business are directed towards the increase of sales to make a profit. Different businesses use different methods to make a sale which vary depending on the product or service they offer. Sales are typically handled by sales representatives that detail the benefits and value of their product or service to the customer. These sales representatives should have excellent communication and persuading skills as well as be able to effectively listen to the customers concerns and answer any questions that may arise. All sales are made by using the stages in the sales cycle to help sales representatives remain consistent in moving each customer through the journey to purchasing their product or service. For more information on stages of a typical sales cycle, take a look at our blog - Stages of the sales cycle.

Marketing definition

The definition of marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. It is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service which happens through lots of research into your target market. The main aim of marketing is to generate the maximum amount of interest in a product or service by analysing customer behaviour to gain insight into their interests, desires and reasons they make a purchase. One of the jobs of a marketing team is to create personalised advertisements based on the information gathered which targets the consumers that are interested in their products or services. The platforms marketing teams choose to promote their products or services varies depending on the target market, some of the most popular platforms for advertising are different social media sites.

The difference between sales and marketing

Although sales and marketing have different ways of functioning, they both share the same common goal - to attract prospects and turn them into customers which contributes to generating a profit. Below are a few general differences between the two.

- Firstly, sales is product-oriented compared to marketing which is customer-oriented. Salespeople are there to increase the sales of the product directly to the customer whereas the marketing team uses promotional materials while keeping the target customers in mind.

- The next difference between the two is that sales is a short-term process whereas marketing is a long-term process. Sales is transaction based which is only for a limited period of time compared to marketing which focuses on managing the customer which may lead to winning and retaining customers over a longer period of time.

- Another key difference is that sales is targeted to one particular customer at a time through one salesperson whereas marketing uses advertisements which can reach thousands of people at one time, meaning these advertisements need to be more generalised.

- Lastly, sales uses the push strategy meaning the product is forced onto a customer compared to marketing which uses the pull strategy where the customer will come to a product by themselves based on their interest in the advertisement.

Despite the differences between sales and marketing, both processes are interlinked and play just as important roles in creating a successful surviving business. If you are looking for some support in your sales or marketing strategies get in touch with our team.

What we do

At Shark Finesse we have developed an enterprise-grade cloud application to help businesses standardise and simplify their value engagements across the entire customer journey.

Shark, a business value engagement platform used by 1000’s of customer-facing teams globally (e.g. pre-sales, sales, value teams, and customer success) is easy to use, intuitive and usable directly with the customer to negotiate the likely business returns from investing in a solution.

By adopting the Shark approach you will fundamentally transform conversations with new and existing customers, close more business, and differentiate from the competition.