MARKETING VS. SALES
Within a company, sales and marketing are two business operations that have an influence on lead generation and income. In simple terms, all operations that lead to the sale of products and services are referred to as sales. Marketing is the process of attracting customers to the products and services being offered. Although these two business roles are distinct, they both have the same objective: to attract prospects and turn them into customers, resulting in income.
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Salespersons are in charge of maintaining relationships with potential customers and presenting them with a solution for prospects that leads to a sale. Marketing comprises all activities undertaken to generate interest in your company. Marketers utilise research and analysis to learn about potential consumers’ preferences. Marketing departments are in charge of creating campaigns to draw attention to a company’s brand, product, or service.
Let us have a look at the fundamental differences between marketing and sales.
Sales may be defined as the act of selling things to consumers for a certain price and for a set length of time. This is the process of transferring ownership of a thing from one person to another for a price. Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of evaluating the market and understanding the requirements of customers so that a product sells itself. It is the process of preparing a market for a product or service. Sales is simply an exchange of goods for money whereas marketing takes the customers’ needs into consideration and satisfies them. Sales is more product-oriented, whereas marketing is customer-oriented.
Both marketing and sales plans will contain details regarding the company’s history, goals and initiatives. The difference lies in how these plans are carried out. Marketing plans put forth details about the product, its price, the target audience, the place of selling, etc. This is also referred to as the 4Ps of marketing, namely, product, price, place, and promotion. Once this plan is made, the marketing channels are picked and a budget is finalized for the marketing campaign. Sales plans include details about the sales process, team structure, target market, and goals. Plus, the sales plan outlines the action plan, tools, and resources that will be used to hit these targets.
The primary objective of both departments is to generate income for the company. The goal of sales, however, is to persuade consumers to become purchasers, whereas the goal of marketing is to discover customer requirements and produce goods to meet those needs. Marketing focuses more on promoting the company or product, looking at the bigger picture. Marketing departments are in charge of determining product price and conveying how the product meets the requirements of customers. Goals are often long term since marketing campaigns can last for months. In sales, the goal is to meet targets and sales volume goals, which are usually short-term. Goals are often measured on a monthly basis. First, targets are established after which the management determines how much their department and teams must sell in order to achieve the overall objective. The goal of sales is to maximise profits through increasing sales. Marketing, on the other hand, aims to maximise profit by increasing consumer satisfaction and market share.
TOOLS USED –
Price promotion, discounts, holiday season deals, special offers and other tactics are used to increase sales. Marketing entails establishing a connection with the consumer by integrating the organization’s requirements with those of the customers. A CRM database is a tool that is used by both sales and marketing teams alike. It aids all departments in managing relationships with contacts, regardless of where they are in the customer lifecycle. Social media is another tool that can be utilized by both departments. For marketing, social media is imperative in promoting content and for sales, it helps in social selling. There are tools that are, however, specific to each of the two departments. Marketing tools include SEO, CRO, content creation tool, etc., whereas sales tools include invoicing software, email management tools, inventory and order management software.
SKILLS REQUIRED –
Excellent communication, persuasion, and selling abilities are required in sales, whereas good analytical skills and vision are required in marketing.
Sales implements a ‘push strategy’, i.e., where the product is pushed onto the buyer, whereas marketing implements a ‘pull strategy’ where the buyer comes to the product on his own. Marketing teams tend to take upon different strategies based on the type of campaign and target audience. Some marketing strategies are blog marketing, print marketing, social media marketing, etc. Strategies that sales teams adopt can also differ on the basis of the industry, products, target audience and market. Some sales strategies are Conceptual selling, SNAP selling, SPIN selling, CustomerCentric selling, inbound selling, the sandler system, etc. These strategies aim towards solving a problem of the buyer or satisfying a particular need so that it may lead to a sale and new customer.
WHICH APPROACH IS MORE SUITABLE FOR YOUR PRODUCT
While deciding which approach would better suit your product, sales or marketing, it is vital to keep in mind that sales produces immediate results, but on investing resources on marketing, you are more likely to see better results, although it may take months, even years to show. Both approaches can be effective. For startups, the better approach seems to be sales in order to generate adequate revenue and stay in business in the beginning. After revenue is generated, you can step into marketing to broaden your prospects and reach.
Despite the differences enumerated above, an approach that integrates both marketing and sales will be highly beneficial for a company. Businesses where sales and marketing work together are found to have better overall growth. Therefore, it is important to keep the differences between the two approaches in mind, while at the same time, ensuring a collaborative approach to get optimal results.