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If you’re interested in marketing or sales, the first question you ask yourself is, “what’s the difference between them?”. Very often, these two are closely related. That’s not surprising as they work closely together, making up the core components of a business. Company owners need to know the differences between these two for driving better results. Knowing this will help enterprises set the right goals for each team and have a higher chance of success.
There’s no doubt that the internet has changed the way people make purchases. We can indeed say that marketing departments today cover a lot more work than in the past. In fact, 70% of buying decision is made even before the buyer contacts the salesperson.
Let’s understand why this is happening and how we can get the most out of it.
This is due to the business websites, testimonials, detailed descriptions of the product/service, high-quality images on the page, social media marketing, etc. These all are marketing tools that drive sales. So, let’s see the essentials one must know about the differences between marketing and sales.
Marketing is any action that creates interest, gives information about the product/service, and generates leads/potential customers. Marketing is all about getting people interested in your company and services. Thus marketing doesn’t need to be only about selling. Marketing teams often dedicate a large number of resources to generate attention and interest. They often spend a lot of time developing a brand identity, improving a brand image, etc. This will later help the sales department drive actual sales.
Once the marketing team has generated leads, the sales team is responsible for converting these leads into customers. This is the primary process that leads to the actual process of buying the product or the service. It’s the real or virtual process of interaction between the customer and the salesperson. In other words, sales is an actual conversation/communication that helps the customer decide whether or not they will buy your product.
As you see, marketing is taking responsibility for educating, telling more about the products, increasing awareness about the business, and setting the start of the sales process. Marketing teams educate target audiences; previously done by sales departments. They were the ones who were telling about the product, pointing out advantages, answering questions, etc. Nowadays, these all are done by the company’s website and landing pages. Besides being different parts of one big process, marketing and sales have other goals, plans, and strategies. Let’s see what the differences are.
Marketing tends to focus on the general population (target audience). Sales tend to focus on individuals or a small group of leads. Let’s clarify the goals for both marketing and sales.
What are the goals of marketing?
• Promote the company, its products, and services
• Generate leads
• Focus is typically long-term using campaigns
What are the goals of sales?
• Function as brand ambassadors for the company
• Close sales
• Focus is typically short-term on achieving sales goals
After defining the goals for each team, we must understand the plans for reaching the goals. Here’re the scenarios:
• Define product and/or services
• Identify and describe the target customer
• Price product and/or services
• Determine how to market product and/or services
• Create a sales action plan
• Determine the sales process
• Define team structure – territories, etc.
• Determine sales goals
The last and most crucial stage is determining the strategies for reaching the goals. Developing strategies for each team is decisive for the business.
Strategies for marketing.
• Online Marketing
• Print Marketing
• Email Marketing
• Social Media Marketing
• Video Marketing
Strategies for sales.
• Conceptual Selling
• Value Proposition Selling
• Solution Selling
• Benefits Selling
• Inbound Selling
As a result, we have two different funnels: a marketing funnel and a sales funnel. As you can see, funnels differ, and that’s natural, as they are two other parts of one extensive process: sales.
NOTE: these two funnels are not one and only. There are different types of funnels about which we’ll cover in a separate blog.
Now, as we know the difference between marketing and sales, it’s time to understand how to make them work together perfectly. First of all, you need to think about this process as one big mechanism. One will not work profitably without the other. This means you must develop your marketing strategies keeping in mind the sales process and vice versa: while developing sales strategies, keep in mind the marketing process. When sales and marketing are aligned, the business attracts and qualifies more leads and generates more revenue. One of the best ways to bring your marketing department and your sales team closer together is to use the following method: deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. This will help you understand where each of your marketing qualified leads is in the sales funnel.
Now, that you know the main difference between marketing and sales, you shoud review your marketing and sales strategies once again to make sure that they work together as a single unit. Remember: it’s never too late to rework your sales strategy or change your strategic approach. In fact, you can dramatically improve your company’s performance by spending an additional 4-5 weeks on improving your plan and ensuring that your sales strategy and your marketing efforts are all aligned and work towards a common goal.