The difference between sales and marketing is:
Marketing informs and attracts leads and prospects to your company and product or service. Sales, on the other hand, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of the company’s solution to convert prospects into customers. Sounds simple?
While these two business functions are different, they both share a common goal: to attract prospects and convert them to customers, ultimately generating revenue.
The key difference between sales and marketing. Marketers are the ones who create the idea that a salesperson will sell. Then, marketers conduct research to find what customers’ needs are to determine what their needs are.
So, what do these business units do, and can they work together? Let’s clarify the difference between sales and marketing even more, and learn how to align the two of them in this article.
Sales is the description of the activities that lead to the selling of services. Salespeople are responsible for managing relationships with potential clients and providing a solution for them that eventually leads to a sale.
On the other hand, marketing includes all activities that help spark interest in your business. Marketers use market research and analysis to understand the interests of potential customers. Marketing departments are responsible for running campaigns to attract people to the business’ brand, product, or service. Even if they will not buy at the end.
Marketing focuses its efforts on the general public or larger groups of people, while sales targets smaller groups of people or subsets of the general public.
How else do these two business functions differ?
We need to understand the core elements of each department, So we can create a partnership between marketing and sales.
Whether you’re writing a marketing or sales plan, both must include details about the history of the company and its goals and initiatives. Then the plans dive into the aspects of the plan that are specific for each department.
- The marketing plan clarify what the product is, its price, who it’ll be sold to, and where it will be sold. This is also known as the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Goals are set, marketing channels are chosen, and a budget is made for the campaigns the marketing team plans to continue.
- Sales plans include details about the sales process, team structure, target market, and goals. In addition, the sales plan outlines the action plan, tools, and resources that will be used to hit these targets.
What are the key goals that marketing and sales set? Both departments have the main focus to generate revenue for the company.
- The main goal of marketing is to look at the big picture and promote the company, product or service, and brand. Marketing departments are responsible for how communicating the product fills customers’ needs and wants. And its goals are often longer term because campaigns can span over the course of many months.
- For sales, the focus is to hit quotas and sales volume goals and these tend to be shorter term. Sales goals are often measured month over month. Targets are defined, and sales management calculates how much their department, teams, and individual sales people need to sell to meet the overarching goal.
Tools and Resources
Social media can also be leveraged by both business units. For marketing, social media can be used to promote content and for sales, it can be used as part of a social selling strategy.
Plus, there are tools that are specific to each department.
- Marketing Tools
⦁ Data reporting software
⦁ Project management tool
⦁ Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
⦁ Search engine optimization (SEO) tool
⦁ Content creation tool
- Sales Tools
⦁ Inventory and order management software
⦁ Meetings app
⦁ Invoicing software
⦁ Email management tool
⦁ Documents tool
The introduction of resources to a marketing or sales strategy is particularly dependent on new technology. For example: “live chat” is one of the newest tool that marketing and sales can use to develop relationships with customers. This type of personalized communication wasn’t possible until recently, and companies can adopt new software and technology as it’s created.
- Marketing teams can take different strategic approaches depending on the type of campaign and customer they’re targeting. Common marketing strategies include:
⦁ Blog marketing
⦁ Internet marketing
⦁ Video marketing
⦁ Search engine optimization
⦁ Print marketing
⦁ Social media marketing
- Similar to marketing strategies, sales methods can be diffrient depending on its industry, products, market, and target customer. Some of the most popular sales methodologies are:
⦁ Customer Centric Selling
⦁ Conceptual Selling
⦁ SNAP Selling
⦁ SPIN Selling
⦁ Solution Selling
⦁ N.E.A.T. Selling
⦁ Inbound Selling
⦁ The Challenger Sale
⦁ The Sandler System
These sales strategies help a buyer to solve a problem, achieve a goal, or satisfy a need. And hopefully, sales team’s selling technique will lead to a sale and a new customer.
So, how do we get rid of this marketing vs. sales storyline and create a partnership between the two? This can be done by aligning the two departments.
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract that establishes a set of deliverables that one party has agreed to provide another. This is one of the best ways for marketing and sales form a partnership.
In the SLA, both departments will define their shared goals, identify the buyer personas or ideal client profile, and standardize lead definitions. It will also set protocol for lead management, and outline how sales and marketing performance will be measured.
When sales and marketing are aligned, the business is poised to attract and qualify more leads and generate more revenue. To learn more, check out this ultimate guide to sales strategy next.