Clash of the titles: Sales vs Marketing
Clash of the titles: Sales vs Marketing

The difference between sales and marketing

The sibling rivalry between sales and marketing can raise questions about the difference in functions and goals between the two. Is there really a difference? If so, which is better? Strong sales techniques are vital in driving business revenue and growth, but who are you going to sell to if your business lacks an effective marketing plan?

Ultimately the two functions have the same end goal: to generate more revenue, so aligning the two is going to be a key factor to success.

Sales is the process of persuading person to buy from your business. It often involves some level of two-way communication that persuades a lead to become a customer. Most of the time, these leads have been generated through marketing efforts. Sales strategies could include:

  • Promotional events or trade fairs
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Retail interactions
  • Cold calls


Marketing includes market research, development of products or services, promoting what the business has on offer and creating awareness or demand for the product/service among consumers. Essentially, marketing means increasing brand awareness, consideration, and/or generating leads or prospects. Once the product is out in the market, it’s the mission of the salesperson to persuade the customer to buy the product, converting leads into sales. Marketing techniques might include:

  • Print advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Digital marketing

Collaboration is key 

Unfortunately, too many companies have Marketing and Sales operating as entirely separate entities. The two functions complement each other in a way that nothing else can, and separation can be a missed opportunity for collaboration. There’s a range of benefits that come from sales-marketing partnerships, including:

  1. Better qualified leads: When both teams are aligned and in frequent communication, information can flow freely from department to department. Your sales team can tell the marketing team what is and isn’t working so that the marketers can adjust strategies based on this information. Recording and noting leads means they can both focus on only targeting the best-qualified leads and not wasting time on the needless ones.
  2. Improved understanding of customers: Both teams have direct contact with the consumer but at different stages in the purchase journey. This can give them completely different understandings of their audience. Working together means that marketing can help generate content that will capture the audience the sales team are chasing. Both teams can understand customers better and have more accurate buyer personas.
  3. Increased revenues: Integration of the two departments have been proven to increase annual revenue growth by an average of 20%. Conversely, companies whose marketing and sales teams are misaligned experience a 4% decline annually – allowing for a widening difference in the wrong direction between yourselves and your competitors.

Talk to a marketing expert today

To find out more information on the benefits of sales and marketing integration, or for expert advice on the subject, call Businessary today on: 03 9662 9900.