You can’t attract customers without first informing them of your company and product or service. Marketing is the process that informs potential clients about what you have to offer. On the other hand, sales work directly with prospects to convince them why your solutions are worth their time and money.
Looks simple, right?
While these two functions are entirely different, they have a common goal: entice prospects and convert them to long-term and loyal customers to generate revenue.
So, what do these different business functions do, and whether or not they can work together? Let’s clarify and explore the difference between sales and marketing, and we will show you how you can align these two.
Difference Between Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing are different functions, but both of these directly impact the lead generation process and the business’s revenue. The word, sales, includes all activities and tasks that lead to the selling of products and services. While marketing involves getting consumers interested in the products and services that the company is offering.
Furthermore, salespeople or managers’ primary task is to manage relationships with potential clients and offer them a viable solution that leads to a successful sale.
On the other hand, marketing includes all activities and tasks that help to build people’s interest in your products, services, or brand. Marketers utilize market research and stats to figure out the market trends and interests of potential clients.
Marketing departments are liable for running advertising campaigns to entice users to the business’ brand, product, or service.
Although these two functions look the same, there are some notable differences between marketing and sales. For example, marketing emphasizes its efforts on the normal users or larger groups, whereas sales approach smaller public groups.
But, these are not the only difference; some other things that differentiate these two vital business functions are given below:
Marketing vs. Sales: What makes them different?
To build a strong partnership between marketing and sales, you must understand the core elements of both these departments. Let’s explore them:
Whether you are drafting a marketing or sales strategy, both include the business’s history and its main goals and objectives. Then the plans move into the aspects that are definite for each function.
The marketing plan or strategy defines what the product is, its cost, who will be the buyers, and where you will sell it. This process is known as the 4Ps of marketing and advertising: product, price, place, and promotion.
When goals are clearly defined, marketing channels are picked, and a budget is allocated for the campaigns, the marketing team will pursue the plan.
Sales plans have all the details about the sales process, team structure, target users and market, and business goals. Besides, the sales plan describes the action plan, sales tools, and resources that you will need to meet and hit these targets.
The main goal of marketing is to view the big picture and advertise the brand and its products and services. One of the major functions of marketing is pricing products and communicating how the company’s offerings will fill consumers’ needs and desires.
Goals of marketing are often long-term as marketing campaigns have long spans, and some campaigns are run for months.
For sales, the main focus is on hitting the quotas and sales volume goals. Compared to the marketing goals, sales goals are short-term. These goals are usually measured on a monthly basis. Moreover, targets are set, and sales management measures how much their department, squads, and individual sales reps should sell to meet the overall sales target.
Tools and Resources
Both sales and marketing use a CRM database as a tool that differs from business to business. Often the whole organization uses one tool as a CRM. The database helps sales, marketing, and other departments in managing relationships with prospects and existing clients.
Both sales and marketing units can leverage Social media for various purposes. For marketing, social media networks are essential for the promotion of their content, and for sales, social networks are a vital part of their social selling strategy.
Besides, there are some other tools that these departments use, such as:
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- Data reporting software
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tool
- Project management tool
- Content creation tool
- Business meetings app
- Documents tool
- Invoicing program and software
- Email management tool
- Inventory and order management software
The introduction of new technology to marketing or sales strategy is undoubtedly an essential factor, and such tools can be highly useful for creative professionals. For example, AI and live chat are modern tools that marketing and sales can utilize to build healthy relationships with leads. This personalized communication was not available a few years back, but now all businesses can get these modern tools to make things easier and fruitful.
Marketing teams have a different strategic approach, and it mainly depends on the campaign’s nature and target users. Some popular marketing strategies are:
- Internet marketing
- Print marketing
- Blog marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
Like marketing methods and strategies, sales tactics can vary depending on their niche, products, target market, and consumer. Some of the commonly used sales methodologies are:
- CustomerCentric Selling
- Inbound Selling
- SPIN Selling
- Solution Selling
- The Challenger Sale
- The Sandler System
- N.E.A.T. Selling
- Conceptual Selling
- SNAP Selling
These sales strategies are specifically designed to solve buyer issues, achieve a business goal, or satisfy a consumer need.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
So, now the question is can you form a partnership between these two business functions? Yes, this is possible by aligning both departments.
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a simple agreement that includes a set of deliverables that one party agrees to give another. This is the ideal way to form a connection between the marketing and sales departments.
Both marketing and sales departments will outline their mutual goals, identify the buyer personas, and standardize business lead definitions in the SLA. The agreement also contains set protocols for lead management and defines how sales and marketing performance will be evaluated.
When both these departments are aligned, the business can easily attract and qualify more business leads and generate more income.