Marketing and sales are two different aspects. Though they share a common objective of increasing revenues of the company, they play discrete functions and thus require distinct skills to be pursued to do the jobs effectively. Moreover, the roles and responsibilities of each position are so specialized that the same person in most situations cannot handle both the jobs.
In this article, let us see the key differences between a marketing job and a sales job and the kind of skills required to perform these jobs efficiently.
Goals and activities
Sales target individuals or small groups for immediate goals. Marketing, on the other hand, targets a larger group and typically has long-term goals. While the typical goal of marketing is to generate interest in the public towards the product and to create leads, sales group focuses more on converting prospects to actual paying customers.
Marketing involves a series of activities such as consumer research, product development, advertising products to raise awareness, brand building, etc., whereas, sales involves direct interaction with the prospects and persuading them to purchase the product.
Further, marketing concentrates more on retaining trust and loyalty of the customer by providing value and usefulness through the life of owning the product. On the other hand, sales activities stop once the sale is closed.
Marketing focuses on the requirements of the target market and plans to meet the customer demands. It first determines customers needs and then formulates a product that satisfies those necessities. Marketing views business as a customer satisfying process.
Contrary to this, the objective of sales team is to sell the products offered by the company irrespective of the needs/choices of customers. From sales point of view, business is converting inventory of finished goods into cash.
The concept of marketing is different from sales
Marketing is a broader and wider concept. It is not just confined to selling or advertising products. The main aim of marketing is to fulfill customers wants and needs by providing them with the kind of products they are looking for. Marketing efforts will be in such a way that the customer genuinely gets interested in buying the product.
Marketing is a long run process, and continues even after selling the product to ensure customer satisfaction. The ultimate objective of marketing is to make customer loyal to the brand.
On the other hand, sales is a narrow concept, and is confined to selling products and reaching the assigned sales targets. It is usually a one to one process. Once the product has been developed or leads have been generated, sales personnel need to turn the leads into customers by persuading the customers to purchase the product.
From the above discussion it is clear that marketing and sales are two different activities. So, it is obvious that a person having skills required to do sales job cannot do a marketing job and vice versa.
Compared to sales, marketing is a complex, yet interesting process. To develop a winning marketing strategy, the marketing team requires a mix of abilities like creativity, conceptual and analytical skills, co-ordination, research skills, decision-making. Whereas, in sales persuasion plays a vital role. The ability to communicate companys prospects in a clear and concise way that persuades prospective customer to buy the product is highly essential.