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The Difference Between Sales and Marketing by Jim Stovall

Sales and marketing are two terms that are often heard together and even used interchangeably. They are both vital to success but are two extremely different, sometimes opposite, concepts. The terms import and export are also used together but, as you know, they are quite opposite when you consider any transaction. Sales, for the sake of this discussion, is the process of contacting potential buyers to present your products or services. Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of creating an environment where potential consumers call you about your product or service. While the desired result may be the same, the process and skill set required are totally different. One of the sales persons first tasks in any communication is to demonstrate a need for the product or service to be offered. The person selling insurance, in this instance, would contact you, informing you of the risk and peril you are in if you do not have insurance. While this is honorable, valid, and sometimes effective, it can be much more desirable when the perspective customer, through marketing efforts, becomes aware of the need for insurance and initiates the communication. Sales and marketing create two totally different dynamics emotionally in the mind of the potential customer. Consider the difference of two phone conversations. 1. You are sitting at home relaxing after a hard days work, preparing to enjoy a family dinner, when the phone rings. It is a fast-talking, high-pressure sales person calling you about a vacation opportunity of a lifetime. Your immediate reaction is total resistance and a desire to get off the phone as quickly as possible. 2. You are relaxing around the dinner table with the family after a hard days work. The topic of a summer vacation comes up and various family members

begin excitedly discussing their ideas for a trip. Then someone remembers an advertisement, flyer, magazine article, etc., and you pick up the phone and call a resort to get information and make a reservation. In both cases, you are on the phone with a representative of a vacation company; however, the dynamic is totally different because one is an imposition and the other is fulfilling a need or desire you have identified yourself. This need or desire may have been created by an effective marketing campaign, but in any event, it has short circuited the sales process. Sales and marketing are both effective tools in much the same way that a hammer and a screw driver are both useful but hardly interchangeable. As you go through your day today, look at your efforts in sales and marketing. Determine to understand the differences and do both well.

Todays the day!

I've been asked twice this week what the difference between sales and marketing is. Might as well answer it here... People get hung up on this an awful lot. It really isn't rocket science. It doesn't need fancy words or esoteric concepts. Marketing is everything you do to get and leverage a client relationship. Sales is a one-on-one, non-automated (this caveat is necessary with "one-to-one marketing" being a popular buzz-concept) aspect of marketing. Anti-climactic? Maybe... When a business considers sales and marketing to be two entirely different aspects/roles/divisions, very bad things happen. Sales teams that are not integrated and a function of the marketing strategy are doomed to mindnumbing cold calls and other wastes of time and effort. Most big, dumb companies fit squarely into this category. A tightly integrated marketing to sales process, on the other hand, is an enormous advantage. It is much more common at small businesses and medium sized businesses that have maintained their entrepreneurial nature, usually

because the founder who originally had to do BOTH roles and, on some level, understands their proper relationship is still


There seems to be a never ending argument among marketing and sales professionals as to what really is the difference between marketing and sales functions. More often than not, both business activity terms are used to describe any business activity that is involved in increasing revenues. For small businesses, with limited resources, there often is no practical difference in marketing and sales functions, all revenue generating activities are typically implemented by the same personnel. As a company grows in revenues and number of personnel, it typically follows a logical business function progression of specialization, a process where the lines between more generic, departmental descriptions and functions became much more definitive and associated functional responsibilities become much more focused. Marketing and sales functions are no exception. Marketing and sales functions are diverse yet very interdependent. Typically sales cannot exceed revenue objectives without an effective marketing planning and support, and marketing directives ultimately becomes useless without sales to implement the plan. Like many complex business issues, it is sometimes easier to define something by what its NOT as it is to define it by what it is. Lets take a closer look at marketing to better define what sales is not. Simply defining marketing as the Four Ps, product, price, place and promotion, based on your Marketing 101 class in college is not practical in todays global markets. In a general sense, marketing is more theoretic than sales, focused on purchase causality and is more prescriptive in purpose than descriptive. Marketing involves micro and macro market analysis focused on strategic intentions where sales is driven more by tactical challenges and customer relations. Lets take a closer look at how marketing is truly different from sales: Marketing responsibilities are distinct from sales in that marketing: * Establishes and justifies the companys best competitive position within a market * Initially creates, helps sustain, and rigorously interprets customer relationships * Locates and profiles potential markets and key participants

within * Generates quality sales leads * Develops effective selling tools * Formally analyzes and tracks competitors business strategies and tactics * Defines, prioritizes and justifies new product or service improvements and developments * Promotes an explicit company product or service image * Facilitates information transfer from customers to the rest of the company * Simplifies the customers product or service procurement process A full time Marketing Manager would be responsible for the following tasks: New Product Rollouts: Strategy development, program incentives, timing and media coverage Agency Evaluation: Selection and evaluation of outside marketing contractors Customer Database Management: Software selection, training, maintenance of customer contact Information Market Research: Market definition, prioritization, project management, data gathering Pricing Analysis: Pricing as a marketing toolinitiate and analyze competitors pricing practices Product Audits: Establishment of a formal means to evaluate competitive offerings Public Relations: Establishment, guidance and coordination of all areas of public Relations Trade Shows:

Definition, participation, prioritization and audit for effectiveness of all trade shows Product Promotions: Strategy formulation, program composition, premium definition, all media coverage Marketing Communications: All printed / electronic communication: brochures, catalogs, price lists, case histories Media Selection: Assist in selection and prioritization of all media options: print, broadcast, multimedia Internal Communications: Establish and maintain all inter-company corporate communication means International Marketing: Establish company presence in targeted international markets, audit for effectiveness Strategic Planning: Offer strategic information and alternative insights to corporate management strategies Board Meeting Participation: Communicate and reinforce the company marketing priorities, strategies and tactics Corporate Vision Statement: Proliferate and reinforce the corporate vision throughout the Organization Corporate Identity and Image: Create, maintain, improve and manage all corporate images and symbols To a pure marketer, the marketing role in a company is not just a business function, but a business philosophy. An effective marketer truly believes dominating their target market is owning their market. The more a marketer can do to maintain market leadership the more effective they are perceived within the organization and within the industry. As customer retention has become more of a business priority in our intensifying competitive markets, the marketing function has evolved from influencing potential customers to involving them the companys business planning and advancement. Effective marketing also has blurred the distinction between product and service and continues to apply more influence on the companys sales representation priorities.

In conclusion, marketing and sales functions are deeply rooted in each others purpose and revenue growth intentions. There are few functional areas in business that relate more to each other. So the next time you hear someone say the word sales, when the appropriate description would have been marketing, or vise versa, think of this article and choose from any one of these documented business functions to make your point of distinction!
What is the difference between marketing, advertising, and sales?


This is a common question, and a lot of people confuse these various terms. First of all, marketing encompasses a wide range of both analysis and tactics. For example, marketing involves doing customer analysis, including market segmentation, market peceptions, market sizing, but also competitive analysis and reactions, target segment selection, positioning, branding, advertising, sales, promotions, channel of distribution arrangement and management, product line decisions, sales force management, and more. You can see, marketing involves a number of activities. Advertising, however, is a tactic in marketing. It involves a number of activities to be sure, but it really focuses on communicating a message to the market (which it partly shares with Public Relations). Sales is also a tactic of marketing. This is typically what the sales force does. But it is marketing's job to focus the entire marketing effort (of which the sales force is one part) towards providing what customers want and gaining a sustainable strategic advantage.

Many people mistakenly think that selling and marketing are the same - they aren't. You might already know that the marketing process is broad and includes all of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Discovering what product, service or idea customers want. Producing a product with the appropriate features and quality. Pricing the product correctly. Promoting the product; spreading the word about why customers should buy it. Selling and delivering the product into the hands of the customer.

Selling is one activity of the entire marketing process. Selling is the act of persuading or influencing a customer to buy (actually exchange something of value for) a product or service.

Marketing activities support sales efforts. Actually, they are usually the most significant force in stimulating sales. Oftentimes, marketing activities (like the production of marketing materials and catchy packaging) must occur before a sale can be made; they sometimes follow the sale as well, to pave the way for future sales and referrals. Contrasting the Sales Concept with the Marketing Concept The concepts surrounding both selling and marketing also differ. There is a need for both selling and marketing approaches in different situations. One approach is not always right and the other always wrong - it depends upon the particular situation. In a marketing approach, more listening to and eventual accommodation of the target market occurs. Two-way communication (sometimes between a salesperson and a customer) is emphasized in marketing so learning can take place and product offerings can be improved. A salesperson using the sales concept, on the other hand, sometimes has the ability to individualize components of a sale, but the emphasis is ordinarily upon helping the customer determine if they want the product, or a variation on it, that is already being offered by the company. In the sales approach, not much time is spent learning what the customer's ideal product would be because the salesperson has little say in seeing that their company's product is modified. Furthermore, they aren't rewarded for spending time listening to the customer's desires unless they have a product to match their desires that will result in a sale. (Note, however, that sales people aren't restricted to the use of the sales concept; oftentimes they use the marketing concept instead.) At the heart of the sales concept is the desire to sell a product that the business has made as quickly as possible to fulfill sales volume objectives. When viewed through the marketing concept lens, however, businesses must first and foremost fulfill consumers' wants and needs. The belief is that when those wants and needs are fulfilled, a profit will be made. Do you see the difference? The selling concept, instead of focusing on meeting consumer demand, tries to make consumer demand match the products it has produced. Whereas marketing encompasses many research and promotional activities to discover what products are wanted and to make potential customers aware of them.
What is the difference between marketing and sales? Let's think about thisquestion for a moment. Without marketing you would not have prospects orleads to follow up with, but yet without a good sales technique and strategy your closing rate may depress you. Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced it candetour your growth.

Your marketing will consists of the measures you use to reach and persuade your prospects that you are the company for them. It's the message that prepares the prospect for the sales. It consists of advertising, public relations, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail. The sales process consists of interpersonal interaction. It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It's anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance. Your marketing efforts begin the process of the eight contacts that studies show it takes to move a prospect or potential client to the close of the sale. If marketing is done effectively you can begin to move that prospect from a cold to a warm lead. When the prospect hitsthe"warm" level it's much easier for the sales professional to close the sale. Do you see the cycle? As you see in my explanation above it takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect from one level to the next. That is why it is import that you develop a process that combines both sales and marketing. This will enable you to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot. It's all about balance. Are you unsure of how to integrate your marketing and sales? Try this. Take a few moments and divide your prospect lists and database into categories of cold, warm, and hot leads. Then sit down and identify a strategy on how to proceed with each individual group. For example you could try the following methods of contact:

Cold Lead Strategy - Send out a direct mailing or offer them a special promotion Warm Lead Strategy - Try a follow-up call, send out a sales letter, or schedule a special seminar or training session to get all of your warm leads together. Once you've moved your prospect to the "warm" level it's time to proceed in closing the sale. This will be easier to do if you somehow engage the prospect. You can do this by conducting a one-on-one call, make a presentation, or present a proposal, estimate, or contract. What if you are uncomfortable with the sales or marketing process? An alternative that often proves successful is to partner with someone that possess the talents that you feel you lack in. You can do this by creating a partnership, subcontracting, or hiring in that talent. Remember the key to success in marketing and in sales is balance!

The Difference Between Sales and Marketing Definition of marketing versus sales: A surprising number of sales and marketing executives could not clearly define the difference between sales and marketing semantically or in fact. The Committee on Definitions of the American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the performance of business activities directed toward and incident to, the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or user." Historically the field of marketing encompassed the complete process including the physical activity of moving and storing goods as well as the promotional sub-

divisions of merchandising and sales promotion. Today there is a tendency for the physical distribution aspects of moving and storing goods to be less associated with the traditional marketing umbrella, particularly with manufacturers of capital equipment and services. The current trend is to identify marketing as still the umbrella encompassing all sales activities as subheadings. For semantic clarification in this discussion we shall treat marketing as synonymous with sales promotional activities such as advertising, public relations and marketing services. We shall treat sales as "personal salesmanship" making cold calls, visiting customers, quoting prices and the act of "closing the sale" and obtaining a purchase order. The essential balance: The balance referred to in this sub-title is the relative weight or emphasis placed on marketing/sales promotional activities as opposed to sales/personal salesmanship efforts. The great majority of capital equipment manufacturers are selling a highly engineered product, system or service. It follows in natural sequence that the roots of management will trace back to engineering backgrounds in a majority of cases. The sales/marketing tendency in the engineered product fields has been to lean toward personal salesmanship, one to one contact and "word of mouth" as the primary sales/marketing direction. Capital equipment sales and marketing people can learn much from consumer product marketing where the emphasis is obviously weighted toward a marketing/sales promotion/merchandising approach as opposed to personal salesmanship. Marketing/sales promotion as a function, should exist, be recognized and maintained in effective balance with sales/personal salesmanship efforts in every size firm, from the one (1) man "rep." organization to Fortune 100 manufacturing corporations. The cost of a sales call in today's economy is extremely high. The use of the traditional sales call as the primary vehicle to identify and meet a prospect is a prohibitively expensive activity. Effective use of marketing/sales promotion minimizes and can eliminate the need for cold sales calls. There is a far lower cost of leads and potential quotation situations generated by marketing type functions versus "selling." The marketing efforts produce exponentially greater "leverage" than personal salesmanship. Good marketing programs can encompass sales follow-up and account maintenance procedures. These procedures minimize the need for expensive personal contacts between the infrequent need occurrences for a specific type of capital equipment. Personal visits are reserved for "hot" situations. The goals and results: Essentially marketing/sales promotion strives to entice the prospective customer to come to the seller. Sales/personal salesmanship strives to locate and go to the buyer. Logic and common sense tells us the former situation is preferable. A

strong marketing/sales promotion program must have the overall effect of: A.) Lowering a company's "cost of sales." B.) Increasing lead and inquiry activity. A balanced program now introduces an equally strong personal salesmanship effort to qualify the customer's need, offer the company's product in attractive fashion and close the sale. The individual players in this effort will ideally have high product knowledge and application skills. Nothing puts a customer in the comfort zone or closes the sale faster than dealing with a sales person who demonstrates a substantial depth of product knowledge combined with sincere prudence in making a good application. The net result of such an effort will invariably be a sales increase at lower cost of sales and at better margins. Earlier in this discussion we stressed the advisability of a balanced program in all sizes of organizations. The relative scope of activity may range from the independent "sales rep.", maintaining and implementing a small monthly direct mail program, to the larger manufacturer who utilizes every form of advertising, public relations, trade shows and media support activities. If the need for strong sales promotional effort is demonstrated and justified by our peers in consumer product marketing where every chimney represents a potential customer for a kitchen broom, the same need is even more justified in industrial capital equipment. Not every smoke stack is a qualified potential customer for an expensive powered floor-sweeping machine. Do an ongoing and thorough job of telling the whole industrial world about your unique product or capability when the need exists for your unique product, system or service, the informed potential customers will seek you out. The capital equipment manufacturer with an effective, balanced program will have maintained a high level of public awareness and made his product "easy to find" - "less costly to sell." If it costs less you sell more. A strong promotional marketing program offers the additional benefit of giving the sales force the advantage of a degree of choice in which inquiries they pursue the hardest. Obviously the more leads or inquiries generated the greater likelihood there will exist a higher number of good matches between the prospective customer and your company's product or service. The element of choice tends to improve your percentage of closed sales and improve margins on sales made. Once again a picture emerges - lower cost of sales, higher volume and increased profit. There are pitfalls inherent to a pronounced imbalance in either direction. In the rare cases wherein the marketing/sales promotional program is more heavily weighted than the sales capability, the problem is more apparent and thus may be diagnosed and remedied. The more common pitfall is a lack of sufficient marketing/sales promotional activity. This shortcoming is often misdiagnosed as a sales/personal salesmanship problem when the real culprit is an organization that is using expensive sales people to do a job that can be done far better and

at much lower cost by the traditional marketing disciplines of advertising and public relations. No capital equipment manufacturer can hope to realize maximum sales efficiency without a carefully planned and structured program drawing equally on the two (2) principal distribution vehicles - Sales and Marketing.