The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

The Difference Between Sales and Marketing - PSM Marketing

According to HubSpot, only 31% of marketers in 2022 could confirm their sales and marketing teams were “strongly aligned.”  So, what is sales and what is marketing? And why should they be aligned? Broadly put, marketing is work done to build awareness and attract new leads, and/or promote your service or products to existing customers. Sales is everything you do to convert those leads into new or repeat customers.

For a profitable business, you can’t have one without the other.

In trying to juggle your marketing and sales, you may still be confused as to which tasks fall into what box — sales or marketing. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between sales and marketing with examples.

The Distinct Roles of Sales and Marketing

Your sales and marketing departments will be similar in that both are focused around nurturing your target audience to lead up to successful selling.

Let’s dissect what sales and marketing skills you require.

Your marketing team will include roles such as content strategists, copywriters, graphic designers, SEO experts, videographers, social media managers, web developers, marketing project managers, and so on. Marketing addresses brand strategy, market research, public relations, client acquisition, and client retention.  Meanwhile, your sales team might have sales representatives, a customer success lead, a sales manager, and an account executive.  Sales is all about converting leads into revenue-generating clients.

Sales covers tasks like prospecting, vetting prospective clients, setting feasible sales targets, customer data analysis, product demos, client negotiations, and deal closing.

Like marketing, sales also includes customer retention and growth.

A mantra for you to think of is: If you only do marketing and brand building, it’s too expensive to randomly throw messages “out there.” On the other hand, if you only do sales, it’s too hard because without marketing, no one will know who you/your firm are.

Strategy of Sales vs Marketing

While the basic goal of sales is to boost revenue and increase your bottom line, marketing is more focused on building your brand, communicating with clients, adding content to your website, writing blogs, being active on social media, and many more activities.

There’s a lot of overlap. Both sales and marketing techniques involve knowing who exactly your audience is.

However, a marketing strategy tends to have intensive market research and several strategies built around PSM’s Four Pillars of Marketing™:

  1. Retain and Grow Existing Relationships
  2. Develop New Business
  3. Increase Name Recognition and Awareness
  4. Measure Return on Investment (ROI)

Your marketing team sets goals, determines your market segments, positions your brand, chooses the right social media channels, decides on a budget, and implements your plan while measuring and analyzing the results at every level of your plan. Similarly, your sales team implements a sales plan with the use of specific resources to hit goals such as to increase monthly revenue and profit margin to a specific amount or to lower your client acquisition cost.

A sales strategy may offer guidelines for prospecting, lead qualification, one-on-one consultation calls, handling objections, sales closing calls, continued follow up, and when the sale is made, onboarding the new client into your firm.

Tools For Sales vs Marketing

Marketing tools are focused on insights, performance measurement, and campaign management.

You may use:

  • SEO Software
  • Project management tools
  • Social media management tools
  • Data reporting and analysis software

Sales tools organize and track direct interactions with consumers.

You may use:

  • Invoicing software
  • Email management tools
  • Inventory and order management software
  • Client relationship management (CRM) tools

Of course, some tools can be used for both sales and marketing. Sales might want to infuse social selling and use social media management tools. While marketing teams benefit from CRMs also.

What Is Better, Marketing or Sales?

Neither. You should prioritize both sales and marketing and, most importantly, ensure they’re working together. Consider creating a service-level agreement (SLA) where your consultants or sales associates set expectations and agree to share data and deliverables for each other’s benefit.

Lean Into Your Marketing

Sales as a strategy has been around for eons. Marketing, not so much. So, it’s no surprise that many businesses fall short when it comes to marketing. Considerations of time, resources, and budget constraints are typically the biggest setbacks to implementing a winning marketing strategy. Instead of investing tons into marketing training and potentially burdening your current team, why not outsource to the professionals at PSM Marketing for an affordable price?

Have questions? Browse our A-Z service catalog to see what we offer and reach out to us to kick your marketing into gear for the new year!

PSM Marketing