Marketing and Sales: What is the difference?
Marketing and sales are one of the most important components of a business’s survival in the market. While both are dependent on each other many people confuse marketing with sales and vice-versa which is a big mistake. Marketing involves designing a product according to the needs of the market and customers, promoting the product through advertising etc. and setting up a competitive price for the product. Marketing is a platform which drives sales. While on the other hand the sales process is what you do to successfully sell a product and fetch a contract. Sales and marketing together is a part of selling and one cannot do without the other. They can also be called activities. The success of a business is critical to the success of these two important activities.
Marketing is the backbone of a company’s future and launching pad for the sales. While the marketing process encompasses the design of the product, advertising etc. the sales process is the execution of all the efforts which involves direct interaction with client either by in-person meeting or cold calls or by networking. But there is always an ongoing rivalry between the two, one claiming dominancy over other.
The marketing people say they have an upper hand because they think it is they who designs the products, lays down the strategy and also develops tools essential for sales. They say sales are the outcome of marketing and thus should follow its directions. The sales people might not agree to this view and may be completely opposite in their opinion. They think that it is the sales people who actually sells a product and bring money to the business.
But many experts believe that marketing should play a pivotal role among the two. A successful marketing campaign makes sales easy and makes people believe that it is actually the sales people who are the dominant leaders. The most important role of marketing department is to create opportunities for the sales department. Marketing drives sales and sales drives companies’ success. Marketing is like a life support for sales, one who is constantly backing up the sales department and enabling them to successfully deliver the end product. There shouldn’t be a race to gain supremacy over another department but a race to win the market and customers working together.
Many businesses combine sales and marketing together but in reality they have different targets. While the sales department is interested in fulfilling the requirements of what the customer asked for, the marketing department is actually busy studying what the market demands. The goal of the marketing department is to foresee how the market will shape up in future. They should envision their product catering to the needs of the market for next few years and be ready to make design changes in their product accordingly.
It is very important that a company integrates their sales and marketing department in a well fashioned manner. It is the correct integration of these two important entities that fuels the growth of a company. The sale people should not be merely treated as the cash collectors. Each department has its own role and should go hand in hand in selling the product of the company and should be the foremost important criteria.