Difference between sales and marketing in 2021 (SMB)

Difference between sales and marketing in 2021 (SMB)

Sales and marketing are so closely related that they are often confused to be almost the same. Both of them are very important but are two different functions within a business. 

Marketing is about getting people interested in your product or service, whereas sales is about closing deals. But the difference between sales and marketing is not that simple.

What is sales and marketing?

Sales and marketing are both extremely important processes that directly affect the revenue of a business. Being so closely intertwined, one cannot exist without the other. 

To sell, prospects need to be attracted through marketing and all marketing efforts are worthless if there is no team to sell the product or service being offered.  

What is the difference between sales and marketing?

difference between marketing and sales

Although sales and marketing share a common goal of increasing business revenue, they differ both in definition and function.  

Questioning vs Telling

Sales is about qualifying the leads first by asking them questions, knowing their needs, and then finally selling the product or service. 

Marketing, on the other hand, involves engaging with prospects and customers by telling them about the benefits of your product or service through multiple ways and channels. 

One vs Many

Sales is more about building rapport on a one-to-one level. And before bringing the offering into the picture, salespeople have to sell themselves first, i.e., build trust and then pitch the product or the service.  

Marketing is about putting the word out to the masses. The intention here is to reach the widest audience possible rather than communicating with just one person at a time. 

Approaching vs Attracting

In sales, mostly it is about approaching the client first. Knowing them, finding the business potential with them, and then proceeding further. 

Whereas marketing is about attracting consumers to a product or a service by telling them what the offering is and why they must purchase it. 

Converting vs Generating

Sales plays a pivotal role in generating revenue, and revenue generation depend on the successful conversions made by the sales team. It is about nurturing the leads till the final conversion and beyond. 

Marketing involves researching and identifying ideal markets, creating relevant strategies, leveraging the best practices to attract the target audience, and generating leads to build a robust pipeline.

Which is better – Sales or Marketing?

Marketing is everything that a business does to get quality leads in the sales pipeline and sales is what converts the leads into customers. Marketing is the precursor of sales and sales is the bottom line of any business.

Even though sales is a quicker and more direct way to reach out to potential customers, it’s not always received well. On the other hand, marketing focuses on value creation and this takes time to reflect. But successful marketing makes sales easier as customers know about you and are willing to come to you by themselves. 

Which is better than the other in the end depends on the type of business. But one thing to take note of is that they are both integral parts and working together will produce better results, than them working in silos. 

What is the job of sales and marketing?

For a consumer, sales and marketing are often interchangeable terms but for the ones involved in it, there’s a subtle difference they must know. Again, the end goal remains the same but how those goals are achieved by each is different.

One of the biggest differentiators is in how they approach their target. Sales is about one-on-one interactions with prospects and customers.

The interactions focus on understanding the consumers’ needs and then convincing them that the product or service they are selling is what will meet their needs. On the flip side, marketing is about letting the target audience know about their needs.

It is about showing them that there is a problem and that problem has a solution – the product or service being offered.

Best tools for managing sales and marketing

Sales and marketing are both crucial for business growth and no matter how well planned the strategies are, the desired results will be difficult to obtain without implementing the right tools. 

Implementing the right sales and marketing tools is necessary as they help businesses streamline their existing processes and enhance the measurability of business performance. 

Today there are so many tools available, both free and paid, to help sales and marketing teams maximize their efforts and results. Tools like Google My Business, WhatsApp Business, etc. make a tremendous impact on lead generation.

Read: 10 Free Sales and Marketing Tools for SMBs 

The sales-marketing alignment

what is sales and marketing

Sales and marketing share the same objectives but have different approaches, aligning those approaches is critical for a business to achieve maximum output.

A strong and successful sales and marketing alignment results in a 38% higher sales rate. But achieving alignment success does not happen easily. The right strategies, tools, and consistent collaboration are key to achieving it.

Sales and marketing are not meant to operate separately, together they help achieve a better customer experience and drive business growth. So, the question is not what is better, but how they are better together.

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