Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Sales & Marketing - The difference.

Many in the top management use 'Marketing' and 'Sales' as synonyms, even though there is substantial difference between both.

A successful management team must understand the differences between 'Sales' & 'Marketing'.

'Sales' and 'Marketing' bring different orientations to business; hence we are expected to follow different kind of strategies for business success.

'Sales' has a product focus and is mostly production driven. It is only a smaller part of Marketing and has its short-term goals of attaining certain levels of revenue, profit or market share.

'Sales' emphasize on 'price variation' to close a sale where the objective is to sell the product to the customer. 'Sales' has a short-term focus and that does not augur well for prudential planning and brand building.

'Sales' does not attempt to develop strategies for generating long-term competitive advantage. The 'Sales' activity ends with maximizing profits through 'Sales' maximization.

When the entire focus is on 'Sales' the management expects to start immediately on selling the product as the production schedule is complete and the task of the 'Sales' department is to sell whatever the production department has manufactured. Hence the aggression in 'Sales' follows to meet this goal. Needs of the customer and satisfaction levels of the customer are taken for granted. 'Sales' does convert the product into cash for the company in the short run.

Marketing is dynamic in nature and has a wider approach than Sales. Marketing focuses on the customer rather than the product. Sales revolve around the needs and interest of the manufacturer; Marketing revolves around the needs and wants of the customer. Marketing is the process of understanding and satisfying the needs of the customer. Production and Sales is to satisfy a customer at a profit. Marketing consists of all those activities that are associated with planning, product promotion, place of promotion, price of product and distributing the product or service.

Marketing starts with the identification of the customer needs, and if need doesn't exist Marketing creates that need. Marketing creates a customer. Marketing process does not end after Sales of product or service to the customer. Marketing continues to stay with the customer. Marketing is for a very long-term. Marketing involves building relationship with the customer and creating value for the customer. Marketing is a continuous process.

It is perceived that Marketing is a long chain of activities which contains production, packing, promotion, pricing, distribution and then Sales. Customer needs is the driving force behind all these activities. Profits are never ignored but in the process, the Marketer is able to generate a larger customer base, a loyal customer following, and generate profits for the organization. In Marketing the market share takes the 2nd position, the Mind share takes the 1st position.

A truly marketing minded organization tries to create value satisfying goods and services, which the customers will want to buy. What an organization offers for Sales is determined by the customer and not by the Seller. The seller learns from the customer, and the product offered for Sales becomes the consequence of the Marketing efforts.

Sales are concerned with the tricks and techniques of selling products in exchange of cash for the company's products and Sales does not concentrate on the value satisfaction that the exchange is all about.

Marketing on the other hand views the entire business as a creative tool to discover, crease, arouse ad satisfy customer needs.

Difference between Sales and Marketing

Sales -

  • Emphasizes on the Product
  • Management approach is sales volume oriented
  • Planning is short-term oriented, in terms of today's products and markets.
  • Stresses the needs of the seller
  • Views business as a goods producing process
  • Emphasis is on staying with existing technology and reduction in costs
  • Different departments work in highly separate water tight compartments
  • Cost determines price
  • Sales views customer as the last link in business

Marketing -

  • Organization first determines customers' needs and wants and then decides on how to deliver a product to satisfy these wants and needs.
  • Management approach is profit oriented
  • Planning is long-term oriented, in terms of new products, tomorrow's markets and future growth.
  • Stresses the needs and wants of customer
  • Views business as a customer satisfying process
  • Emphasis on innovation in very sector, and proving better value to the customer by adopting newer superior technology
  • All departments of the business operate in an integrated cohesive manner, with the sole objective of generating customer satisfaction.
  • Customer determines the price; price determines cost.
  • Marketing views customer as the sole reason for being in business.

"Marketing is all about insight. Marketing is much more an "art" than a science. Marketing is more about innovation and creativity and about understanding of psychology".