However, the line that differentiates them can sometimes become blurry at best.
In order to clear things up, we’ve created a simple comparison to differentiate between sales and marketing jobs – and how they have to work together for success.
Responsible for being convincing, charming and always winning an argument, sales is the divider between a specific, ready to sell product and the customer. Usually a one-on-one process, a sales job is a relationship driven process. Since a salesperson doesn’t have any background knowledge of the likes and dislikes of their consumer (because that would be stalking), it’s necessary to form a connection rather than coming across as a lunatic.
Many salespeople have a natural flair for connecting with others on a personal and engaging level, but when it comes down to the details, a formal qualification in sales will allow you to grasp a deeper insight into converting brand knowledge into customer benefits and profiling the market.
Not everyone wants to (or can) sell a product – but those that do will go above and beyond in ensuring you don’t walk away from the conversation empty handed. If sales are really good at their job, you won’t even realise you’re being sold. The art of persuasion is strong – and very powerful. Essentially, without a good sales technique (and the right salesperson), marketing will fall flat.
Since you can’t sell nothing (unless you’re an amazing salesperson), marketing is where product identification, strategizing and advertising come into play. Driven by data rather than a one on one relationship, marketing revolves around understanding the marketplace from the consumer’s point of view.
Discovering the likes and dislikes of a target market will then allow marketers to formulate the most effective ways to appeal to that crowd. They create the perfect setting, add a little of the product that makes life so much better and voila – the seed is planted for your product to bloom.
Where sales usually take one form (the product to the customer), marketing can stray down many different paths; think social media, internet pop ups, magazine spreads and email newsletters.
A harmonic balance
Sales are the ultimate result of marketing. People don’t usually think of a random object they need to have right now – chances are, that specific product has been advertised on the internet/magazines/billboards/radio/literally every media channel you engage with.
Concurrently, you can’t market a product without engaging with, and actually selling to customers. To succeed, sales and marketing jobs need a harmonic balance; marketing is the first step – and selling will lead you to your final destination.