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Sales vs. Marketing

Updated: Jul 11


The difference between sales and marketing. What every salesperson must know.



#Marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin. Together, they convert the universe of #suspects for a company’s offerings into customers.


Suspects → Prospects or Leads → Opportunities or Deals → Customers


“Sales is a part of the marketing discipline yet emerged into a different field unto itself.”

What is Marketing?


Marketing is the set of activities involved in the first conversion above. It defines the #targets or #suspects for a company’s offerings and systematically converts them into #prospects or leads by raising awareness of and generating interest in the same.


What is Sales?


Sales is the set of activities involved in the next two conversions above. Prospects or #leads are qualified and potential sales #opportunities identified. Opportunities enter the sales #pipeline or #funnel and through a series of pipeline stages convert into sales.


Two Sides of a Coin -- Must Work Closely But Don't


In theory, sales is a part of the marketing discipline. Marketing literature includes personal selling in marketing communications along with direct marketing, advertising, sales promotions, and public relations.


In practice though, because of the specialty required, sales has evolved into a discipline unto itself and is organized into a separate function from marketing within companies. This is especially the case in B2B sales.


In the overall conversion process, leads is where the two functions overlap and are often at loggerheads in any company. They rarely agree on the quantity or quality of leads.

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