Marketing versus Sales

I suppose the title really should be marketing PLUS sales.

Because as every salesperson in for the long run is using both marketing and sales all the time. These two elements are really two sides of the same coin and are equally important.

But conflicts can arise, if only internally.


Because: The focus of sales is on the people. Marketing is focused on the product.

Sales orientation tends to focus on the customer; building client relationships, developing new accounts and servicing ongoing accounts, getting referrals and immediate or future sales. Compensation and promotions come from direct or indirect sales results.

Marketing tends to focus more on the product line, building long-term market actions, maximizing individual product line profitability, which may include balancing the product portfolio, and discontinuing less profitable products. Marketing is compensated and promoted on longer-term product line goals.

Conflicts can arise when a product orientation argues to discontinue an unprofitable product while a market orientation counters with claims that the product is a key anchor in a customer relationship.

In companies where sales and marketing are two separate divisions, staffed by different people, respect for each other’s knowledge and skill set is vital. For each plays an important role in the accomplishing the overall goals.

In the end, sales is not marketing and marketing is not sales. Without marketing you would have no sales. Without sales, marketing would fail. It’s impossible to have one without the other as ideally, they share knowledge, areas of competency and the same overall objectives and purposes.

Even with the one-man-show operations, there is still marketing AND sales. Always.

The entrepreneur starting business must be conversant with knowledge of the market, interpersonal, people skills, product knowledge, the public they are servicing, and be able to adjust to shifting needs and demands as necessary.

It requires a joint role of the competencies of marketing and the skills of selling.

You have to wear both hats (and more) to succeed in the long run whether in a large multi-layered corporation or a small business.

Learn to celebrate the differences between sales and marketing and savor the benefits of the similarities and you’ll win in the short and the long run.

daniel w. jacobs

(c) 2012-2030, all rights reserved


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