Marketing vs. Sales: What’s the Difference?



What’s the deal?

The Marketing vs. Sales debate is one that has been debated for decades and it continues to be widely discussed among marketing professionals, business owners, executives in various industries, and many others as the marketing world evolves at an unprecedented pace. For this reason alone, understanding how marketing and sales are different but intertwined becomes increasingly more important for any company looking to scale and grow.

Marketing and Sales are often confused to be the same business function that generates revenue for businesses. But, they are very different.

Marketing attracts and engages customers with the value of your product or service – making it an easier decision for them to buy. Your Sales process will engage customers in meaningful conversations until they make a buying decision.

In this post, we will discuss how marketing and sales work together and what you need in place if you want your marketing efforts to generate leads and sales revenue


Marketing For Growth

You can’t get new customers if no one knows about your business. Marketing is about getting the word out, as marketing guru Seth Godin says.

“It’s marketing that makes your company exist in people’s minds.”

The more people that know about what brand is offering, the more sales you’re likely to generate. It’s not just about the quality of your marketing efforts – but also the number of prospective buyers that you reach.

Marketing is also about promoting your brand and offerings to the right people. How can you serve a customer if you don’t understand what they need and value?

That’s why marketing isn’t just about making sales happen: It’s also building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. The relationships you build with attraction tools and cultivate with marketing automation will leave lasting impressions that will make it easier for consumers to make a buying decision. This is called “sales enablement.”

As a company, you need to have an organizational mindset that embraces marketing and the role it plays in the growth of your brand. You also need to make sure your marketing plan aligns with your sales strategy for success. This should involve increasing the number of prospects or leads for your sales plan to engage with meaningful interactions and conversations. Perhaps, most importantly, your Marketing-Sales Service Level Agreement should determine what happens after your marketing generates new contacts for your Sales process to follow up with.

Like, what happens next after a website visitor completes a form on your website? What does that lead flow look like for you?

I recommend that you consider using a Marketing CRM and tools that we would recommend to streamline and automate your process, like HoneyBook or HubSpot.


Sales To Scale

Successful marketing campaigns generate leads that are then passed along to sales, which should have a system or process in place for following up with them. Marketing and Sales both contribute to an organization’s growth but they have different roles in achieving it.

Marketing helps build awareness of a brand or product through advertising campaigns, social media marketing, public relations initiatives, email marketing, etc., while your sales processes help to convert customers through outbound follow up with leads generated from marketing. This is why marketing and sales are necessary for a business to grow—both efforts need to be in place at all times.

Marketing enables the sale by generating leads, while Sales ensures that those leads convert into customers by following up with them. Without marketing or sales, you will not have any conversions from prospects looking for your product or service online.

It is important to have a sales plan in place in order to complement your marketing efforts. This will help ensure that your company isn’t wasting money by marketing to the wrong audience, for example, or spending too much time marketing without any results in seeing a return on investment.

A good example of the role that sales could play in supporting marketing is follow-up calls and emails to leads generated from marketing. These interactions should be warm, friendly, and match the brand voice and tone of your marketing that first attracted the prospect. Sales professionals also create and manage personalized offers for each prospect to match their unique set of needs and values. This helps get closer to sealing the deal and driving increased revenue and sales.

For the best results, you should not expect sales activation activities from your marketing team, like discussing pricing and closing deals. Contrarily, you should not expect marketing activation activities from your sales team like creating content and social media marketing. Let your specialized teams and professionals focus on what they do best in each function to get the best results for the growth of your brand.


Integrating Marketing And Sales


If marketing and sales are not integrated, there will be a disconnect with the customer. Customers may not even know who to contact for questions or follow-up information.

When marketing is seen as just one part of the process that creates leads, you’ll have more incentives to invest in marketing tactics for lead generation.

To develop an integrated marketing and sales strategy, you should create a Service-Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA will provide specific guidance on when and under what conditions a new prospect should be transferred from your marketing to your sales pipeline.

For example, when a prospect request details on pricing and product features – that would be a good time for someone on your marketing team to introduce them to a sales representative. This will create a seamless and frictionless experience for the customer that feels connected to the value of what your brand is offering, regardless of whom they interact with within your company.

Having a clear plan on how you will attract and engage prospects will set your company up for sustainable success. Your integrated marketing and sale strategy should include what the step-by-step workflow is for following up with leads after they express interest from a touchpoint in your marketing campaign. This will also help you to determine what marketing tactics are the most effective for your business and marketing goals.


Measure Your Success

The success of your integrated marketing and sales strategy will depend heavily on how well you improved on key insights. But, you cannot improve on what you don’t track and measure.

That’s why you should have a scoreboard in place to track and measure key marketing and sales metrics that will indicate the health and growth of your strategy.

For example, you should be measuring the connections between your social media insights, website traffic, and form submissions to understand the effectiveness of your marketing. Similarly, you should be tracking sales emails sent to determine which email scripts or templates get the most opens, clicks, and lead to the highest number of sales deals closed and won.

These metrics will allow you to measure the success of your marketing and sales efforts, which is an essential part of any effective business plan. In order for a company’s market share to grow year over year, it needs a healthy balance between marketing and sales initiatives that work together toward one common goal: such as achieving sustainable growth in revenue and brand reputation.


That’s a Wrap!

You might be a marketer, or you might be in sales. But without one or the other, your business is likely to fail miserably. Marketing and Sales are two sides of the same coin – they work together in tandem for the growth of your brand. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of both for your business to grow. In order to have a successful marketing and sales efforts, it’s important that these departments collaborate closely with each other on an ongoing basis so that their campaigns can complement each other rather than contradicting what the other department does best. Confusing the two will result in mixed results that will make it hard to determine how your business can improve and grow. This will get extremely frustrating if you don’t grasp this understanding now. So, grab a pen and paper and start mapping out your ideas for how your marketing and sales pipelines will work and who will play a role in making it successful.

If you’ve read this article and thought, “I need more marketing help, but I don’t know where to start!” then we should talk.

We specialize in creating a plan that takes into account not only addresses the needs of your customers but also what drives them as people. And it doesn’t stop there—we can work with you to apply principles from psychology and neuroscience to create an experience for your customer that will have them coming back (and buying!) again and again.

Schedule a free consultation today by clicking here or calling us at (850) 631-9979.


Let us know if this information was helpful or information for your marketing and sales growth!


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