Marketing vs. Sales

Marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing revenue. They are so closely intertwined that people often don’t realize the difference between the two. Indeed, in small organizations, the same people typically perform both sales and marketing tasks. Nevertheless, marketing is different from sales and as the organization grows, the roles and responsibilities become more specialized.

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Approach Broader range of activities to sell product/service, client relationship etc.; determine future needs and has a strategy in place to meet those needs for the long term relationship. makes customer demand match the products the company currently offers.
Focus Overall picture to promote, distribute, price products/services; fulfill customer's wants and needs through products and/or services the company can offer. fulfill sales volume objectives
Process Analysis of market, distribution channels, competitive products and services; Pricing strategies; Sales tracking and market share analysis; Budget Usually one to one
Scope Market research; Advertising; Sales; Public relations; Customer service and satisfaction . Once a product has been created for a customer need, persuade the customer to purchase the product to fulfill her needs
Horizon Longer term Short term
Strategy pull push
Priority Marketing shows how to reach to the Customers and build long lasting relationship Selling is the ultimate result of marketing.
Identity Marketing targets the construction of a brand identity so that it becomes easily associated with need fulfillment. Sales is the strategy of meeting needs in an opportunistic, individual method, driven by human interaction. There's no premise of brand identity, longevity or continuity. It's simply the ability to meet a need at the right time.

edit Sales vs Marketing Activities

The typical goal of marketing is to generate interest in the product and create leads or prospects. Marketing activities include:

On the other hand, sales activities are focused on converting prospects to actual paying customers. Sales involves directly interacting with the prospects to persuade them to purchase the product.

Marketing thus tends to focus on the general population (or, in any case, a large set of people) whereas sales tends to focus on individuals or a small group of prospects.

edit Advice for startups

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Jessica Livingston, a partner at startup accelerator Y Combinator, advised startups to focus on sales. Specifically, recruiting early users of their product and getting them to become paying customers:

At Y Combinator, we advise most startups to begin by seeking out some core group of early adopters and then engaging with individual users to convince them to sign up.
I suspect from my experience that founders who want to remain in denial about the inadequacy of their product and/or the difficulty of starting a startup subconsciously prefer the broad and shallow “marketing” approach precisely because they can’t face the work and unpleasant truths they’ll find if they talk to users.
Our advice at Y Combinator is always to make a really good product and go out and get users manually. The two work hand-in-hand: you need to talk individually to early adopters to make a really good product. So focusing on the narrow and deep end of the sales/marketing continuum is not just the most effective way to get users. Your startup will die if you don’t.

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Comments: Marketing vs Sales

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Anonymous comments (13)

December 13, 2013, 2:11am

Need more content

— 223.✗.✗.87

December 11, 2009, 10:14am

The difference given on the website is not good.

— 117.✗.✗.196

November 26, 2013, 7:51am


— 111.✗.✗.64

October 24, 2010, 2:22pm

To my understanding, Marketing is introducing new products to existing market and existing products to new markets.
Sales is all about maintaining and developing existing product sales in the existing market.

— 218.✗.✗.244

December 18, 2009, 9:56am

not good at all plz plz upload some good points

— 59.✗.✗.10

December 12, 2009, 4:02am

It's a wiki. You can improve it if you have better info about the difference.

— 67.✗.✗.32

February 12, 2014, 7:20am

Marketing is long term relationship with customer but sales is short term main objective is make more revenues.

— 49.✗.✗.223

January 15, 2014, 8:51am

Marketing : One to many and kind of pull activity, Sales : Usually one to one and objective is creating volume of sales and its a kind of push activity.


— 118.✗.✗.254

January 3, 2014, 10:12am

Give example of both different

— 171.✗.✗.141

February 13, 2013, 4:07pm

Thanks and I feel the diffrence given is absolutely clear, people need to be little practical to understand the given language.

Marketing:- Promoting a product and study the market to offer right product at right time with correct proposal.
Sales:- Once the need is created with recognition of the needy customer, the sales job starts with final detailed discussion to get the final order released by customer.

Hope it will help prople to understand more.


— 223.✗.✗.199

January 15, 2012, 7:04am

- Sales is more reactive, for example, you wait for people to come to you for ad space. Whereas Marketing is more proactive where you promote your audience.
- Sales focuses more on the product, while on the other hand, Marketing focuses on helping clients meet their business goals and objectives.
- Key difference between a selling and a marketing philosophy: the genuine recognition and total of serving the client’s needs

— 220.✗.✗.141

January 11, 2011, 8:14pm

I thought sales was having what clients want and markeing is making clients want what you have...

— 99.✗.✗.121

November 19, 2013, 9:50am

Sales is more than just closing deals and 'pushing' products onto customers. A good sales person builds relationships, uncover's customers needs by creating good dialogue and learning what he customer wants. They effectively own the customer relationship. If marketing doesn't do a good job with product design then sales can't do an effective job. The two go hand in hand. Sales and Marketing need to work together and communicate often. Sales are often more in tune with what the customers want in my experience.

— 202.✗.✗.111


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