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.

Comparison chart

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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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"Marketing vs Sales." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 6 Jul 2015. < >