The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

If you are looking into starting a business or you have done so already, you might be using terms like sales and marketing interchangeably. As a new business owner, it is important that you differentiate between the two terms. Knowing the difference will help you avoid some of the biggest mistakes that many novice business owners make. This article will discuss the biggest differences between sales vs marketing. We will also go over some ways to use both of these tools to drive one another for the success of your business.

Sales vs Marketing

The sole purpose of marketing is to directly attract and generate a lead for your business’s products or services. The function of sales is to take the leads you have generated and convert them into a consumer. Although sales and marketing approaches are different, they both aim to generate a significant amount of revenue for businesses. Furthermore, sales and marketing can also function in unison to assist you in building a clientele that will withstand the test of time. Let’s take a look at how the sales aspect of your business plays a role in the overall success of building your clientele

sales and marketing

What is Sales?

There are many aspects of sales for a business. There’s the sales representative, the sales pitch, and finally the closing of a sale or deal. 

Sales Representatives

Have you ever gone to a car dealership and within the first 60 seconds you are swarmed with attention from salesmen? Well, the salesman or woman is responsible for being the mouthpiece of the sales department. Without a sales representative, then there wouldn’t be anyone available to represent the company’s products and services as a whole. 

The sales representative is responsible for knowing everything there is to know about the products or services. Would you feel comfortable purchasing a home from a real estate agent who did not know important details about the home they are showing you? The simple and most logical answer is no. Generally, prospective clients want a sales representative who is very well-read on what they are getting ready to sell. 

The sales representative is also the gatekeeper of raking in the business’s total units sold along with the gross sales dollars. The representative is usually guided by a “sales lead” or “sales supervisor” who has even more insight into product knowledge. The sales department as a whole is also responsible for executing the business’s sales pitch or strategy to close the final sales and deals. Let’s explore what a sale pitch can do to increase consumership.

The Pitch

Have you ever had to come up with a creative yet effective way to convince mom or dad to give you an allowance? Or maybe you recently had to convince your boss that you are the right fit for a high salaried position. With either of these scenarios, a golden sales pitch can land you the desired financing or role that you are requesting. The sales pitch is a crucial step in the aspect of sales as a whole. Without a proper pitch, a sales representative may find themselves getting stuck which can lead to a severe decrease in revenue for the business. It’s important that you have a strong sales pitch to be used by yourself and your employees. 

One way to optimize the success of your sales pitch is consistency. It’s important for consumers to feel like they can trust both you and your business. By having a consistent yet effective sales pitch, you will certainly be able to generate the revenue you need.

what is marketing

The Closing

What good is a sales pitch if you do not actually close the sale? The closing of a sale or deal is the final step in the sales process. This is where the bridge between the provider and the consumer is fully constructed and solidified. By building this bridge, providers are giving their customers the option to walk across that same bridge in the future. The closing represents the critical point of confirmation of the consumers’ satisfaction with the sales department. Furthermore, the closing is a victory for both the provider of the product or service and the client as well.

What is Marketing?

Now that you have a solid overview of what goes into sales, let’s focus on the marketing part of sales vs marketing. Recall, as previously mentioned, marketing differs from sales because the sole purpose of marketing is to directly attract and generate a lead for your business’s products or services. With this in mind, we will focus on the following aspects employed when one is preparing a marketing strategy: branding, generating leads, and target audience. 


You might already be familiar with the image of a white polar bear sipping on a glass bottle of coca-cola. This image is one of the most iconic trademarked branding strategies of Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy. To create such an iconic and effective marketing tool, there must be a vast amount of time and energy placed on attention to branding details. You can ensure the success of your marketing campaign by making sure the logo is as inviting as possible.

Another great way to ensure your branding is an asset to the marketing plan is through taking extra steps to conduct research on what current brands are trending. For instance, a makeup line that is uniquely branded will outsell its competitors even though they are offering the same products. Young girls and millennial women who are purchasing certain makeup brands are typically baited with the marketing campaign. We live in a society that heavily prioritizes the appearance of products. Thus, a red lipstick from Mac cosmetics presented in a shiny gold tube, will typically out brand a red lipstick in a dull black tube from the drugstore.   

what is sales

Generating Leads

Another important step in marketing is being able to generate leads for your business. If you don’t spread enough hype concerning your products or services, then how will prospective clients know about your business? Generating leads in your marketing package is a crucial component of building the relationship between your business and the client. Furthermore, it is important to maintain the relationship with your clients over time. This ensures that they will return to your business in the future.

For instance, a hairstylist may move to a larger city in order to broaden their clientele and generate leads. The hairstylist should consider building a strong brand/marketing package. The goal of this package should be helping new clients have a robust understanding of their services. Let’s say the hairstylist has additional training from a world-renowned master barber. In this case, the stylist will want to generate a marketing campaign surrounding their expertise cutting hair into specialty styles. It is important to be very specific in your marketing choices so that your potential clients can identify your unique brand. Having a brand that stands out in a competitive market, will enhance your marketing attempts for the future.

Target Audience

It is absolutely vital to know who you are marketing to. Have you ever attended a play full of Shakespearean sonnets, even though you never read Romeo and Juliet? Imagine being the only person in the audience who doesn’t quite understand the world of the play. You might be thinking to yourself why am I here, this play does not apply to my interests. Well, the same rule applies to marketing your business to an audience.

If you are trying to sell fluffy pink hair scrunchies at a high-traffic sports bar, then you have most likely selected an inappropriate target audience for your brand. Keeping with the scenario of sports goers, perhaps selling and advertising sports gear or gameday apparel may garner more attention. Clients want to see a part of themselves reflected in your business. Thus, it is important that you conduct the necessary research to completely understand the interests of your target audience. 

If you are having trouble gaining insight or access to what your clients are looking to purchase, try looking up the latest social media trends on the sites of social media giants like, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. It is also recommended that you follow the pages of notable influencers to gain access to their social media feed. Monitoring the feed of influencers is a great way to become better acquainted with your desired target audience.

sales vs marketing

Sales vs Marketing for You

Finally, to properly use sales and marketing strategies in your business, make sure you are able to both market and sell yourself as an entrepreneur. Generally, clients want the owner to be very knowledgeable about the goods or services that they have to offer. Being a well-polished entrepreneur can take you a long way in a very competitive market. Keep yourself up to snuff on the latest tips and tricks to optimize the sales and marketing departments of your business.


  • How is sales vs marketing different?
  • What is sales?
  • What is marketing?
  • Why is the sales closing important?
  • Should I use sales or marketing?

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