Marketing and sales are the same, right?

Do you know the difference between marketing and sales? For many people, there is no difference. However, marketing and sales are two different disciplines, with different objectives and where different skills are required. Important: in order to be successful, marketing and sales must form one team.

The difference between marketing and sales

Marketing deals with researching and cultivating the market. What is the target group, what needs do they have and what solutions fit best to this? The marketer is responsible for creating an attractive proposal, communicating this to the market and generating leads. Of course, the website plays a very important role in this, but other frequently used tools by marketers are e-mail marketing, social media, brochures, newsletters, news items and events.

Sales follows up on the leads to eventually close the sales deal. In addition, sales people are busy with maintaining customer relationships and acquisition. The goal of sales is to convince the customer that the solution offered indeed meets the needs of the customer. Often by talking with the customer, with presentations and through (product) demonstrations. The ultimate goal is to increase turnover and contribute to the growth and profit of the company.

You cannot do without marketing, neither without sales

So, two completely different disciplines, that demand different qualities from employees. But it is a fact that both cannot exist without each other. Without marketing, sales does not have deals to close. Without sales, generating leads through marketing is useless. Therefore, it makes no sense to discuss what is more important and what you should spend your resources on; marketing or sales. Both are necessary.

Working together brings more success

Working closely together is the only way in which sales and marketing can achieve good results. In many companies, however, these two departments are extreme opposites of each other or do not communicate with one another. And that is a shame. Because by communicating well with each other, you reinforce each other and achieve the best results. It can help, for example, to discuss the following issues:

- Definitions: Who is our target group? What needs do they have and are these needs changing over time? What makes a good lead? Just a few questions where marketing’s answer can be completely different from the answer you get from sales.
- Responsibilities: When is a lead transferred by marketing to sales? It might be good to let sales assess the quality of leads from time to time and to involve marketing in a sales meeting.
- Expectations: What is realistic to expect from each other in terms of output and result? How many leads will marketing generate and how many will be converted to a deal by sales?

Marketing and sales are absolutely not the same. However, these disciplines do overlap each other, are both indispensable in any organization and they need to work closely together in order to be successful.

Philip van Kemenade is marketing manager at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.