It's common for sales activities to be confused or categorized as marketing activities. While it's essential for the success of a business that the sales and marketing teams are aligned, it can be just as detrimental for these activities to be mistaken for one another.
Let's start with the basics...
Sales is used to describe the activities that lead to the selling of goods or services. These professionals are responsible for managing relationships with prospects (potential clients) and providing a solution for them that eventually leads to a sale.
Marketing encompasses all of the activities that help spark an interest in the business. These professionals use market research and analysis to understand the interests, desires, and driving forces behind the decisions of potential customers. Marketing departments are responsible for running campaigns to attract people to the business' brand, product, or service.
Let's break it down...
Essentially, sales is the transfer of ownership of something (be it a service or product) from one person to another. It's a short-term process that is generally people driven. This activity is based on a one-to-one relationships.
At its core, marketing involves analyzing and identifying the needs and desires of the target market. It's a long-term process that is based in media, data, and on consumer behavior. Instead of being a one-to-one relationship, it's a one-to-many relationship. It's an exchange of value and involves creating and providing what customers want in return for something they are willing to give.
What's so interesting about your business?
Marketers don't view press releases as sales documents, and they won't promote a brand just because they have been asked to. Rather, they will use a press release to convey brand value, and promote a brand through stories based in activity that supports its messaging and mission.
It's this careful brand impact consideration, target market analysis, and long-term planning that helps differentiate the two professionals. But for all of their differences, both are vital to an organization's success. When they work together, it can have an extraordinary impact on any business' bottom line.