What’s the difference between Sales and Marketing?

Sales and Marketing are the two terms often used in our day-to-day professional life, meaning in our corporate world. But sometimes you’d be thinking, is there any difference between sales and marketing, or both are the same only?

Right? Well, that’s the reason you are reading this blog and you’ll find your answers by this article ends. And know that things are not that much complicated if they ever seem to you. Plus this article takes responsibility to make and keep things simpler.

If you yourself are a marketer or salesperson, then you’ll be knowing various strategies and tools related to both domains that’ll help you to develop your next sales or marketing plan more effective.

So with knowing that, let’s move ahead. We are going to start with a basic understanding of the terms – Marketing and Sales.

What is Marketing?


Starting with the definition of marketing, as per marketing guru Dr. Philips Kotler, marketing is defined as-

“the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.  Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures, and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.”

You may also read: 72 Marketing Definitions.

Marketing has the term “market” inside it. So what does this brings inside your mind? A lot of shops with a lot of buzz with a lot of people buying and selling goods and services. Right?

And yes, how can we forget digital marketing, one of the buzz terms of our time!. Digital Marketing in an extreme brief can be defined as executing marketing activities using digital means.

Also read: How to create a successful rural marketing strategy?

What is Sales?

As it sounds, and it put this in the most simple manner possible, to sale is to sell your product or service.

As per Hubspot Blog, sales is defined as follows-

“Sale is a term used to describe the activities that lead to the selling of goods or services. Businesses have sales organizations that are broken up into different teams. And these sales teams are often determined based on the region they’re selling to, the product or service they’re selling, and the target customer.”

Now, based on these definitions above, we found that both the processes, Sales and Marketing, basically aim at making profits. There are a lot of other processes in Marketing, and there are many in Sales too. But the process of marketing starts even before a product is created. So, this easily makes us conclude one thing that Sales is the subset of Marketing.

Before the digital and/or mass-market era, door-to-door sales were the prominent, effective, and perhaps the only way to sell your product or services. Even now also if visit remote or rural areas of India, you’ll find salespeople visiting every house in the village. It wasn’t that salespeople don’t try to understand the needs and desires of their customers and create interest in their products, implying it’s only exclusive to the marketing people.

Because salespeople have to if they want to sell the product. But their limitation was their reach. This is the advantage that a marketing strategy brings because a marketing strategy aims to sell not one to one, but one to many. So, it aims to scale a business while saves an enormous amount of time and effort.

Difference between Sales and Marketing

As our feet are now wet, let’s dive deep into the differences between sales and marketing. We’ll be comparing and looking at the differences in terms of Process, Goals, Tools/Resources, and Strategies of each.

And you love Table, we know that. So, let’s tabulate first.

PROCESSThere are 7 sales processes – Prospect, Connect & Qualify, Research, Present, Handle Objections, Close and Communicate & continue to sell.There are 4P’s of Marketing – Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
GOALSSales have a narrower Goal – to sell.Marketing has a wider Goal – to recognize customer needs and to promote a brand.
TOOLSCRM, Meetings App, Documents tool, Invoicing Software.CRM, SEO tools, data reporting software.
STRATEGIESDigital Marketing, Print Marketing, Blog Marketing, Video Marketing, SMMSPIN Selling, Solution Selling, The Sandler System, etc

Now, let’s dig deep inside.

Marketing Vs Sales


Each activity has its process, no matter it’s cooking or creating marketing or a sales activity. Both sales and marketing will include details like company history and its ambitious missions, but things will differ going down the line.

While the sales process follows the following 7 things – Prospect, Connect & Qualify, Research, Present, Handle Objections, Close and Communicate & continue to sell, the process of marketing is based upon its famous 4Ps – Price, Place, Product, and Promotion.


Talking about the goals, both sales and marketing share the common goal i.e. to generate revenue for any business. But the difference lies in the approach. While sales set itself to a narrower goal of bringing cash to the company by selling a product or service, marketing starts even before a product is developed. So, marketing looks at the bigger picture by aiming to promote the product and company brand to the masses through various means.


You might be familier with CRM Tools that are used to store the database of companies. So, a CRM is used by both the departments for managing thir tasks.

Tools specific to sales department are – Online Meeting Apps, Document Tools, Invoicing Softwares, Email Management Tools, and Inventory and order management software.

Tools specific to the marketing team are – Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Search engine optimization(SEO) tools, Project management tool, Data reporting software, and Content creation tool.


Depending upon the type of customer and goals, the marketing strategy that you may need to adopt can be Offline or Online Digital Marketing, Print Media, or Influencer Marketing.

And same goes for sales strategies that can be SPIN Selling, Solution Selling, N.E.A.T. Selling, Conceptual Selling, SNAP Selling, CustomerCentric Selling, Inbound Selling, MEDDIC, The Challenger Sale, or The Sandler System.

Which is better Sales or Marketing?

Some people also ask the question – which is more important, sales or marketing? And upto now you’d have understood the both terms and got the answer for this.

The clear-cut answer to this question is to bring the best from both worlds. One is inseparable from the other in today’s time and you can achieve your business goals only when you align these two departments to make them work in harmony.

If another question that comes to your mind is how to align these two?, then a Service Level Agreement(SLA) will help us in this. A Service Level Agreement is a contract that takes responsibility to lay down the deliverables that each party has to provide to one another. Each party will define the goals, create customer personas and set a standardized definition of leads for the smooth involvement of their activities.

Final Words

So, this was all about the differences you need to understand between the two business departments – Sales and Marketing. We can conclude that sales can be placed as a subset of marketing. Marketing aims at scaling as it makes that possible through its strategies and means. But it doesn’t undermine a salesperson performing the sales because he brings a human touch with his ability of personalization.

But here’s the another catch. The marketing domain has realized this and has started efforts to fill this gap by bringing the power of automation inside the marketing domain. The whole areas is called by the name Marketing Automation that tries to bring the best from both worlds i.e. the power of personalization from sales and reach to the masses from marketing.

Let us in the comment section below if you find this blog useful. If are a marketer or a salesperson, let us know if you want us to add any other thing if that is left out.

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