Sales VS Marketing – What’s Cooking?
Sales vs Marketing Prospects
Sales and marketing, verily are the two sides of the same coin. Often confused to be one, they have a lot of similarities and differences. Both their similarity and their difference, complement each other and help each other grow. Selling and the sales force are the pillar of any company, due to the fact that they generate revenue and bring about profitability.
At the same time to draw more customers and expand your existing base, penetration into products and designing the right product for people is essential. Reach and availability are factors to be kept in mind before launch. Here the intervention of logistics and supply chain come into being. With the help of proper transport and communication facilities, reach and availability once ensured, can align the total process in line with the goals of management.
Sales is the most popular career option, because anyone can get into sales. If you have the zeal to grow and expand your career within a very short period of time, then joining a company’s sales team will work right for you. Marketing requires rational and logical ability. Since the purview of marketing is broader than sales. Marketing starts from the inception of the company and is an ever expanding-never ending concept.
Sales vs. Marketing: Understanding the Real Difference
Whereas marketing is the foundation stone of any company, sales contribute to business growth. A sales manager or Sales Head understands the difference and importance of each for the growth of the company and plans his implementation programs accordingly. From time to time, sales and marketing managers conduct review (reward & recognition) programs to reward their employees, for their good work and keep their motivation and loyalty high.
While, anyone having the zeal to sell can join the sales team of a company, joining as a marketing personnel requires a PGDM degree in marketing. Since marketing is a deeper concept and requires detail-oriented studies on concepts, types, and functions of different types of marketing.
Sales involve selling a product or service, with the sole aim of generating revenue for the company. Marketing can be divided into parts such as direct marketing, indirect marketing, internet marketing, digital marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing etc. Each of these forms a subject matter of its own and has a vast scope. Understanding each of these in detail requires not only the degree but understanding of how they are implemented in our daily lives.
Salespersons are responsible to find out the prospects for generating revenue as per the criteria of the target audience designed by the marketing team. Whereas the marketing team works as a designer to craft ideas and criteria so that filtering out the prospects from the mass becomes easier.
Marketing vs. Sales Process
Each department follows a procedure and discipline to meet its designated target. This is known as process. The process of marketing follows a hierarchy of expert individuals, along with stakeholders to achieve their target, while being a veteran in sales requires the ability to filter customers after studying them properly. Which products would best suit them depending on preference, affordability, weather conditions, etc. can be easily traced by people working in this field for a long time.
Whereas sales skill is independent of brand and product type, marketing is dependent on brand and product type. As an example, a salesperson selling electrical equipment may easily sell a fast-moving item, but a marketing strategy applied to one brand may be least effective when applied to different products of the same company.
While marketing requires channels, sales require infrastructure. Marketing requires a platform, be it an online platform such as the internet, video, blogs etc, or offline platforms such as hoardings, POPs, standees etc, requirement of sales is primarily, and most importantly to have a solid foundation for generating revenue.
Investments in marketing are done from the revenue generated in sales, whereas proper marketing investment and implementation of marketing strategies, ease out the process of sales. We hardly ask about the quality of biscuits required for everyday use. We simply purchase them, without a second thought, assuming honestly that the product quality is consistent. This way both complement each other.
Marketing strategies and their implementation must be carefully tested, proofed, and validated before implementing them to practice. A single step taken wrong in doing so, may tarnish the entire brand image of a company leading to total sale loss. Similarly. The sales team working onsite should never pitch the wrong product to people to expand profits. This too leads to facing loss issue.
Identifying the unique selling proposition is the prime task of a company. To elaborate this means what is the identical or unique factor that makes you different from others. While selling a product to customers, the unique selling proposition is the only factor that helps the salesperson navigate through the sales process. All other marketing strategies revolve around this unique factor. We may verily see the existence of similar products in the market, but people have their own brand preferences out of their likelihood towards the unique factor. This in totality constitutes the mass.
There is a term called after-sales service. It is simply extending the company’s arm to help people understand the product better, without having a direct intention of pushing sales. Yet subtly, after-sales service goes a long way in image building, in line with the popular saying – action speaks louder than words. Although it is more marketing activity, most of the time sales teams are involved since they understand each customer better.
Both sales and marketing have a similar factor. They carry the load or responsibility of the entire organization on their shoulder. The stronger the sales team, the stronger will the other departments gradually become. For eg, an increase in customers or an expansion of customer base, would call for an increase in salespersons, who are recruited by the HR department, their salary negotiated with the finance department, and once onboard, they are helped in their everyday work by the IT personnel.
A marketing department of an organization designs strategies, pricing, and promotional offers for a large group of people and stakeholders, whereas sales teams are divided and distributed based on states, areas, regions etc. Therefore, although the marketing team might be aware of different markets and their operations, the sales team of one region may not know the taste and preferences of customers of other region. Sales teams are also divided based on language, similarity in thought process etc.
The smartest way of marketing is to promote the products and services in such a way that no one has to actually push for them. Rather people are pre-convinced to purchase the product and simply want its availability. Such a technique is used by bigger conglomerates. We hardly find their advertisement anywhere, but still go and ask for their product in the market. The reason is the brand name is equated with the product itself.
While sales are product-oriented, marketing is always customer oriented. The reverse would bring about devastating results anyway. Marketing in brief is people-centric whereas sales is product-centric. Marketing requires continuous improvement, whereas sales require following the current ongoing trend. Many products which were widely available earlier now need research to find out their availability. One such product is Barley.
Barley was once consumed by kids and older adults, as a health drink. Currently, the importance of barley as a health drink has become obsolete. But why it has so happened comes the next question. The first answer that would have clicked in our minds would be because there is the availability of other health drinks in the market. But the actual answer would be, although health drinks, in a wide range, are readily available in the market, and have varied nutritional quotients, barely failed to establish themselves due to lack of visible availability.
In the history of sales and marketing, there are many products that came, became popular, and became obsolete forever. Yet there are products older than them, which are still generating business in the market. A thought that arises in our mind just after reading the previous statement is what made companies sustain and what made them leave the market forever. The answer is to “go slow”. Companies that have been successful in maintaining their stature in the market, followed this strategy. To go slow and be steady. Rushing things at a fast pace invites unhealthy competition, cannibalizing the brand totally.