Sales and Marketing – What is the difference?
Sales and Marketing – Bringing together the present & future
For a business to really thrive in today’s marketplace, it must realise that sales and marketing are two very different beasts. They can work in tandem with one another, yet their individual visions are diametrically opposed.
Sales are focused very much in the present and need to get the company’s offering or product out to the customer on a day to day basis. Sales create and develop relationships with customers, negotiate prices and make sure the transaction proceeds smoothly. A good sales department liaises with customers and internal staff to ensure orders are filled satisfactorily and on time, this usually works with an eye on short term targets; the next week, month or quarter.
Marketing on the other hand, must have a vision of the future. For a company to grow and develop it must have long term targets. This is especially important in today’s market as customers are very dynamic and aware of their own needs and demands. A marketing team is able to explore a customer’s needs and connect with them on a different level, as they are not trying to use the interaction to generate a sale. They are in an excellent position to develop relationships and foster a connection with a customer in order to generate brand recognition and loyalty. Today’s customer won’t hesitate to find a different company to fulfil their needs for products or services if their requirements aren’t met. Marketing needs to be organic: to monitor and be aware of every change in the marketplace, to be responsive to customers’ changing needs, economic situations or to be aware of shifts in trends which may find another target market to be utilised.
Marketing can observe these changes and alter prices, products or a company’s offering to enable it to remain competitive in its chosen sector. It can work alongside sales, directing potential leads and shining a light on new markets. This generates growth and without growth, a company stagnates and is simply unable to keep up with the competition.
It has been proven that businesses who separate their sales and marketing departments achieve faster and greater growth than those companies which don’t. Marketing must have their eye on the ever approaching horizon whilst sales is on the ground generating revenue to fulfil this long term vision. Identifying and utilising the ebb and flow of marketplace dynamics, exploring new ideas and working together as separate but interlinking units, will see your sales and marketing departments steering the way to success.