In a nutshell

Sales: The exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.

Marketing (CIM definition): The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

Sales and Marketing are two essential functions within your business, and both work in harmony when you want to create lead generation and revenue. The marketing part of your business helps lay the groundwork for the sales process, this includes attracting leads and prospects, and the sales part involves closing the deal.

But let’s look at the difference between the two in further detail and learn how to align the two functions.


Marketing does so much for your business; it informs people about your business and educates them about how your products and services meet their needs/wants. It can also help you determine what your USP is and who your audience are.

Marketing is a process.

It explores what is happening in your business environment, what your customers want, who they are and where to find the most profitable ones. It provides the foundations on which to build your marketing strategy, ensuring you target the right customers with the right message.

There are various types of marketing from content marketing, SEO, Social media marketing, email marketing, print marketing, the list goes on!

The majority of businesses will (or should) use a combination of the different platforms to promote their business. The various channels will have different audiences, so you may find that there will be a slightly different message on each platform.


Imagine, all your marketing efforts have worked, and you have got your prospects right where you want them. They are aware of who you are and know they need your service/product. In comes the sales team; they are here to get these leads converted into customers. This will include contacting the potential client, confirming the prospect’s needs, pricing the products/services, and preparing the proposals or quotes.

The distinct differences

Both functions are very high in value within your business and aligning the two can be powerful when growing your business.

Once each department understands what the other contributes to the process and how it impacts the bottom line, they will be more willing to work together. Maybe there is an opportunity for you to set up a team that is a mixture of sales and marketing, so when they work together, they will have a more joined-up mentality and better communication.

Encouraging collaboration will prevent the two departments from competing against each other, preventing the business from suffering. Both functions share a common goal: attract prospects and turn them into customers. Simple. (Well, it should be!)

For great marketing, you need your sales team to be informative as possible about the feedback they are getting from customers; the good, the bad and the ugly. This is so the marketing team can excel and alter or change the products and services to suit what the customer needs. This will not only help the marketing team, but it will make the sales process so much easier.

Marketing and sales are symbiotic.  You could say that the role of marketing is to make the sales person’s job easier.  The prospect should already know about the brand before the salesperson even makes contact.  To enable the marketeer to do their job, sales must share everything they know about the target market – they are the ones at the coal face.  By realising that sales and marketing NEED each other – the gains your organisation can make are huge.

Once a business understands that marketing and sales are critical to the buyer’s journey and that by working in alignment, they can improve their strategies and processes, leading to better results.

Marketing and sales need each other.