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Sales is NOT Marketing

22 October 2019



...and Sales is not Marketing.


There. I said it.

But it's true, people have misunderstood the meaning and the role of two key business functions for, well, quite some time.


Some SME's often think that sales is marketing, where salespeople do marketing...which is why you'll find numerous businesses amalgamating the two departments together; ie: Sales & Marketing.


Salespeople may think that the sales team's costs and benefits can be tracked, therefore, there is a direct measurement of conversion, and that marketing skills are the 'soft approach' with unquantifiable ways of measurement.


With marketers (or marketeers - if you prefer), there are many different methods into how campaigns are split and how these can be measured to an extent, be it through inbound marketing, email campaigns, paid media, earned media, content marketing, SEO, engagement, social etc...who often think that direct sales are far too manipulative and intrusive.


Both mindsets are flawed. Which creates a long term belief that the two disciplines are somewhat at war with each other.

Throw in how the internet has changed we as consumers buy, and you have a whole lot of confusion.


Sales and marketing are not the same thing. One is not more significant than the other. Thinking one has serious advantages over another, is actually bad for business.


Sales is a noble profession (I was in the industry for years) and business can't happen without it. If you're in sales, you're a salesperson. You're not in marketing.

Small and mid-sized business leaders should stop using the phrase 'Sales & Marketing'.

Call your sales team 'sales'. That's what they do and you need them to do it well. Sales is relationship-oriented and 'one to one' ie; listening to individual customers and prospects and creatively responding to meet their needs. Sales requires a systematic process and attention to detail.


Marketing involves defining your customers and understanding their 'why'.

Why do they buy? What do they want from the transaction? What is their desired experience?

Find out what they want, develop and deliver it to them, when and where they want it, at a price they're willing to pay and base campaigns on those results.


Marketing is customer experience-oriented and a 'one to many' approach. Understanding the subtle differences of multiple market segments and meeting their needs, is essential. Marketing requires creative, data-driven solutions to craft compelling stories that reach and influence multiple target audiences.

Your company's success is tied to your attitude toward both areas. Understand and respect the differences in each discipline. 

Sales is not marketing. Marketing is not sales.

Both utilise creative solutions and a systematic approach when done well.

If you can separate the two, not only will your business gain more focus in both areas, but you'll most likely attract the right people toward your business in the meantime.





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