Sales and Marketing – What’s the Difference?

Sales are the product of business activities aimed at obtaining profit. A sale is usually a transaction between a seller and a buyer. These transactions may be made by the seller directly or by an agent acting on behalf of both the parties. There are many types of sales and their definition depends on the type of business being entered into.

Sales are sales that are made directly between a seller and a buyer. The sale of a product to another person is also commonly considered a sales transaction. Net sales refer to sales less any direct selling costs including expenses and labor. Most sales are un-ledger sales as the seller prepares the sales order, submits it to the supplier and pays for the product either directly or indirectly through a chain of companies or dealers. The two types of sales are commonly referred to as principal sales and net sales.

Marketing is defined by Wikipedia as “the process of promoting and advertising products and services offered by a company”. Marketing is a term used to describe a process of acquiring new clients and generating sales in order to generate profits. The marketing function of any business can be divided up into three categories: direct marketing, promotional marketing and advertising and sales promotion. Direct marketing often refers to marketing directly to customers, whereas promotional marketing deals with giving out branded merchandise, logo water bottles or other printed items and is used as a means of attracting new customers.

Sales and marketing departments work closely together for the development of new sales strategies. This involves compiling and analyzing data on potential customers, analysing market trends and practices, preparing marketing campaigns, testing marketing materials, preparing reports and implementing strategies. It is the role of sales and marketing departments to make sure that the sales proposals they have generated are able to attract potential customers. This involves making presentations, participating in trade shows, fairs, seminars etc. to potential customers and sellers also needs specialized skills.

In sales, unlike marketing, there is no need to wait for prospects to come to you; if you show them your product and you sell it to them, they will come. All you need to do is to close a sale and earn money from the sale. However, it is important that you take care of your prospects. For example, if your product is faulty, or there are defects or problems with it, these defects and problems should be taken care of immediately so that you avoid any inconvenience in the future. Also, when you close a sale, the responsibility for delivering the product or service to the client rest with the sales person.

One final term sales and marketing are interchangeable and should not be treated as separate entities. Selling can be defined as buying and distributing goods or services, whilst marketing is using these methods in order to advertise products and services. Net sales refer to the amount of revenue realized from selling activities while gross sales include the value of goods and services sold. These terms are generally used interchangeably in the sales and marketing world and should not be treated as synonymous.

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