While sales is more of transaction-based, marketing aims at winning and retaining the customers for the long term. These two often share a common goal of increasing the company’s revenue but differ in their functions and process. Basically sales imply the exchange of products and services for money or money’s worth. On the other hand, marketing is an umbrella term which indicates a set of activities that starts with the market research and ends with consumer satisfaction.
The focus of the two is on two different ends, as in marketing stresses on fulfilling the needs of the customers, whereas sales is all about reaching the company’s sales targets, i.e. it focuses on fulfilling company’s needs.
Marketing tends to identify the needs, wants and demands of the customers, so as to satisfy them profitably. Conversely, sales is about pushing the company’s products and services onto the customers, by convincing them to buy. So, let’s dig a little deeper to understand the two terms better.
Contents: Sales Vs Marketing
|Basis for Comparison||Sales||Marketing|
|Meaning||Sales refers to the process of selling, whereby product is offered for sale to the customer at a certain price and at a given period of time.||Marketing is understanding the requirements of the customers in such a way that whenever any new product is introduced, it sells itself.|
|Approach||Fragmented approach||Integrated approach|
|Focus||Company needs||Market needs|
|Related to||Related to flow of goods to customers.||Related to all the activities which facilitates flow of goods to customers.|
|Objective||To instigate shoppers in such a way that they turn out as buyers.||To identify the needs of customers and create products to satisfy those needs.|
|Target||Individual or small group||General Public|
|Scope||Selling of the product.||Advertisement, Sales, Research, Customer satisfaction, After sales services etc.|
|Activity||Customer driven||Media driven|
|Strategy used||Push Strategy||Pull Strategy|
|Process||Involves exchange of goods for adequate consideration.||Entails identifying and satisfying customer's needs.|
|Rule||Caveat Emptor||Caveat Vendor|
|Technique||Price promotion, Discounts and Special offers.||Customer relationship through integration of organization with the needs of customers.|
|Skills required||Selling and Conversational skills||Analytical skills|
|Aims at||Profit maximization through sales maximization.||Profit maximization through increased consumer satisfaction and market share.|
Definition of Sales
Sales is nothing but the primary aim of any business enterprise, in the sense that all the activities of a company are directed towards the increase of sales. Basically it encompasses the activities which result in the selling of “what the company offers to its customers” in a given period of time, by convincing the customers that buying the company’s product will be beneficial for them.
For this purpose, the salesperson should have exceptional communication and persuading skills, to convey the benefits of the product or service to the customer effectively, while answering their questions.
Every company has a specific department for sales of its products and services which are often divided into different teams, on the basis of:
- Geographical location, where the teams offer the product and service to,
- Product and services, which the teams have to sell,
- Target Customer, whom the products and services are to be offered.
Each team have their sales volume goal, for the month, quarter and year which they have to reach. For increasing sales, special offers such as coupons, free gifts, etc. and discounts are used as a strategy, to seek customer’s attention and instigate them to buy the product or service.
Do not confuse the term ‘sales’ for ‘sale’, sales involve sale which means the transfer of possession of the product from the manufacturer to customer, for adequate consideration, i.e. price.
Process of Sales
The process of sales is presented in the figure below:
Definition of Marketing
Marketing is a process which involves a spectrum of activities carried out by the enterprise so as to promote the company’s sales of product or service. The process begins with identifying the needs of the customers, meeting those needs profitably by creating, communicating and delivering the offerings, in exchange for a price, that is valued by the customers.
It is a means to create the interest of the target audience in the company’s offerings. All the activities which attempt to draw the attention of the customers towards the company’s offerings and to retain them are covered under the term marketing, such as market research and analysis, product development, promotion, distribution methods, sales and after-sales service.
In finer terms, whatever strategy or activity the company applies so as to communicate with the target customers in order to instigate them to buy the company’s offerings will be termed as marketing.
Marketing is about what you convey about your offering, how you communicate the value of your offering to the target audience and why customers should pick it out of all the available options in the market. It is a promotion of the offering through ads using various platforms, such as newspaper, televisions, pamphlets, social media, such as Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account, etc.
Process of Marketing
The process of marketing is discussed as under:
- Research: To gather data so as to know the market and customers in a better way.
- Segment: To divide the customers into different groups called segments, as per similar characteristics, to serve them in a better way.
- Target: Focus on the segment that needs the offering that you are selling, as they are going to value it most.
- Position: Distinguish your product from that of the competitors, through a unique selling proposition.
- Strategize: Create strategies for the 4P’s i.e. product, price, place and promotion.
- Implement: Best strategy out of all the strategies is to be implemented.
- Measure: Measure the results, by making a comparison.
Key Differences Between Sales and Marketing
Upcoming points will present you all the differences between sales and marketing:
- Sales can be understood as the process of selling the goods to customers at a definite price and at a given period of time. In this the transfer of ownership of a product from one person to another for some value takes place. On the contrary, Marketing is the act of analyzing the market and understanding the needs of the customers in such a way that whenever a new product is launched, it sells itself. In short, it is the process of creating a ready market for the product and services.
- Sales is product-oriented, as the salespersons emphasize on increasing the sales of the product. In contrast, Marketing is customer-oriented, as all promotional activities are performed, keeping the target customers in mind.
- Sales have a fragmented approach, which stresses on selling all that is produced. In contrast, marketing has an integrated approach which stresses on ascertaining the customer requirements and providing them with the product of their need.
- Marketing stresses on the needs of the market. On the contrary, sales focus on the company needs.
- Sales is concerned with the flow of product or service to the customer. However, marketing is concerned with all the activities which facilitate the flow of goods to customers.
- Sales is a short-term process, as it is transaction-based and aims at maximizing it, which is for a limited period only. Conversely, marketing is a long term process as it focuses on customer management and all the efforts are made to winning and retaining the customers.
- The objective of sales is to instigate shoppers in such a way that they turn out as buyers, whereas the objective of marketing is to identify the needs of customers and create products to satisfy those needs.
- There is a one-to-one relationship in case of sales i.e. one product is sold to one customer, by the salesperson at a time. As against one-to-many relationships is there in case of marketing, as an advertisement reaches millions of customers at a time.
- Sales focus on the individual, i.e. direct interaction with the customer and persuading him to purchase the product, but marketing concentrates on the general public, i.e. creating the value of a product to increase sales.
- In sales, the customer is viewed as the last link, i.e. the product is created first and then sold to customers. On the other hand, in marketing, the customer is given priority, as first of all the needs are identified and after that efforts is made to meet those needs.
- Sales is a people-driven activity on the other hand; marketing is a media-driven activity.
- Sales use push strategy (where the product is forced onto a customer) while marketing uses the pull strategy (where the customer comes to a product by himself).
- The selling process involves an exchange of goods for monetary consideration. On the flip side, marketing involves identifying the needs of customers and satisfying them.
- In sales, caveat emptor rule applies, i.e. let the buyer beware. Unlike, marketing wherein caveat vendor rule is applicable, which states let the seller beware.
- Various techniques used for increasing sales includes price promotion, discount, festive season offers, special offers, buy one get one offers, etc. As opposed, marketing involves building a relationship with the customer through the integration of the organization with the needs of customers.
- Sales require good communication, convincing and selling skills, whereas marketing requires good analytical skills and foresightedness.
- Sales aim at profit maximization through sales maximization. On the other hand, profit maximization through increased consumer satisfaction and market share is the aim of marketing.
Video: Sales Vs Marketing
Miss Hazel wants to open a unisex beauty salon and spa in a suburban area whose population is around 1,00,000, where all types of beauty treatments and makeup is available. For this purpose, Miss Hazel arranges money and place of rent, purchases furniture, tools, machinery, cosmetics and other important stuff required, hires some beauticians and hairstylists.
But due to less reach, there are only a handful of customers in the salon and Miss Hazel is not able to make good sum out of it. Then one of the beauticians suggests that advertising the salon will help in increasing revenue. After which she decides to advertise the salon and spa, through various media like radio, televisions, posters, social media, pamphlets, newspapers etc. Moreover, the staff also convinces the customers to try their products, which increases sales too.
And so the results are positive and this is the power of marketing and sales.
Despite many differences between sales and marketing, these are not contradictory in nature. Both these terms are closely interlinked to each other and play a very important role in the survival of business in the long run.
The sale is a human-oriented function, so the personnel involved in the sales activity should be given proper training and incentives to boost morale and earn higher pay in return. On the other hand, Marketing is a media-oriented, so the best channels of advertisement and promotion should be adopted so as to achieve an increase in sales along with the enhanced brand image.