People often say that marketing is there to generate leads and opportunities and sales is there to convert them. But in today’s marketplace, we can all quote examples where that just isn’t the case anymore.
In this Vlog, Grant explains the difference between sales and marketing
When you walk down the aisle at your local supermarket, you aren’t greeted by salespeople representing Andrex and Coca Cola trying to close deals on toilet paper or soft drinks.
This proves that the definition that’s used as the difference between sales and marketing is just wrong.
In the business to business world, people often say that marketing is there to generate leads and opportunities and then sales is there to convert them. But as we can see; in the consumer world, marketing is there not just to generate interest but also to ensure that people buy.
So if that’s the case, what IS the difference between sales and marketing?
‘Marketing exists to enable companies to obtain and retain customers’ and in fact sales is there to do exactly the same thing ‘to obtain and retain customers’. So they actually have the same objective. In fact, personal selling, to give it its academic name, Is just a marketing channel.
In other words, when you’re communicating, you can use direct mail, TV advertising, radio advertising, sponsorship and all sorts of other channels – and one of the channels to get to your customer, that you can utilise, is human beings – and that is personal selling.
Marketing is ‘brand to person communication’ and Selling is ‘person to person communication’. In the business to business world, there are many big ticket items, that quite simply, people wouldn’t buy without the reassurance of dealing with a human being.
Therefore, in business to business, there are many companies that wouldn’t be able to make sales without the human part of the process, and that’s absolutely fine, strategically, for them to use those disciplines in that way. However, it doesn’t define the difference.
In reality, Marketing is about brand to person communications and Selling is the person to person element.
Completely agree Grant – great video. Reminds me of when I was running a workshop in the North East with a group of people from a ‘traditional’ engineering business. I was asked ‘what’s the difference between sales and marketing?’ And before I got chance to reply, one of the engineers shouted out ‘I’ll tell you the difference – the marketing person holds the customer down and the sales people hit them!’
I knew I’d got some work to do!!!
Thanks Andy, I am glad that you like the video. I love the reply that you received from the ‘traditional’ engineering business. Does customer service patch them up afterwards? 🙂
Love that final defining paragraph Grant. Succinct and simple.
Thanks Chris. I think it is important that people can discern the differences between the disciplines.