Ah, the age old battle: Marketing VS Sales.

Some people swear that marketing drives sales, and others would bet their life that sales doesn’t need marketing to thrive.

Whichever your belief, it’s really good to know the difference between the two!

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Marketing VS Sales: The Breakdown


  1. Marketing: With marketing the goal is always centered around positioning. What’s positioning? Simply put, it means to align your brand with your particular niche or industry; it’s the marketer’s constant need to make an impression on current and would-be customers.
  2. Sales: With sales it’s no secret that the goal is always more — you guessed it — sales! With quotas to meet, there’s not much room for anything else.

State Of Mind

  1. Marketing: For marketers to achieve continued success, they must operate around a integrated marketing strategy. This means helping with branding, messaging, communications, and sales.
  2. Sales: Sales associates usually do not worry about an overarching strategy when it comes to garnering more sales, rather use tried-and-true tactics (such as making 100 sales calls each week) to determine success.

Knowledge Base

  1. Marketing: There are literally thousands of technical aspects a marketer must know to employ, measure, and report on their campaigns. Advertising & PPC; Web Design & Analytics; Database Management and/or CRM; Automation; Statistics and Reporting, etc.
  2. Sales: Execution, or better known to sales reps as, “making shiz happen.” This is their main concern and main responsibility; experience and “who you know” plays a big role here.

I Heart _____!

  1. Marketing: While smart marketers love the customer (because they realize the consumer shapes the brand), at the end of the day they must love, support and continue to reinvent the brand.
  2. Sales: Meanwhile, smart sales reps love their customers. By focusing on the customer and their needs, they can boost repeat business and referrals, and that just means more execution and more SALES!


  1. Marketing: The marketing department has large shoes to fill when it comes to providing the types of content and messaging each brand needs because they not only have to focus on the customer, they have to make efforts to reach investors and manage public relations.
  2. Sales: Again, sales has the luxury of worrying about their #1 – the customer!


  1. Marketing: While marketing focuses on the brand (hey, it’s what they love!), I believe we’re seeing a shift to be more customer-centric. I’m not sure the consumer will ever take first place with the marketing department, but in my mind they should be a very close second.
  2. Sales: If you know any hardcore sales reps, you KNOW they’ve got the customers back – often times more so than the company’s. It makes sense since these people are their bread and butter, but sales reps would do themselves a favor by learning to present the company in a better light (and work hand-in-hand with marketing).

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Essentially both marketing and sales aim to increase brand exposure and revenue. Additionally, both sales and marketing work to convert prospects to paying and loyal customers.


Marketing involves a “one to many” approach to meet the outlined goals, while sales uses a “one to one” strategy.

Sales can be tactic based because they are working in shorter cycles with push-based tactics, whereas marketing must create a long-term strategy based on pull-based tactics.

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Marketing & Sales Need To Work Together

Good marketers are adding value to the sales process. Good sales reps are giving invaluable information to marketers about the current landscape as well as customer feedback.

It takes a diligent effort from both teams to continuously reach out and touch prospective clients through the pipeline.

Have you developed a process for aligning these two important aspects of business? Let us know how you navigate the balancing act in the comments section below!

See you in the social sphere!

Read more: He Said, She Said: Which Comes First, Sales or Marketing?