Sales vs Marketing

Sometimes we encounter businesses that have incredibly well developed sales functions but poor marketing capabilities.

Typically, there are sales people, sales managers, brochures, call plans, territories, capabilities for putting together proposals, presentations, even advertising and yet we would say that they lacked a marketing infrastructure.  What do we mean?

Sales is the activity carried out during the moment a product or service is being purchased.

Marketing is the activity carried out before the sale which leads to a purchase and the activity after the sale that convinces customers to buy again.

When viewed like this, Marketing encompasses much more activity than that carried out by sales people.

Sales oriented companies

In sales oriented companies:

  • A heavy reliance is placed on promotional activity such as personal selling, conferences and trade shows to sell
  • All activities such as sales literature, web sites are focused on supporting the above promotional activity
  • Planning horizons are quite short, typically no further than a year
  • Things that are often absent:
    • Market analysis
    • Buyer behaviour analysis
    • Branding
    • Integration between branding and all marketing activities
    • System for measuring marketing performance
    • As a result, there are
      • Inconsistencies between the sales pitch and marketing literature
      • Sales activities are not focused and targeted
      • Product design, Sales, Support and Maintenance functions aren’t on the same page
      • What the company thinks of its performance and what customers think aren’t the same.
      • Ineffective marketing activity isn’t eliminated.

Marketing oriented companies

In marketing oriented companies:

  • They see sales and promotions as a subset of activities amongst many others that win customers and maintain their loyalty.
  • Markets are analysed, opportunities identified, and products are developed to meet those opportunities; for example:
    • Systems are in place to measure marketing performance, such as brand awareness, market share, and customer satisfaction.
    • The market’s mind space is mapped to see where all the competitors have positioned their brand.
    • Buyer decision processes are analysed and opportunities to influence buyer behaviour are identified and targeted for action
    • All marketing activities are integrated to produce a consistent brand.

As a result, marketing oriented companies are more efficient because their efforts are unified, everyone’s efforts are focused in one direction and they stand out from the competition because of their distinct branding.  As you might have guessed, “branding” to us is far more than just a logo.

What kind of company is yours?  Want to become a marketing company?  Call us.

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