Marketing vs Sales: What’s the Difference and Are they Merging?

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Marketing vs. Sales: What's the Difference

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Have you ever asked about marketing vs. sales, or wondered, “What’s the difference?”.

Most entrepreneurs know the importance of having a flow of potential customers to their businesses. The confusing part is what portions of the sales funnel are a part of marketing and which ones are a part of sales. You might experience this same confusion, and hearing lots of people speak on this topic may not clear it up.

In this article, I want to help you understand what marketing and sales were, how they’re evolving, and how we should prepare our businesses as a result.

The Most Confusing Part

marketing vs. sales

I think the startup phase is the most confusing part where marketing and sales are all merged together. You’re wearing multiple hats: sometimes marketing, sometimes sales, sometimes product development, and other times, you’re focused on service design.

In this phase, you won’t really see the difference unless you’re trained to watch for it. You’ll have to perform all those functions, so it can be very difficult to see when you’ve switched gears.

As time goes on, and you need to delegate tasks to others, then in some instances, you’ll be more aware of the differences between marketing and sales.

The Most Notable Differences Between Marketing and Sales

These are the most common differences between marketing and sales when you look at the traditional roles:

  • Marketing people tend to be more creative and design-focused
  • Salespeople are more logical and numbers-driven
  • Marketing is about growing awareness
  • Sales is about converting awareness into a purchase
  • Marketing was much harder to calculate return on investment
  • Sales was easier to calculate ROI
  • Most marketers get salaries
  • Salespeople get paid commissions
  • Marketers attract people to a product or service solution
  • Salespeople close the deals

Times Have Changed

Now, times have changed and technology is advancing more and more. Marketing and sales are merging more than they did before.  When you consider subsets of marketing (like affiliate marketing or internet marketing), the returns are much more calculated, and it’s more common to see people who call themselves “marketers” who get paid a commission rather than a salary. Within these same areas, the motive is parallel with traditional salesperson and the returns can be calculated on a very granular level.

Rather than watching metrics like:

  • How many calls made?
  • How many doors knocked?
  • How many presentations made?
  • and, how many business cards handed out?

Those who are closing deals, are now considering things like:

  • How much content was published?
  • How much website traffic?
  • How much engagement?
  • What’s the click-thru-rate?
  • How many people that click buy?
  • How many abandoned the cart without a purchase?
  • Is the copy written clearly?
  • Is retargeting set up?
  • Are comments/questions getting a response on content?
  • How many people are being followed up by email?

Added to everything else, salespeople are being required to close the deal less and less. While marketers, advertisers, copywriters, and video personalities are building trust and taking more and more people from the awareness phase all the way to the buying decision.

Times are changing and the lines between marketing and sales are no longer as clear as they were.

How to Identify When you Need to Pay More Attention to Marketingmarketing vs. sales

If you’re having trouble getting more potential customers to your product or service, you need to do what’s called “prospecting” in sales terms, and typically marketing training will show you how to attract more ideal customers. You can use marketing methods like:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid ads on social media or search engines
  • Organic social media marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Guest posting
  • Direct mail
  • Adding an affiliate program
  • Or, go to events and masterminds

Methods like these will help fill your pipeline and sales pros like Grant Cardone says “the most successful salespeople keep a full pipeline”.

How to Identify When You Need to Pay More Attention to Sales

If you’re attracting lots of potential customers, but you’re having a hard time converting the interest into a sale, then copywriting, website conversion optimization, and sales training focuses more on strategies you can use to convert more people: from interested to being willing to pay.

You’ll learn about methods of persuasion, buyer psychology, buying motives, how to probe and ask questions, effective follow-up methods, and more.

Conclusion on Marketing vs Sales

Overall, marketing and sales is important to study in order to hone your skills in attracting prospective buyers, building trust, and getting them to take action and buy. The more that SaaS and technology is advancing, the more important it is to adapt to the evolution of these industries. To get started with my #1 recommended affiliate marketing training where you’ll learn how to attract customers, build trust, and get them to make their buying decisions 100% online, join me at Wealthy Affiliate here.

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4 thoughts on “Marketing vs Sales: What’s the Difference and Are they Merging?”

  1. Tiffany Denise

    First of all, I need to tell you that I love your popup coming from the bottom of the screen!  Very creative!  Secondly, I have to commend you for clearing up my confusion regarding marketing vs. sales.  I clearly see how they’re merging together today versus what they were in the past.  I’m also seeing the need to prospect in my own business.  Thank you for the well-researched article!  It helped me a lot!  Cheers!

    1. Tiffany Denise

      Thanks for the feedback on the popup! I thought it was funny too. Hahaha. Regarding marketing and sales, it’s funny you’re noticing the same thing. Prospecting is one of the most important things we can do as entrepreneurs.

  2. Tiffany Denise

    Thank you for the list on the Search Engine Optimization.  That really helped me see exactly what it is that I need to focus on with prospecting and what I need to focus on more if I want to succeed in the online business.  SEO constantly confuses me and this really helped to get things in a way that I would be able to understand it.  Thank you so much!

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