Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing are two business functions within an organization – they both impact lead generation and revenue. The term, sales, refers to all activities that lead to the selling of goods and services. And marketing is the process of getting people interested in the goods and services being sold.

Sales include “operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods or services.”

Marketing includes “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.”


Sales and Marketing are two very different functions and require very different skills.

  1. Process

Whether you’re writing a marketing or sales plan, both will include details about the history of the company and its overarching goals and initiatives. Then the plans dive into the aspects of the plan that are specific for each department.

  • Marketing plan: The marketing plan lays out what the product is, its price, who it’ll be sold to, and where it will be sold. This is also known as the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Goals are set, marketing channels are chosen, and a budget is made for the campaigns the marketing team plans to pursue.
  • Sales plan: It include details about the sales process, team structure, target market, and goals. Plus, the sales plan outlines the action plan, tools, and resources that will be used to hit these targets.
  • Goals

Both departments have the primary focus to generate revenue for the company.

Marketing departments are responsible for pricing the products and communicating how the product fills customers’ needs and wants. And its goals are often longer term because campaigns can span over the course of many months.

For sales, the focus is to hit quotas and sales volume goals – and these tend to be shorter term.

  • Tools and Resource

A CRM database is a tool that can be used by sales, marketing, and the company as a whole. The database helps all departments manage relationships with contacts, no matter which stage of the customer lifecycle they’re in.

Marketing Tools

  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tool
  • Project management tool
  • Data reporting software
  • Content creation tool

Sales Tools

  • Meetings app
  • Documents tool
  • Invoicing software
  • Email management tool
  • Inventory and order management software
  • Strategies

It can take different strategic approaches depending on the type of campaign and customer they’re targeting.

Marketing Strategies

  • Internet marketing
  • Print marketing
  • Blog marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Video marketing

Sales Strategies

  • SPIN Selling
  • Solution Selling
  • N.E.A.T. Selling
  • Conceptual Selling
  • SNAP Selling
  • CustomerCentric Selling
  • Inbound Selling
  • The Challenger Sale
  • The Sandler System


Not all sales and marketing roles require the same skills to the same level. However, the main skills and abilities needed include:

  • Key Skills: identified by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications as important in every area of work, training and learning: communications skills, application of number, IT, problem solving, and improving own learning and performance.
  • Occupation specific skills: customer service, selling, negotiating and influencing, analysis and decision-making, and management skills.
  • Areas of knowledge: the business environment, product knowledge, and financial awareness.
  • Personal skills: drive and energy, adaptability, resilience and determination, confidence, creativity, and an ability to learn and absorb knowledge.

Intensifying competition and increasingly demanding customers, requires higher level skills, not necessarily different ones.


The sales department takes the responsibility of leading and setting strategies. Whereas, marketing departments support all the decisions taken by the sales department. A sales department is the direct link between a company’s product or service and its consumers. Marketing department endorses your business and drives sales of its products and services.

  • Purpose

Sales department have several purposes aside making sales.

  1. Converting sales: Of course, a sales department’s main objective is to make sales. However, they must also do so efficiently and as inexpensively as possible. It is not enough to collect credit card information and process an order. A sales department is always concerned with improving its conversion rate. A conversion rate is the percentage of customers who complete a sale. So if your sales team speaks to 100 potential customers per day and 20 of those conversations result in a sale, then your team has a 20 percent conversion rate.
  2. Customer retention: Sales team is responsible for retaining customers, a monumentally important task. It costs a business five- to-25 times more money to attract new customers than   it does to keep existing customers. Research further shows that upping your customer retention rate by only 5 percent can result in increased profits of 25-to-95 percent for your business. It makes sense always to keep your customers happy. This is where your sales team comes in. As the direct point-of-contact for your business, sales department is building valuable relationships with customers.
  3.  Business growth: The sales department is one of the most critical sectors of business for growth. Through relationship-building and keeping customers happy, word-of-mouth recommendations increase. Plus, satisfied customers are usually willing to leave positive reviews for your company online. Reviews are critically important in doing business these days. Prospective clients want to see that you have made other customers happy, and are all too willing to go to your competitors if there is no evidence that you’re doing so. This is why your sales team can help you grow your business.

A strong marketing department must be intact regardless of the economy so you remain visible and keep sales strong.

  1. Research is Vital: Research is a pillar of all marketing activities. Without demographic research, product developers don’t know what features to design into products that will appeal to customers. Publicists won’t know what publications customers read or what industry topics journalists are covering. Research is used to measure buying habits, product use and opinions of your business as well as your competitors.
  2. Connecting Customers to Products: A functional marketing department implements customer relationship management functions to track and predict what customers want in their products. It connects the customer to the product with hard data as well as emotional, qualitative information that can help product designers differentiate your products from those of a competitor. This information also helps marketing promotions by highlighting these differences in marketing materials.
  3. Promotions and PR: Marketing departments carry out promotional strategies for products and services, and some may also incorporate promotional activities, such as public relations, for the business as a whole. The promotions staff assists the sales force with sales promotions; offers public relations support for product launches, trade shows and other events; purchases advertising that illustrates product benefits and features; and pitches the product to media outlets. Promotion activities range from creating awareness of a product to persuading customers to try and then buy the product.
  4.  Business Development: Marketing works closely with sales in generating new business. Employees entice prospects to engage with your company in some way, even if it’s just visiting the website, and then uses incentives to get customers to continue thinking about the product so that the sales team can convince them to buy the product. This is called generating leads. Not every lead turns into a paying customer, so business development is ongoing.

 Steps for Strategic Sales and Marketing

There are Seven (7) Steps for Strategic Sales and Marketing  Outlined below;

  1. Create Personas in a Joint Sales & Marketing Effort

Personas are generally considered the responsibility of the marketing team, and they are sometimes ignored by the sales team. Considering that each of these teams is speaking to the same ideal customers, though, this is a huge missed opportunity and an effort that should be worked on together. In the end, this work will benefit both teams.

  • Make an Effort to Document the Buyers’ Journey for Each Persona

The buyer’s journey should be the basis of all sales and marketing efforts. Unfortunately, this step is often skipped. Even more unfortunate is the fact that sales and marketing rarely collaborate on this vital piece of strategy, despite the fact that they each are responsible for significant parts of it. Sales and marketing leaders should work through each persona in joint sales and marketing sessions, examining how each persona becomes aware of their company, how they become a lead, and how they eventually become a sale.

  • Audit Sales and Marketing Assets and Document Gaps Along the Buyer’s Journey

Now that both sales and marketing know what each persona’s journey to purchase looks like, it’s time to examine whether or not they have assets to speak to audience needs along each step of the process. In this stage, both sales and marketing need to spend some time collecting everything that both the sales and marketing teams have created, including whitepapers, infographics, interactive quizzes, e-books, case studies, assessments, email streams, and more.

  • Establish a Content Marketing Plan Across the Buyers’ Journey

Content marketing is often regarded as a brand awareness tactic, and one with questionable impact on revenue. While some sing the praises of content marketing, those who are focused on quantifiable business results may not be sold on the concept. When creating a sales and marketing content strategy, make sure to get both sales and marketing leaders in the room to discuss what audience needs they’d like to address, and how content assets can support throughout the different stages of the funnel.

  • Develop a Joint Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy

While a content marketing strategy may seem to favor the marketing team, an account-based marketing strategy will focus on the needs of the sales team. Still, these efforts should be worked on together. Marketing and sales leaders can choose to create an organic ABM strategy or to adopt a more expensive—but very effective—ABM technology solution that will allow for sales and marketing automation.

  • Implement Regular Sales and Marketing Communication Efforts

One of the simplest steps for ensuring a great sales and marketing strategy that creates and maintains alignment of the teams is creating a regular cadence for communication. This could be as simple as a weekly email or as complex as a quarterly offsite. It’s best practice, though, to ensure that both teams are completely on the same page in terms of regular sales and marketing efforts as well as long term business goals.

  • Repeat Steps 1-6 on a Quarterly or Annual Basis

Finally, the last step for a successful sales and marketing strategy is revisiting and refining the steps above. The work of creating successful sales and marketing strategy is never finished. Instead, sales and marketing leaders should make it a priority to track progress, evolve their tactics, and stay abreast of both industry changes as well as client and consumer behavior changes.


This is an important question, because a carefully crafted combination of sales and marketing is vital for successful business growth. “Selling” or making sales consists of interpersonal interaction-the one-on-one meetings, telephone calls and networking-that you engage in with prospects and customers. The term “marketing” encompasses programs businesses use to reach and persuade prospects, including advertising, public relations, direct mail and more. You’ll often see the terms used incorrectly, such as when a business advertises for a marketing professional but is really looking for someone to make telephone calls, meet with prospects and close sales.

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