Away from the formal definitions and characteristics of both Marketing & Sales, and to put it in simple words let's give an example of what is the difference between both.
You have the money, and have the intention to do some sort of business still you do not which. What you will do first??
You will go out to the market, check what people like, but is rare or scarce. What type of business is mostly required or highly active? You will then study what people would pay against that service or product, what would be your cost to have it ready for them.
Or, starting backwards; you have the product in hand, you need to study where, and when to sell it. Then you will go out to the market study the population and their purchasing habits, back to office start thinking how you should create the awareness about your product or service and how to create the need.
Accordingly; you plan your production costs, set your forecasts and budgeting, your media campaigns and sales targets. That’s marketing, and that is in simple words how we define the core of every successful business; “Marketing”.
Now the second stage or the execution stage is the Sales’ role. People who work by the marketing plan, set their own sales strategies and live outside on four wheels are the sales force of every successful company. The salesman role starts from behind his desk, preparing his planner, contact lists and leads, sales tools (catalogues, samples, brochures etc…) arrange his own meetings and plot his call-cycle.
Outside the office the salesman represents his firm, his main role is to execute the plan and achieve the targets set by marketing people. Entry, Introductory and closure are skills created within the sales person and could be developed by practice.
But “marketing” role does not halt at the points mentioned above. The reports coming from the market and sales force should be monitored and input into their data in way immediate decisions of continuing or deviate the plans execution should be taken.
So as we conclude from above; Marketing is different than Sales, but both complete each other. To put that in different expression; Marketing is the brain and Sales is the hand, both are essential parts of the body.
27th September 2005 From Kuwait