Every organization needs sales and marketing teams to ensure that its products and services are well received in the marketplace. There are also other functions that are carried out within the organization like human resource planning, accounting, management, and logistics, and the bigger the organization, the more the planning that goes into it. Sales is a profit center for the organization this is where the products are bought or shipped out and the money comes in. Marketing is cost function meaning that organizations have to plan for, budget, and spend money on marketing their products and services. But both these services work in tandem to deliver profits or earnings every year.
Getting the basics right from the start is very important. Sales or selling is an act of persuading a customer to exchange value for the products or service that he or she wants. It involves a purchase or a transaction taking place where goods or services are sold for money. A sale is a part of the marketing initiatives but often requires a different approach.
Marketing is the stuff that organizations do to reach out to their potential customers. Events, conferences, billboard ads, websites, brochures, print advertisements, television and radio spots, and sending out press releases are all a part of what is called the marketing mix. Sales and marketing are both about reaching the customer, but sales is more about closing the deal, and marketing is about getting to the person who wants to make the deal.
Sales and marketing activities ideally need to go hand in hand to generate buyer interest and then convert that into the definitive action. But often, this is not how the process works. Where marketers tend to concentrate on generating leads and thereby making it easy for the sales person to close the deal, the salesperson are usually making the deals without understanding the marketing pitch. This disconnect is a recipe for potential loss of clients.
In the marketing approach, the marketer listens to what the people have to say about the product, about its pricing, about its usability, and about the competitors. The sales approach is more focused on determining the right price for the customer and what variation he or she is looking for from the standard product that the organization is offering. Sales people generally have little or no say in product modifications and are therefore not geared towards looking for such information. This is where the sales and marketing approaches have to be aligned to ensure that the customer is heard and is also convinced that the product is right for him or her, as is.