Sales versus Marketing

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Sales versus Marketing
Jp Singh, Manager, India, Member
Most or all of the MBA institutes teach marketing in their programs.
Today's corporate world emerges as sales-oriented with both marketing and sales playing a major role. Many people seem to be recruited for sales jobs.
There seems to be a mismatch between what MBA's are tought and what's required in the real world?

Sales versus Marketing
Claude Balleux, Strategy Consultant, Canada, Member
Yeah. Maybe you're right. From my point of view, university's program are too "branded marketing" oriented. And branding is too far from the SME's concern. Which do not have the financial capacity to support a brand as McDonalds or Nike can do it. And it's true that this kind of marketing is far from a sales job's concern.

Theory versus Practise
Francielle Nunes, Entrepreneur, Brazil, Member
The question makes sense. There is a mismatch between the teaching of marketing (theory) and the corporate world which emerges as sales oriented (practise).
It is key to understand both marketing and sales toward the real world. MBA schools should go to that direction.

Sales-Orientation is Very Important
Tony Pagliaroli, Strategy Consultant, United States, Member
Hold on here a minute. Maybe, I am a bit older here to remember, however being sales-oriented has always been the name in the game of business.
You're right, universities may do people a misjustice by not helping striving business professionals realize that understanding the customer needs is job one! I have an advanced degree and I worked myself up through sales and it was the best learning experience I could have had.

Sales Depends on Company and product
Agnes, Belgium, Member
What subject would you cover within a sales course?
In my point of view sales is pretty much depending on the product and company.
Within sales we emphasise sales capabilities: knowing our products well, the ability to negotiate, to be in the line with the company's strategy, chase new clients and keep good old clients. Skills that I would like more to appear: negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, keeping up with developments of our clients.

Marketing is Strategic; Sales is Operational
Neil McMullen, Business Consultant, United States, Member
Most MBA curriculums are built on the premise that the student seeks a strategic management perspective. Sales is usually viewed in the US as an operations level effort.
Gaging environmental characteristics (SWOT), the choice of end markets and demand size, channel choices, match of customer needs to product or service, determining selling characteristics (personnel and/or technology deployment -"shoe leather" or online), outlining the product/services communications program, arranging logistics; these are strategic in nature, preceed the sales effort and are usually identified as marketing.

Complimentary & Symbiotic Relation between Sales and Marketing
Peter Pudaite, Entrepreneur, India, Member
As others have already pointed out marketing is strategic and sales is tactical.
- Marketing: After all you don't enter a new market, introduce a new product, invest in your brand and survey your customers to improve next quarter's results.
- Sales on the other hand is about execution of these plans. It is sales that will introduce new products. It is the sales team that has the customer relations to provide intelligence and insight.
Business schools have a tendency to focus on strategic level topics simply because MBA grads are expected to, eventually, take senior level positions where strategic planning is their main responsibility and tactical and day to day issues are the responsibility of subordinates.
Though I have to agree the importance of sales on the performance of a company warrants its own subject.
The fact that corporates are sales-oriented reflects more on the pressure and the mind set of managers in achieving the next quarterly results. And as a result, planning for 2-3 years ahead is deprioritised.

Sales and Marketing In Brief
Sajee Sirikrai, Professor, Thailand, Member
Sales: today
Marketing: tomorrow.

Sales can't be Teached
Bhairoo Jeson, Student (Other), Member
I think this misconception comes from organisations who do not differentiate between the two. In quest for more profits they forget about the essentials of marketing and ask them to bring more cash.
However, sales is just a component of marketing that you can't teach but is more of a personal abilities. Up to us to show that marketing works better than just sales.

Succesful Business People Don't Just Sit in Their Office
Mads Tokehoj, CEO, China, Member
Successful business people are present in their markets with their business partners at all times - everyday, every single minute, they don't sit in their office and rely on second hand information with their high university degree and pretend they know everything - consequently, that they have the knowledge to beat their competitors.
Business schools and universities have no respect for the the so called ordinary sales person and they falsely let their students to believe that the sales job is mediocre, consequently, the professors are often miles away from what makes a difference in the market and what successful business people actually do.
Call it marketing or call it sales or find some other buzz words, its not relevant to people who actually make a difference with their business partners in their markets.

Marketing Supports the Sales Team
My view is that the marketing team supports sales and also provides tools for them.
Marketing can be viewed as the strategic back end of sales.

Sales versus Marketing
Biswabhusan Prusty, Business Consultant, India, Member
1. Sales is a part of marketing.
2. Marketing is the process of satisfying/identifying the needs/wants or creating an artificial needs/wants for customer.
3. Sales is the process of selling the products or services in return for money or any other compensations.
4. Sales gives the ultimate output and cash to the business and justifies the effectiveness or efficiency of the marketing activities.

1-1 versus 1-m
JS Shiah, Project Manager, China, Member
Sales is 1-1 and marketing is 1-to-many operation.
Sales is like the "infantry men". Marketing is a double function with intelligence (information collection) and working as "staff officers" to analyze the received market information to come out with available/feasible alternatives to support the CXO's with their decision making.
Both sales and marketing involve strategy, tactics, and operation.

Marketing and Sales Should Work Together
Purushottam Thombare, Manager, India, Member
Marketing is the strategic step in advance and an effective execution results in sales. For an organisation to succeed, marketing and sales teams must work together closely like runners in a relay race with a very close coordination.
Unfortunately in MBA colleges it is not tought in this way.
But marketing and sales are the two sides of the same coin to get results for organisation.

Rules of Marketing / Sales
Olga Aros, Consultant, United States, Member
Know thy customer and you can sell and market too!
Understand the product and position it well so your customer sees, feels and buys.
Maintain your sales by making sure your brand, service and delivery is well known.
Sustain your business by doing what is right by your customer!
These rules seem simple, yet they are complicated.

Marketing Sets the Conducive Climate for Sales
Tinus van der Merwe
People also forget that marketing sets the (conducive) climate within which selling can take place. Marketing supports sales in the same way a manager supports his/her direct reports.

The Commercial Department
In my opinion you can't really separate both specialities. Just call it the commercial department. You need people there to sell, but you also need people who understand what to sell.
And some of you are right I think when they say universities teach things which are far behind the reality. But wasn't it the case always? Innovations come most of the time from companies, and after sometime you can learn about it during courses.
For that reason it is important students get the possibility to experience work placements in the industry. Consider it as an update of what you were tought.

Marketing and Sales Should be like a Coach and his Football Team
Dipoko, Director, United States, Member
Marketing and sales are closely linked. But in many cases marketing objectives are not directly tied to sales performance. It should be like in sports, where the coach is judged by the results of the match, not by the strategies developed.
This of course assumes that the strategies are responsible for the results.

Sales Without Marketing
Frederick Hamnett, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
Marketing means building and mantaining a market. Sales without marketing is simply to exploit it.

Sales V/s Marketing
Biswajyoti Kanjilal, Manager, India, Member
Per my knowledge,
- Sales is an integral part of marketing
- Marketing is the point of actualisation of strategic implementations.

Dr Gary Jones, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
I have a masters in marketing - most comments are correct. Marketing provides the infrastructure for the sales people i.e. what products to sell and where to position them. Sales is very much a personality driven profession. Marketing is the corporate face of the organisation, sales is the face of the product.

Sales can be just as Strategic as Marketing
Tony Pagliaroli, Strategy Consultant, United States, Member
What an interesting conversation from around the world on the topic of sales versus marketing. Big picture, I agree with so many of the comments about the differences.
Having taught both selling and marketing in higher eduction, maybe more faculty members of marketing need to spend time in a sales role; and more than a few years.
Is strategic thinking not needed in selling as much as in marketing? And is tactical thinking not needed in marketing?
How does an account executive determine future opportunity for his business? And then be able to translate that sales number into corporate marketing goals?
Here is another one; in a start-up technology business, how does the business know how to validate that an assumed very analyzed direction is the right one? Especially at a time, the business cannot yet afford to pay a well seasoned marketing professional?
Thank you all for your passion for sales and marketing!

Sales versus Marketing
S Shyam Prasad, Professor, India, Member
Sales and marketing are so closely related that it is no wonder that they are interchanged often. Sure neither can survive without the other.
I fully endorse that without learning / experiencing sales one cannot do effective marketing. That is the reason that even MBAs start their career wtih a job in sales.

Sales is where the Rubber meets the Road
Rusty Husar, Project Manager, United States, Member
Selling the product is the ends to the means. Remember sales is where the rubber meets the road...
All other activities are in support of this finale.
Marketing, like window dressing, is important to get product awareness to the customers.

Sales Professors...
Jeff Harnois, Student (University), United States, Member
I believe the original topic is focusing on the non-existent relationship between sales and academia. One question comes to mind, how many professors do you know that have a (true) sales background? Few if any right?
The behavioral and social sciences of marketing are considered strategic. As mentioned above, MBA students are being prepared for executive leadership roles. Sales does not carry the same cachet as marketing and is typically not represented well in the C-suite..
As a result, many companies focus on products and marketing, not understanding that without a high performing (world class?) sales team, there is no revenue collection.

The Context of Sales versus Marketing
Well its more complex than what most have stated. According to Neil Rackham they are conjoined in essence. Anyway...
What type of sales are we referring to and what type of marketing; B2B, B2C, B2BC? Its all about context.
As for MBA or business skools... They are free market enterprise entities and are equally able to offer rubbish as in any other market place.

Impact of the Sales
Palermo, Student (MBA), Member
Sales is only the physical contact between a company and a customer. Marketing will be the rest of the relation before and after this moment.
But that short moment is representing the survival of the company.

Teach Sales as a Stand Alone Course
edward offor, Strategy Consultant, Nigeria, Member
Sales when taught is treated as a sub topic of marketing when in fact sales should be a stand alone professional course.
The action of reaching the consumer is usually fought in the market place with apt sales strategies tailored for each specific market and customer.

In Short
Ken Tran, Professor, Viet Nam, Member
You can have sales without marketing, but not the other way around.

Marketing for Sales
Fatema Tinwala, Student (University), New Zealand, Member
Marketing is a tool or function that creates the demand for sales.

Marketing, Then Sales
Ahmad dawoud, Manager, Jordan, Member
Marketing is the set of tools of which first of all checks wither your strategy and target is achievable within the specific market and country, and what is the real need for this market, and what we need to do as a company to fulfill that need.
Sales is the acting and implementation arm that execute the marketing plans by using it's own (sales's) special methods and tactics which you can teach some of it and the rest you should learn from practicing.
But at the end both sales and marketing can not operate separately from each other. they are just like the brain and the muscles.

Marketing, Then Sales
Wang, China, Member
Sales is just selling what you have, marketing will tell you what should be sold.

Sales should NOT Be Only Selling what you Have
Vidura Gamage, Manager, Member
Sales not should be only selling what you have. It must be fulfillment of the requirement of customer's need with perfect quality.
Then only it will enhance the customer retention. Sales is a part of marketing.

Sales versus Marketing
Anthony Jones, Student (MBA), South Africa, Member
Indeed the academia are at times far removed form the front line of business, notwithstanding the fact that theory also forms the backbone of business functions like sales.

Brains and Magicians
Simon QI, Project Manager, China, Member
I believe marketing is the brain, which tells you who are you and where are you. A good marketer can also answer questions like where to compete and what to compete. Also, they can help to define the market regarding your products. With that, we can forecast: how much we can earn per year, how many sales reps we need to achieve that goal, what kind of sales structure we need (direct sales or are other channels needed), what incentives we could offer to sales as well as customers and what will be the strategy when we're facing competition.
Sales are not only executors, but magicians. They can turn the paper plan into reality and somehow overachieve. Without their great effort, we will never know if our strategies are good or not. Also, even bad strategies when executed by ver good sales can have results that are not so bad.
In short marketing and sales are operating together in one common system.

Worst Practice in Marketing / Sales
Husson Yanis, Manager, Mauritius, Member
In fact, several organisations omit to invite sales reps in their brainstorming sessions. In this way they are not allowing primary indications pertaining the validation of the marketing strategy to be considered.

Sales Effort versus Marketing Effort
olawoyin, Project Manager, Nigeria, Member
Sales involves personal efforts while the efforts of marketing are organisation-oriented.

Marketing Should Provide Analyses to Sales
Leonardo Leao, Manager, Brazil, Member
Marketing should provide the analyses to help the sales force orientate. These analyses include economic, financial, demand and market analysis in order to have a strong and efficient sales plan.

Sales versus Marketing
Vu Phan, Manager, Viet Nam, Member
In my opinion, the "marketing" term is more broad than sales.
I mean, sales is part of marketing.
Also "sales" aims to increase the volume of products/services sold irrespective of effectivity, while "marketing" aims at achieving both volume and effectivity.

Sales and Marketing have Same Underlying Principles
White, United Kingdom, Member
I agree with the statement by Js Shiah that:
- Marketing is 1 to many possible consumers/clients.
- Sales is 1 to one specific consumer/client.
Many of the underlying principles are the same, such as research and analysis to segment and develop understanding, clear communication, etc.

Synergy in Sales X Marketing
Eric Hilario, Coach, France, Member
Solid sales person x poor marketing = 1 sale
Weak sales person x solid marketing = 0 sale
Solid salesperson x solid marketing = 10 sales!

Incorporate Sales and Marketing!
Monteiro, Consultant, Portugal, Member
In my opinion, the mistake is separating marketing from sales as two independent departments.
As a consultant, I'm more than used to see "wars" between these people. Most of the times, salesmen don´t follow marketing strategies nor marketing people invest time to listen to the sales people. The result is that they seem to be working with different objectives.
The integration of both disciplines can be achieved relatively simple by having the same leader for both functions and by having regular meetings during the conception of strategies, involving both departments.

The Topic 'Sales' at Business Schools
Adrian Boucher PhD
I now teach MBA students in a business school. There is plenty of discussion of marketing, but none at all about sales. Or business ethics. Something wrong here, methinks. Very few colleagues have any real business experience, so it is not clear that graduates are ready for the real world when they leave university.

What Should Students Learn at Universities?
Emmanuel Reyme, Director, United States, Member
University students are self learners. Professors just provide guidance. As a student/consultant, you will not learn the right strategy, you have to develop your own.
LIkewise the best way of managing is what best fit the manager style in complete compliance with ethics, and able to maximize individual/organizational growth.
As a student, you learn from everyone, from your team, from every idea, every experience. In this there are no bad experiences. Bad experiences are useful teaching materials for later individual / organizational success.

Turbulent Environment > Sales More Discretion
Husson Yanis, Manager, Mauritius, Member
I agree that marketing should normally not be separated from sales. It is as if you are telling and forcing me to eat something that I don't want:
- Sales reps who are constantly with the end users and consumers do know exactly what the clients are searching for.
- Marketers do use theories, analysis and recommendations and are asking sales to apply them.
This is one reason why there is conflict between sales and marketing. In this environment of constant change, it would be advisable to allow sales more room to decide on sales strategies, marketing mix and the mode of implementation.

Marketing and Sales Fit like a Hand in a Glove
Olga Aros, Consultant, United States, Member
I have done both simultaneously and together they work best:
- Marketing defines the full package of the product to be sold.
- Sales sells the product and works one on one with customers to buy the product.
- Marketing supports sales by making sure the brand, organization and product is well known in target markets that reach consumers.
Bottom line all of this is done in order to drive sales.

MBA: Marketing. Reality: Sales
ZAIN UL RASHIDEEN, Accountant, Pakistan, Member
Business Schools and universities teach marketing and prepare MBA students as the future marketing managers, but after their study when the students enter in the practical world they don't start in any managerial position in firms. Rather they are offered sales jobs in the field.

What Should Students Learn in Their Course?
Jiwoong Son, Student (University), Korea (South), Member
In my opinion, students who are learning management have to develop their thinking ability. But the professors in university usually teach general facts without any insight or process of critical thinking.
For example, the case study. I think that case study is very important to study management, but professors emphasize it too much. Case studies can restrict student thinking because a paper case study contains general factors and can not contain all of information (missing important things and details). So students think it's easy and I can manage well later. But in practice I think most of the students cannot even make a strategy for the small cafeteria in their university.

What Should Students Learn in Their Course
Olga Aros, Consultant, United States, Member
You cannot be an effective marketer for your company, if you do not know the product or the customer. Therefore beginning in sales and customer service is critical to a marketer who has the challenge of developing a marketing strategy and a plan. Give students a product and ask them to develop a marketing and sales plan for that product. How and where will the product be sold? What will the product be called and have them write a description of the product? Who will be their customers? Revenue and cost projections, etc. These are all learnings that will help in the workplace once a student graduates.

What Sould Students Learn in Their Courses? (2)
Jiwoong Son, Student (University), Korea (South), Member
Reading books to study general theories and business processes are the responsibility for any student. Helping the students to apply their knowledge and own ideas is the duty of a professor.

Marketing as a Process That Includes Sales
John Moses, Manager, Nigeria, Member
Marketing could be defined as the satisfaction of human needs and wants through an exchange process. This process involves identifying, creating, delivering of satisfiers in form of goods or services.
Selling is an integral part of marketing. Selling is going after the customer's money while marketing is going after his satisfaction and delight.
And of course, a satisfied customer is an asset to any organisation while a dissatisfied one is a cancer worm to any organization he or she finds himself or herself.

Marketing Invented to Be a Clean Version of Sales
Heather Halton, Student (Other), Ireland, Member
I believe that marketing was invented as a new buzz word when the word "salesperson" became a dirty word. Marketing was invented as an effort to clean up sales. In fact they are one and the same ideals - and it comes down to the individual and how they carry out the activities. An ethical strategic sales person, should be proud to call themselves a sales person - and not need to hide themselves in marketing.

Marketing a Status Profile
Jp Singh, Manager, India, Member
Being a sales person you need face targets, figures, everyday is new day for you, you have start from the scratch, you need to be consistent, you need to be clever, and all these things we can get only by experience.
Marketing is a high level profile which goes through sales in the majority of companies. Business schools should have some sales programs for students, so that they can learn the basics of sales.

Marketing is Different from Sales
S Shyam Prasad, Professor, India, Member
Its true that the market place is emerging as sales oriented one. But a deeper understanding will reveal that one cannot do selling without understanding marketing. Selling is a very small part of marketing.
Peter Drucker once said that once the product matches the customers requirement, no sales is needed and all that one has to do is to make the product available. How true it is! We put too much emphasis on selling today to sell more or sell all the products to all the customers. That's why there is a perception that marketing creates unwanted purchases.

Sales and Marketing Have Common Goals
Dr.Abu-Gieseisa, Consultant, Sudan, Member
Indeed marketing and sales are different in concept, but they are have common goals: to achieve some specific volume of sales is the final target of both.
And it will be the yard stick or KPI for business plan performance.

The Role of Sales versus Marketing Depends on the Product
Dr Gary Jones, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
@S Shyam Prasad : Good answer Mr. Prasad. We only need to look at sales over the internet. No salesmen - just product at the right price or ease of purchase! Certainly many of the products on the internet are marketed by each company for awareness purposes not only for the product but also brand awareness. This of course depends on the type of product and the size of the market, consumer goods and clothing are easier to sell than a MAG truck on the internet.

A Sale is Proof of Effective Marketing
Sanjeev Kumar Sanju, Manager, India, Member
Marketing creates the 'pull' that enhances the demand of a particular item or a brand.
If someone ultimately buys that particular item or brand, it can be said that the marketing effort was fruitful.
Marketing creates a perception, usually positive, and sales actually proves that the marketing was effective.

Sales and Marketing
MOSES OGOLA OCHWO, Student (Other), Uganda, Member
They are two sides of the same coin! Marketing strives to create demand, while Sales directly fulfills that demand.

Sales versus Marketing
Dave Lee, Business Consultant, Jamaica, Member
To say that "once the product matches the need of the customer there is no need for sales" is idealistic. Theoretically that may be possible in a world where there are no suitable substitute for a product or service and where people are not influenced by factors that may be barely perceptible. But there is no substitute for the dynamics involved in the interaction between two human beings. If that was the case, we could just rely on online, mail or phone orders for our business.

The Ongoing Conflict Between Sales and Marketing
J S Broca, Teacher, India, Member
I recall having read an article in Harvard Business Review. If I am right, in July, 2006, three famous sales and marketing “gurus”: Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy having published an article titled: “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing”. The eminent authors described the conflict between the two fields in this way: “Sales departments tend to believe that marketers are out of touch with what’s really going on with customers. Marketing believes that the sales force is myopic—too focused on individual customer experiences, insufficiently aware of the larger market, and blind to the future. In short, each group often undervalues the other’s contributions.” I think this expert view still holds good and the conflict continues-unresolved to a great extent.

Sales is Product Specific and Personality Driven
Dr Gary Jones, Business Consultant, Australia, Member
Certainly marketing taught at university is theory driven, derived from an academic base of built research of many years. Sales is a part of marketing - the end result if you like!
The sales person, to be sucessfull needs good product knowledge (hard to teach that at university) and is personality and negotiating skills driven - just some thoughts.

Sales versus Marketing
ZAMRY BIN MD ZAIN, Business School Marketer, Malaysia, Member
This topic has been discussed in our MBA class.
Sales is part of the marketing scope. Sales is a relatively narrow activity in marketing domain and marketing is a more broad activity. Sales is the whole of activities dealing with analyzing the market demand, promoting the products/services, get an order or purchase order, and issue a delivery order, invoice and arrange payment. All these activities are also part of marketing.
Meanwhile the market activities circle is wider. Marketing needs to study the demography, place, price concern, people and the ethics of doing business. Marketing can involve various types of activities. You can do marketing for example by franchising, appointing agents, merchandising and so on as long the objective is achieve to market the goods, products or any services.
Therefore, marketing is not only about selling the goods, but marketing is also responsible to study the product life cycle and when needed to introduce new products to the market at the right time. Marketing also needs to study the target geography and policy.

Sales versus Marketing
White, United Kingdom, Member
Part of the issue is that some marketing courses/credentials, while accepting that marketing is the umbrella term, only look at sales in the context of sales management i.e. managing / mobilizing a sales team.
And as sales techniques evolve, they are focusing less on the end-to-end process of new product development through to income, and instead placing the focus on the needs of the individual customer/consumer/client. The sales person in the professional services space needs to know more about their customer and less about the product or service range. Hence listening, not broadcasting, which is the common perception of marketing.
As a sales professional you would spend as much time researching your prospect (needs, concerns, priorities) as a marketing professional would examining the market. The same principles, tools and approaches apply, but you are looking at smaller entities in a much more targeted way.

Marketing versus Sales
theodore ikpa, Accountant, Member
Marketing is macro while sales is micro in orientation.
The relationship between them is similar to the one between economics and accounting.

Trade Marketing
Carlo Maranzano, Strategy Consultant, Italy, Member
40 years ego I wrote my last work at University. Its title was: The Integrated Marketing. That was in the 80’s, the time in which the Marketing Managers rose in power in companies while the Sales Managers lost theirs.
How to adjust this matter? Simply: let the sales managers become marketing managers! But how? By becoming Trade Managers and having a deep knowledge of customers and of their needs. From this job customer care was born and also the measuring of customer satisfation. The Marketing Manager continues to manage the products and the Sales Managers manages the customers. In this way they work in peace!

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