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Marketing vs Sales
Marketing vs Sales
  • Steven Osinski
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Marketing vs Sales: What’s The Difference?

Sales & Marketing business signpostWhen it comes to different businesses and company initiatives, they often have one thing in common: the need to drive sales or transactions in order to earn revenue and grow the business. Most companies accomplish this with a combination of sales and marketing techniques. At 3Hr Learning, we like to use the analogy of the sales team as the Marines, getting sent in first to drive results and create a market. The marketing strategies generally act as more of an occupying force that holds things down once the brand is established. For this reason, we often think of marketing as the Army. To better understand marketing vs sales roles in a company and as a career, let’s take a look at an overview of marketing and the different types of sales positions.

Sales in a nutshell

Not every sales position is as controversial or demanding as others; there are different types of sales positions, each with their own set of challenges and benefits. In Outside Sales the rep is often not in the office, but in the field creating prospects and going on sales call. These outside sales positions are often some of the highest paying sales positions. This is because the outside salesperson not only has to sell a product or service but also has to seek out the prospect before they necessarily know they are in the market for that product or service. Conversely, Inside Sales is generally more relaxed and nets far less rejection. This is because inside sales people are often sitting in the office or at a retail location selling to incoming leads and potential customers. The fact that these inside sales people generally don’t have to prospect as hard makes their job less complex and they generally have lower earning potential.

Here is a breakdown of some different types of sales positions:

1) Low/Reactive Selling – basic order taker, this could be the checkout person at a retail store or an inside sales rep that fields customer phone calls. They are reactive in that they are waiting for the prospect to come to them.

2) Medium/Proactive – direct selling, this person is often a mid-market sales person that goes out into the field and prospects for potential clients. They are generally much higher paid than the basic order taker, but it is a rare breed that can consistently be successful in this realm.

3) High/Relational Selling – this person comes from the Medium/Proactive category. These types of sales positions are filled with professionals who have developed their skill set and network in order to reduce the amount of blind prospecting required. A person in a high/relational selling position is generally a top performer and one of the more tenured sales professionals at the company. We teach this relational selling in our 3Hr Sales Power Video Courses. Click here to get the first Chapter of 3 Hr Sales Power for FREE.

We generally have found that people in reactive and proactive types of sales positions have short tenures in the sales world. These styles are often times not cut out for sales longevity and very few of them ever make it to relational selling. We feel these reactive and proactive sales people are frequently better suited to be marketers, where they can use some of the experiences they gained in sales without being forced to continuously build relationships.

Marketing summary:

marketing-vs-salesWhen it comes to marketing vs sales, one big difference is that marketers indirectly communicate with prospects and try to inspire them to buy. They often accomplish this through a variety of channels, but we have found that generally marketing isn’t overly effective until the product or service has had some market acceptance through direct sales or major (high budget/cost) advertising campaigns.

Marketing comes in all shapes and forms. Traditional marketing is often focused on TV, Radio, Display Ads, Direct Mailers and more. With the explosion of the Internet there has been large growth in the Digital Marketing arena. We have found that Digital Marketing can really help to feed the funnel for the sales team and that their efforts are far more measurable than your traditional advertising mediums. Digital marketers often use a variety of strategies including search engine marketing (SEM, SEO & PPC), online display advertisements, email marketing, content marketing and more to reach an audience and expose them to a particular brand. Marketing overall can become a very scalable and cost effective strategy for organizations once their product or services have gained some market acceptance and a large enough audience to which they can market.

We feel that in this modern day of mixed media, it is becoming even more important for top marketing professionals to have a really strong understanding of sales. After conducting considerable amounts of research we have found that many of the top CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) started in the trenches of sales. We pose the question: how can you truly think like your client, understanding their needs and motivations, unless you have been out there face-to-face with them and asked the relevant questions?

So, in terms of marketing vs sales, marketing can be a great profession for many, but marketers very rarely make the big bucks that the sales rainmakers make. At 3Hr Learning we are passionate about educating people who are looking to make a career change. We feel sales should be a fundamental consideration from individuals that are competitive, great at building relationships, and driven to be the highest paid person in their organization. If you have any marketing vs sales questions for us, please do not hesitate to ask.