Sales vs marketing: How are they different, and which is important?

What is a sale?

A sale can also be defined as a transaction between 2 parties (a buyer and a seller), whereby the buyer receives a product/service in exchange for money. Simply put, a sale is a process of convincing someone to part with resources (money in most cases), not to deprive them, but to leave him or her better off in the end. In otherwords, you (the seller) is providing something valuable to a buyer in exchange of a payment.

sales vs marketing

What is marketing?

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the process of planning & executing the conception, pricing, promotion & distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual & organizational goals”.

sales vs marketing

Difference between sale and marketing

-Sales is more of a short-term objective whereas marketing is more long-term.

-The key role of marketing is lead generation whereas a sale has to do with conversion (closing the deal).

–Marketing is geared towards convincing someone that a product or service is good for their problem, whereas salespeople have a key objective to make that person (prospect) actually pay in return for the offer.

sales vs marketing

Sale or marketing, which is more important?

As an entrepreneur, especially if you’re a start-up you might get caught up at the time you aren’t making any money. You may find yourself with the need to focus on sales and marketing, but the question is which one is more important? The answer both. It’s always both. What you need is revenue, and the only way to get revenue is to get customers. So, should you focus on sales? Or should you focus on marketing? This depends on the type of business you want to build and the areas that you’re struggling the most in.

Most entrepreneurs fall into the camp that they’re most comfortable with. If you’re great at marketing; meaning generating leads, generating interest, and having people hit your site, well then you’re going to be able to crush it in that department, but you’re going to waste all of your money and all of your efforts if you don’t have sales.

If you’re building up a sales team or you’re great on the phone or in front of people but you’re not doing a great job on the marketing side of things, you will definitely struggle in business because you are going to be lacking in one area. Almost all entrepreneurs and business owners overlook the importance of both of these areas.

That said, what you should do is start at the top of the funnel and work your way down. Could you build up sales without any marketing? Sure, absolutely, but then people would be sitting on their hands, so to speak.

sales and marketing compared

We recommend starting with marketing, building a brand and finding the advertising channels and tactics and methods that work to drive interest and then once people start to hit your site, work at fixing conversion so that way more people are contacting your business or moving forward through the sales funnel.

Then if you need a sales tool like a demo or a guided conversation or a meeting, work on developing those tools. If it’s a company, try speaking to the sales rep on creating better sales structures, better sales scripts, hiring better salespeople if you can’t do it yourself.

Simply put, start at the top and work your way down every single step, increasing conversions and making sure that you’re not wasting time and money. Thus, following a more traditional funnel is the way to go (fixing advertising, fixing the marketing, fixing the landing pages, conversions, the contract, and onboarding, all the way through the process right through to customer service.


Ask yourself what you suck at! If you’re great at sales then of course fix marketing. If you’re great at marketing, if you are lacking in sales, then work on it. Follow this process the way we’ve suggested, and you’ll build a lasting business. You can’t just go after the aspect of business that you’re great at and ignore everything else. You need to work on every aspect, right from the point of contact to the point of having a repeat customer, and all this require focus on both sales and marketing, not one, not the other, but both.

Let us know in the comment section below, are you more comfortable with landing sales or marketing and lead generation?

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