What are the differences between sales and marketing?

Definition of Sales

Sales are considered as the act of transfer of possession of a product from the manufacturer to a distributor, distributor to the wholesaler, wholesaler to retailer and from retailer to the ultimate consumer in exchange for money or any other similar consideration, with the objective to increase revenues. It is the beginning of the contract between the vendor and the customer.

For promoting sales, normally the special prices or discounts are offered by the entities to attract customers towards their products. There are many activities involved in generating sales, which are-

  • Product demonstration
  • Establishing Tie-ups.
  • Satisfying Customer needs.
  • Building Contacts.
  • Using E-commerce strategy.

Definition of Marketing

Marketing is made from the term ‘market’, which means ‘to analyze’ and figure out the needs of the customer so that the company will produce the products according to the requirements of the customer. The companies try to look for the new metrics to identify the interest, likes and dislikes of the customers or a group. The marketing involves the dissemination of the value of a product to the customer, such that the sales increase along with the enhanced brand image.

For increasing the market of any product normally special offers are introduced to attract the customers. The activities involved in marketing are-

  • Market Research
  • Creation of product
  • Promotion of product
  • Advertisement of Product
  • Communicating the value of the Product
  • Selling of the product
  • After Sales Services
  • Customer Satisfaction

Key Differences between Sales and Marketing

  1. Sales are the transfer of ownership of a product from one person to another for some value, whereas Marketing is the act of analyzing the market and understanding the needs of the customers in such a way that whenever a new product is launched, it sells itself.
  2. Sales are one to one relationship while marketing is one-to-many relationships.
  3. Sales have a fragmented approach, which stresses on selling all that is produced. In contrast, marketing has an integrated approach which stresses on ascertaining the customer requirements and providing them with the same.
  4. A sale is a short term process while marketing is a long term process.
  5. The selling process involves an exchange of goods for monetary consideration. On the flip side, marketing involves identifying the needs of customers and satisfying them.
  6. A sale is a people-driven activity on the other hand; marketing is a media driven activity.
  7. In sales, caveat emptor rule applies, i.e. let the buyer beware. Unlike, marketing wherein caveat vendor rule is applicable, which states let the seller beware
  8. Marketing stresses on the needs of the market. On the contrary, sales focus on the company needs.
  9. In sales, the customer is viewed as the last link, i.e. the product is created first and then sold to customers. On the other hand, in marketing, the customer is given priority, as first of all the needs are identified and after that sold to customers.
  10. Selling is customer oriented, but marketing is product-oriented.
  11. Sales focus on the individual, i.e. direct interaction with the customer and persuading him to purchase the product, but marketing concentrates on the general public, i.e. creating the value of a product to increase sales.
  12. Sales use push strategy (where the product is forced onto a customer) while marketing uses the pull strategy (where the customer comes to a product by himself).


For running any business, both marketing and selling are the prerequisite for any business to survive in the long term. These two terms are converging at some points as the primary purpose of each is to increase the revenues and improve the brand image.

In one hand, Sales focuses on selling the products and services to the individual customers who require sales personnel and on the contrary, the marketing creates a proper market for a product to achieve the required sales volume. Or we can say that the last step of marketing is sales which require a good marketing team. In this way, both the terms are closely interlinked with each other.


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