What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?


Sales and Marketing pic

Sales and Marketing
Image: marketing.about.com

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Diane Kaern is a former Hewlett-Packard employee with a background in finance and sales. Prior to assuming her role with Hewlett-Packard, Diane Kaern served as Finance Manager for Siemens Medical Systems, where she forecasted, reported, and controlled expenses for the firm’s worldwide sales and marketing team.

In a business setting, sales and marketing are often grouped together into one department, but the operations of the two teams have different objectives and methods for achieving established goals. Sales is primarily a two-way communication between representative and customer, whereas marketing tends to be a one-way line of communication from representative to customer. While the fundamentals of sales stay the same no matter what is happening in a given industry, marketing requires quick adaptation to the new technologies and social psychologies that shape markets.

While marketing takes a broad, conceptual approach when attempting to reach a wide audience, the sales aspect of a business is more focused and appeals to individual customers by honing in on specific circumstances and needs. In keeping with this concept, the broad calls of marketing may motivate potential customers to seek out more information, but the tactics used in sales will be the reason that a potential customer chooses to do business with a company.


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