The Major Differences Between Sales and Marketing That You Should Know

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Any business owner worth their salt should have a keen understanding of what each team or department do to help their company grow and succeed. Being able to differentiate the sales and marketing teams is critical for owners and managers to understand how these teams can help them achieve their business goals.

When you know the difference between marketing and sales, you learn how those teams can support each other and work together to help make your business more successful. The truth is that modern companies are doing much of their business online. From websites and social media to online shopping and digital advertisements, you must have a keen sense of what digital marketing and online sales can do for your business.

Many owners and managers have made the mistake of lumping marketing and sales into the same category. At their most basic, marketing is the process of building brand awareness and visibility for your organisation or company. Sales, on the other hand, is taking those new viewers, new eyes and potential customers and turning them into real ones. Although distinct, sales and marketing teams should be cooperative partners that support each other’s efforts for your business.

Here is a more in-depth breakdown of the differences between your sales and marketing business operations:

The Important Differences Between Sales and Marketing:


The primary goal of the marketing process is to familiarise potential customers with your brand, products and services. Digital marketing agencies are coming up with new ways to market your business, by relaying a message that represents your brand and entices purchasing online. Your company’s marketing team should identify your ideal target market and find creative ways to grow your brand exposure and interact with potential consumers.

Sales is a more proactive process that aims to leverage your company’s digital tools, marketing potential, online activity and brand exposure to reach your business’s overall sales goals. The goal of a sales team is to convert the potential customers – engaged by the marketing team – into buying ones. A sales team will use that growing online awareness to draw customers to your site or store, providing them with relevant information about products, services, deals and opportunities and then making sales.


Marketing strategies are based on collecting data about your business’s target audience and finding out what advertising tools work and which do not. Once this information has been gathered, marketing teams can test out strategies against different campaigns and online advertising methods. The best digital marketing strategies utilise a multi-tiered approach to create brand exposure through social media, Google Ads, websites, pop-ups and more.

Sales strategies are about interacting with your target audience and figuring out the best ways to invite them into your business. Converting potential customers into paying ones is what a sales strategy focuses on. Sales reps and managers interact with prospective customers, who are enticed by marketing campaigns, to find out what makes them tick. Understanding what your potential customers are looking for and why they make purchases is critical to growing your consumer base going forward.


The most obvious difference between sales and marketing are their alignment with the business’s goals. A business’s marketing goals are to promote their brand, company, products and services through intentional messaging and clear communication. Marketing teams look at the bigger picture and navigate consumer data to increase brand exposure and generate potential leads. They identify your target audience and make sure they know about what you offer.

Sales teams will have goals that are focused on sales numbers, quotas and volume. How many potential customers are walking in the door or ordering online? What are they buying and how much of it?  These targets are usually based on per month or financial-quarter goals. You need your sales team to generate enough sales and earnings to maintain business operations and increase potential profits, this is done by converting those potential customers in paying ones.

Integrating sales and marketing

The truth is that sales and marketing teams are distinct entities in your business, but their work supports and overlaps with each other. Marketing teams identify the target audience and introduces them to your brand. Sales teams take that target audience, learn about what they want and relay their interests and desires back to the marketing department. Developing cooperation, data sharing, communication and partnership between your marketing and sales teams will pay huge dividends going forward.

Cognite Marketing offers expertise in the field of digital marketing. We have designed a variety of emotional and impactful marketing campaigns that have helped our clients’ businesses thrive online. Contact Cognite Marketing to learn more about what we do.