Sales and marketing are closely interlinked and are both aimed at increasing revenue. It is not that simple to realise the difference between the two. In the case of small businesses, one cannot really come across much difference between sales and marketing, but the bigger firms have made a clear distinction between the two and have specialised teams handling them independently.

Marketing includes research, development of products, and creating awareness about the product to customers. Market research helps with identifying customer needs. Marketing, therefore, means generating leads or prospects. It encompasses all activities that help spark interest in the business. Marketers use market research and analysis to understand the interests of potential customers. Marketing departments are responsible for running campaigns to attract people to the business’ brand, product/service.

Sales, on the other hand, completes the marketing process by sealing the deal and exchanging cash for goods/services. Salespeople are therefore responsible for managing relationships with potential clients (prospects) and providing a solution for prospects that eventually leads to a sale.


Summary of the differences between Sales and Marketing


  • Targets a larger group or the general public
  • Focuses on generating leads
  • Aimed at longer term
  • Longer process of building a name for a brand and pursuing the customer to buy
  • Prepares the ground for the salesperson to approach a customer
  • Not direct and uses various methods like advertising, brand marketing, public relations, direct mails and viral marketing for creating an awareness of the public
  • Involves both micro and macro analysis focussing strategic intentions


  • Focuses on individuals or small groups
  • Converting the leads or prospects into purchases
  • Shorter goals
  • Short term process of finding the target consumer
  • Needs interpersonal interactions
  • Involves one on one meetings, networking and calls.
  • Pertains to the challenges and relations with the customer