The most familiar question for any placement interview in MBA (mainly for marketing) is, “tell me the difference between marketing and sales?” I too have also faced the same. To be frank there is no standard answer as such. I am continuously searching for the right answer but the search is still on. I have attended some seminars in my company where I got some response on this which I have included here and I have some own opinion on this that also I have kept. As I have already told there is no standard answer…..you can make your own or can create by mixing some phrases.
Typically “sales” cannot exceed revenue objectives without an effective marketing planning and support and “marketing” directives ultimately becomes useless without sales to implement the plan.
Let me try my own line…..
Marketing is figuring out what the customer needs / is going to need / latent need etc, and finding a way to satisfy the need and make a profit doing it, while Sales, a function within marketing, is responsible for managing the customer interface and making sure it's easy for the customer to get the product/service and pay for it.
Marketing is the effort of mainly creating and finding the needs and wants of the consumers and then to satisfy those needs...But, Sales is only a part of marketing which aims towards making the products being in the customers hands.
Those above two discussions I have submitted to website and is already uploaded and I am getting good response on this. Ok….still if you are not satisfied let me quote some of the discussion abstract on this topic here.
Discussion – 1:
Many people mistakenly think that selling and marketing are the same - they aren't. You might already know that the marketing process is broad and includes all of the following:
- Discovering what product, service or idea customers want.
- Producing a product with the appropriate features and quality.
- Pricing the product correctly.
- Promoting the product; spreading the word about why customers should buy it.
- Selling and delivering the product into the hands of the customer.
Selling is one activity of the entire marketing process which is nothing but the act of persuading or influencing a customer to buy (actually exchange something of value for) a product or service.
Marketing activities support sales efforts. Actually, they are usually the most significant force in stimulating sales. Oftentimes, marketing activities (like the production of marketing materials and catchy packaging) must occur before a sale can be made; they sometimes follow the sale as well, to pave the way for future sales and referrals.
Discussion – 2:
Sales is what you do when you are one on one with a prospect. Sales is the scripts you say, the techniques you use to drive home a point or persuade a person to write an offer or to sign a listing contract. You read a prospect’s buying signs, then adjust your response to the prospect and the situation.
Marketing is what you do to attract prospects before you meet them face-to-face. Marketing is stimulating a prospect’s interest and desire so that they what to buy in the first place. Personal marketing is not only stimulating interest, it is doing it in a way that makes the prospect want to buy through you. Great personal marketing creates a steady flow of people who are interested in working with you, so that when they call you they are already predisposed to working with you.
The key difference you must understand is this: what makes a great one-on-one sales presentation is not the same thing you can use to make great marketing materials.
Discussion – 3:
Marketing is a platform on which sales are driven, combing to reap profits for the organization.
Discussion – 4:
Marketing is a circular process where sales is a part of it .Marketing is Knowing the need of the client and can be said as customer based process. Where as sales is a company based process where the end result is getting money from client for the product.
Discussion – 5:
While marketing is about identifying and satisfying a customer's needs, sales is all about fulfilling these needs that have been created. The difference between a sales plan and marketing plan is that while sales plans are about selling the good and services that a business has to offer, marketing plans help to create the need that will ultimately stimulate the sale.
I hope you are bit clear now and can understand that there is no standard answer for this. If possible do read this and search some good books and frame your own definition. If you are getting a new view regarding this ….please do mail me.