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Sales versus Marketing

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I always find it difficult to understand why there is so much confusion surrounding the difference between sales and marketing. Each function has a specific role that affects how we attain new customers and how we retain existing customers. When both activities, sales and marketing, are handled appropriately, the results can be extremely effective. However, when they are not conducted properly or are not congruent and consistent with the same messaging, the market can become confused and the effects can be counterproductive. So what is the difference between sales and marketing?

At VantaEDGE™ we describe the differences between the two this way: "Marketing creates interest, and sales create revenue."

That explanation is a little oversimplified, but it gets the point across, meaning that marketing includes those activities that keep your brand in front of people, either to create interest about your product or to reinforce the reason why customers currently use your product. Sales, on the other hand, includes activities that generate revenue or create transactions.

The confusion with marketing comes into play when people think that marketing activities — i.e., developing websites, brochures, advertising, etc. — make sales. They don't. They may help (at least they should), but before any transaction takes place, sales is involved, whether that is a physical salesperson or a sales page on a website. The point is that an aggressive marketing plan will not meet the expectations of or take the place of a sales component. The main purpose of marketing is to support sales and the sales process.

When developing sales and marketing plans, there is a lot to consider; however, by simply integrating sales and marketing activities and getting them on the same page with each other, results will dramatically increase.

About the Author

Henry Pellerin is president and founder of VantaEDGE™, Inc. and co-author of The Strategic Selling Process. VantaEDGE™, Inc. provides customized sales training, consultation, and facilitation services. Henry personally has over 17 years of experience in sales, sales management, and business development which he shares with clients to help them receive the same results he has attained year after year.

You may want to sign up for the VantaEDGE™ monthly sales tips newsletter VantaEDGE Monthly, where you'll receive valuable selling tips each month along with the special report Avoid the Top 10 Selling Mistakes That Lose Sales. To do so, visit Henry can be reached at 864.254.9300 or via email at

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