Sales vs Marketing Jobs — What’s the Difference?

The Role of Marketing

The Marketing Team’s job is to raise awareness of a brand by communicating to consumers how a product satisfies their needs. In doing so, they convert consumers who have never heard of a product into people who might consider buying it. In commercial terms, we call these prospects.

Marketing Team planning their next campaign
Marketing does a great deal of research into who their customers are and their interests. This enables them to understand where they can be reached and what will grab their attention.

The Role of Sales

The sales peoples’ job is to convert these prospects into people who will actually purchase the product. The sales process is short term. A Salesperson will often speak directly to potential customers and either through product demonstrations, trials, or a simple conversation will convince them to make a purchase.

Salespeople speak to customers directly, demonstrating the benefits of a product enables them to assist people to make buying decisions.

The Difference Between Sales and Marketing Jobs

Students commonly come across job adverts with vague job descriptions and job titles such as ‘Direct Marketing’, ‘Sales and Marketing’ or ‘Events Marketing’. A deeper look into these opportunities often reveals that they are nothing more than door to door selling or handing out flyers to promote nightclubs.

The Job

Marketing

A Marketing Team works behind the scenes of a business and very rarely meets its customers. Marketers do a great deal of research into who their customers are, what they do, where they go to find information, and their interests.

Sales

Speaking with customers, whether over the phone, face-to-face or video call, is probably the most significant part of Salespeoples’ jobs. The pace at which they speak to customers is fast too. As soon as they finish a conversation with one customer, they move straight onto the next.

Sales vs Marketing employees doing their jobs in very different ways
The Marketing Teamwork in the background creating campaigns to generate awareness and desire for a product. While Salespeople speak to consumers directly and persuade them to make buying decisions.

Their Targets

Marketing

Although both teams aim to drive sales, Marketing targets more commonly focus on achieving long term goals. For example, running an email marketing campaign to improve sales of men’s bikes by 30% during the summer season.

Sales

Sales Managers also set targets for their teams to beat. These might include minimum call time, or the number of appointments staff must make per day. However, these are not just for benchmarking and beating them comes with a financial reward.

The Environment

Marketing

Marketing Departments are usually very creative spaces designed to encourage ideas and collaboration. While this is a great environment to work in, Marketers often get the opportunity to work remotely. Where this is the case, they will often use video calls to share and discuss ideas with the rest of their team.

Sales

A Sales environment is often no more than a basic room full of desks and phones. Far from boring, these environments are usually fun and lively places with a real buzz around them.

Happy employees celebrating success
Sales Team congratulating a colleague on making his latest sale.

The Financial Rewards

Marketing

The basic salaries of Marketers are often much higher than those of Salespeople. However, they don’t usually come with any bonuses on top. Although, some companies reward their staff with additional benefits such as life insurance or gym membership.

Sales

While the salaries of Salespeople are seemingly relatively low, their earning potential is often only limited by their performance. Remember those targets we mentioned earlier? Beating those targets and making sales often comes with a substantial reward on top of your basic salary.

A Few Final Thoughts on Sales vs Marketing Jobs

You may have noticed at the beginning of the article; we said we would explain the pros and cons of working in these two roles. However, as you’ve read through the article, we have merely pointed out the differences between the two. That’s because depending on the kind of person you are, you might be more suited to one or the other. Therefore, what might be a pro in one person’s eyes, could be a con to someone else.

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Rachael. Adria Solutions

Rachael. Adria Solutions

Hi there! I’m Rachael, Marketing Manager at Adria Solutions Ltd. Read more about me here: https://www.adriasolutions.co.uk/blog