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Marketing Strategy vs. Sales Strategy. What’s the Difference?

By Ardian
20 / 11 / 2020

Every business's goal is to sell something to somebody. Whether it is a product, service, or data, for a price, the company has something it offers to its customers. It seems like the point of sales strategies and marketing strategies is the same for that reason, that is to sell the products of services.  But by definition, the purposes and methods of sales and marketing strategies are different.

What's the difference between marketing and sales? The difference lies in how close you are to turning a prospective customer into an actual customer. 

Marketing includes the methods you use to obtain new leads or prospects into your business. It includes everything that helps increase interest in the goods and services being sold. In order for you to judge which marketing options are cost-effective and deliver results, it should have observable metrics. On the other hand, sales are the process of actually persuading someone to buy your products. It also requires some degree of human contact that convinces a client to become a client. Sales refer to all activities selling goods and services. The person in charge of the sales division has the responsibility of maintaining relationships with prospective clients which ultimately lead to sales. These prospective customers have been guided to you most of the time through marketing efforts.

Main Differences

Here are the main differences between the marketing strategy and the sales strategy:

  1. Goals

The marketing strategy's purpose is not to make sales. Instead, it's about meeting prospective consumers and raising their awareness of the goods, services, and company, and the opportunities for them all. Marketing practices are structured to help, but not inherently make sales. This is because not every visitor to your website or company is a good match for your product/service in your target market.

The goal of any sales strategy is fairly simple: to make sales. Although it is a goal, it is so much more complex than that.  Sales teams are tasked with maintaining partnerships and leading them to a buying choice with future buyers. A sales strategy can also discuss techniques to transform one-time consumers into return buyers or sources of recommendation.

For example, a marketing strategy is something that applies behind the curtain. Their team does not meet with a customer face to face. You wouldn’t meet with a marketing officer when you visit a store. But, a sales strategy is something that a customer can see. When you go to a store, you will meet some sales promotion girls (SPG) or others. Those SPG are the implementation of a sales strategy.

  1. The Strategies

The marketing strategy generally involves:

  • Identifying products and/or services
  • Identifying and describing the intended client
  • Cost of supplies and/or resources
  • Determine how to market services and/or goods

The sales strategy generally involves:

  • Establish an action plan for sales
  • Identify the Distribution Process
  • Define the organization of teams - countries, etc.
  • Determines revenue expectations
  1. The Person in Charge

Generally, the marketing strategy is set by the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or VP of marketing, but it is guided by multiple marketing team members. This is because the marketing team interacts directly with groups, such as product, product marketing, service, and sales, that influence customer.

On the other hand, the sales strategy is set by the VP of sales or the chief revenue officer. Sales executives and new company owners then introduce it. Salespeople typically work on a segment instead of engaging with the whole group that marketing targets. So the sales staff will talk directly to customers or communicate at a time with a few qualified leads.

Both strategies equally have a different person in charge. It's just a different position’s name.

  1. How long will it take?

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking vision and an overarching game plan of any company or business with the underlying aim of recognizing the desires and wishes of consumers to achieve a sustainable strategic edge.

Usually, a sales strategy is short-term. A sales strategy is usually designed later and it draws on the marketing strategy. Depending on if the sales staff is meeting or exceeding sales expectations, you may need to make occasional improvements to this technique.

  1. Scope of work

The scope of work and its duration can also illustrate the difference in sales and marketing. Sales team jobs tend to be short term while marketing teams tend to be more long term.

This is because the marketing team must maintain harmonious relationships with business partners and vendors related to product marketing. Constant contact is required for an effective marketing strategy. Everyone on the team wants to realize how the brand campaign will better meet broader business goals. As well as using instruments such as market models, demographic studies, and competition analysis, the emphasis should also be on promoting brand promise to consumers.

The scope of marketing work also includes market research, public relations, and customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, the scope of the sales team's job is to convince (potential) customers to continue to feel the need for the products you sell.

A good sales strategy draws on the marketing team's efforts by securing individual customers who are most likely to purchase. This is typically so unless a large portion of their prospects is guided by the sales staff. Direct sales departments are busy pursuing prospects, making calls for exploration, qualifying candidates, product or service pitching, developing partnerships, and turning prospects to clients.

  1. Priorities and Functions

The difference in sales and marketing can also be seen from the priorities and work functions of these two divisions.

In terms of work priorities, the difference between these two positions lies in the activity targets. The marketing team's priority is to reach customers and build good relationships with customers so that they can become loyal customers. You can imagine a clear advantage if several large companies become regular customers of the products that your company has.

The more regular customers, the bigger the profit, of course.

Apart from that, these regular customers will be there if the service and response from the sales team also support the quality of the products and customers that have been reached.

The function of the sales team is to accommodate and target customers while helping them meet their needs with the products offered. The difference in sales and marketing in their functions and priorities is precisely what makes them synergize with each other.

The Pros and Cons of Marketing Strategy

Promotes Your Business to a Target Audience (You have a better chance of receiving the perfect customer because you know your target)Hard to Generate a Momentum(For a small business creating momentum may be hard because your brand is still small and not many people know about you yet)
Helps You Understand Your Customers(After knowing your targeted customers, you can understand them better)Cost(Big companies can afford to waste time and money focusing on a marketing strategy that struggles because they can regroup and move on. As a small business owner, though the return on spending on a marketing campaign might be poor, and that means you have spent months to cover that)
Helps Brand Your Business(Your marketing strategy isn’t just about boosting leads and converting them into buyers, it’s also about expressing the culture, values, and purpose of your business. By doing a marketing strategy you also help introducing your brand to others)

The Pros and Cons of Sales Strategy

Strengthens Customer Engagement and Commitment(Salesperson usually interact with their customers and they can ultimately build a stronger connection with customers)May Lower Brand Awareness(The overuse of some discount discounts can lead consumers to assume that the cheaper price is the normal price, which may cause them not to believe that the quality of the goods correlates with goods from comparable rivals offering less frequent or no price reductions)
Quick to Develop(Compared to other types of strategy, some sales strategies can be quickly created and made available within a market)Distributors Won’t Be Prepared(Some consumer sales strategy require the assistance of distributors (e.g. retailers), but not all distributors can support the sales strategy, particularly if the promotion requires the distributor to do additional work)
Help Sells More of Your Product(In cases where stock replacement is needed (e.g. items approaching expiration date; clearing inventory to make way for new models), sales strategy may be used to easily decrease supply.)

From recognition to purchase, both marketing and sales are integral aspects of the consumer journey. Your business teams need to align with these two strategies, and that means recognizing all points of convergence and divergence. According to Aberdeen Group, sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 32% increase in year-over-year revenue growth.

Communication between your sales and marketing departments is vital to aligning your sales and marketing activities. This means that sales have feedback on the types of marketing material that would be effective, that shared priorities are defined, and that everybody uses the same language and knows the vocabulary of each other.


Sales and marketing roles intersect, even though they are often grouped independently. Enterprises that recognize critical overlap areas may gain more value from their teams by pooling efforts. After all, both sales and marketing share the same objective: to increase sales.

Marketing Responsibilities

Awareness. An initiative to raise awareness about a product or service is the first step in the sales process. Efficient awareness-building efforts may help a prospect to remember a brand or product name or may guarantee that an organization makes a shortlist for purchase consideration.

Engagement. Engagement efforts draw on an initial marketing strategy to strengthen the relationship of the customer to a brand or product. Marketing resources for interaction can be longer (e.g. whitepaper or video) relative to a more simplistic awareness item (e.g. direct mailer or radio advertisement).

Conversion. Conversion is the vital transformation of a new client from an unknown figure to a recognised leader. In the case of marketing departments, a conversion may be the completion of an online form, the instigation of a webchat, or a phone call to a customer service line.

Retention. And after a buy, a marketing team may help a company develop its repeat customers. Maintaining a marketing role tends to sustain visibility and commitment during sales. This can include email newsletters or webinar invites that help consumers get more value from a product. In particular, the retention role of marketing is important for subscription services.

Sales Responsibilities

Follow up. The main sales feature is to follow up on the lead created by the marketing department. Successful enterprises typically create a formal hand-off mechanism such that each marketing-qualified leader receives accurate and prompt follow-up from a sales team member.

Relationship building. The "hard sell" era begins to disappear. Modern sales rely on developing relationships to help establish loyalty between the customer and the seller. Effective salesmen should consider the interests of the purchaser to create a persuasive—but not a persuasive—message to better distinguish the commodity of the business.

Closing. Often salespeople are judged by their willingness to transform leads into buyers. While some may envisage a face-to-face meeting and a handshake as the end of a sale, many companies are now closing deals online or over the phone. This could increase the responsibility for closing the sale to more workers.

Retention. Sales and marketing are responsible for improving customer satisfaction. When checking in with a current customer, a sales staff member may further show an engagement in the future of a long-term customer, not just a one-time deal. Continued efforts to develop good partnerships will help boost satisfaction and contribute to "upselling"—additional purchases outside initial purchasing.


How do the sales and marketing departments accomplish their objectives? Tactics differ depending on the culture of the market and the business. They've improved over time, too.

These are some of the traditional sales and marketing strategies that are at the heart of each practice.

Marketing Techniques

Outbound marketing. Marketing Outbound. Outbound marketing stands for conventional "push" marketing. This covers tv ads, direct mail posters, and cold calls. Outbound marketing strategies are also successful in creating strong demographic recognition. However, some new marketing tactics challenge the capacity of outbound marketing to create compelling, personal marketing messages that establish long-lasting business-customer relationships.

Inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is shifting marketing efforts from "drive" to "pull." The key concept behind inbound marketing is to attract new buyers by designing marketing materials that support users. For example, an investment company can deliver a free retirement planning webinar.  Inbound marketing aims to rely first on offering something useful to the customer, rather than having an inward focus on presenting a business message.

Sales Techniques

Limiting the opportunity. The notion of a "limited-time bid" is popular in retail, but generating a feeling of scarcity is a strategy used in many industries. A limited opportunity can be limited by time (e.g. a decent deal for this month only) or availability (e.g. the last pickup on the lot).

Focusing on pain points. A successful salesperson can determine the benefits of a product or service concerning the needs of a customer. This involves recognizing the day-to-day problems that the customer faces and reflecting on how the product can address these issues. Focus on pain points may often help to develop a friendship by expressing a salesperson's concern about the customer's issue.

Making the assumptive close. The assumptive close is a sales tactic that transforms the "yes" order into a "no." For example, instead of saying, "Do you want to try this service?" a salesperson might ask, "When would you want us to arrange the installation?"


While having the same end goal, marketing and sales strategy are two different things. Marketing advises and draws leads and prospects to your brand, product or service. Sales, on the other hand, deals exclusively with prospects to enhance the appeal of the company's solution to turn prospects into consumers.

There is a lot of pro and cons of both strategies which should take your attention because they will affect the revenue of your businesses.

If your small business is having trouble balancing the marketing and sales strategy, you could always use tools and other solutions. You don’t even need to differentiate between them, you can simply use an omnichannel messaging platform. Using a trusted omnichannel messaging platform will helps you balance it. OneTalk by as an omnichannel messaging solution can increase your sales, marketing, and support.

OneTalk can help you execute the constant contact that you require to balance marketing and sales strategy. With our ability to integrate multiple messaging platforms, OneTalk has all the features to enhance your business. One of them is Broadcast Message and Start New Conversation. The Broadcast Message feature allows you to send messages to multiple recipients all at once. Your marketing/sales strategy will be more interactive with this feature, sending them multimedia content such as photos, videos, and even pdf files. Meanwhile, Start New Conversation features allow you to do proactive chat and start a new case so your business can reach your customers first. With these and a lot of other features provided by OneTalk, you can easily balance your marketing and sales strategy.

In this pandemic situation, OneTalk, which integrates messenger platforms in one dashboard, can maintain your communication with your employees because you will be able to continuously monitor their work through the Real-Time Agent Activity Tracker feature. This feature will allow you to see in real-time the cases that are being handled by your employees.

Also, OneTalk creates an effective work system in the aspect of corporate communication with customers. With Assignment Rules which have assignment systems for different customers, you can easily share cases with your agents. The Topics feature also allows you or your employees to sort out the topics discussed by the customer so that they can easily categorize them.

Oh wow! Just how much are the features on OneTalk? Well, it seems like a lot, but there are more to be found. You can even utilize the right platform! Other than giving you privileges of integrating multiple messaging platforms, OneTalk also provides you with WhatsApp Business API services to support your line of communication with one of the biggest messaging platforms in the world. Use this to apply your Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy and increase your sales like never before.

Want to know more, contact our agent to explore all the features we provide for you.

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