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

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Any 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. For that reason, to sell the thing, it seems like the point of sales strategies and marketing strategies is the same. But in fact, by definition, the purposes, aims, 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. 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. These prospective customers have been guided to you most of the time through marketing efforts.

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. How to execute?

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.

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.

The Pros and Cons of Marketing Strategy

ProsCons
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

ProCons
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.

If your small business is having trouble balancing the marketing and sales strategy, you could always use tools and other solutions. Using a trusted omnichannel messaging platform will helps you balance it. OneTalk by TapTalk.io 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 its 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.

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