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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

Sales v. Marketing

You might be asking yourself, why is the difference between sales and marketing even important? Fundamentally it comes down to the desired goal of each department. One feeds the other, influencing the symbiotic relationship. To rely on one alone to do the work of both, is short sighted and likely to disappoint. When sales and marketing are used in conjunction, the end result is more positive than if they are treated as a hybrid function. You might be thinking 'tomato, tomato' but really it's a lot more 'tomato, potato'.

We've looked previously at how a marketing channel like social media can and does influence your sales strategy, today. In this post we'll look at the broader picture of what makes sales and market different departments, or branches, of your overall strategy. We'll explain why it's best to treat these two elements not as twins, but cousins. While they are not identical, each benefits from a healthy relationship with the other. And your business needs both to be successful.


As with anything, it's important to know your vocabulary. Sales it the action of positioning your product or service to motivate purchase, while marketing influences how leads or clients interact with your brand to engage with your product or service. Sales guides while marketing attracts.

A sales role is often customer facing in different ways to a marketing role. Where a marketer will focus on the brand story and meeting the needs of the customer as quickly and painlessly as possible, these communications are often shaped by the feedback that a salesperson receives first hand. The type of communication style used for sales and for marketing is different. It is a marketer's job to paint the picture for the customer and the salesperson job is to sell them the frame.

Better Together.

There is no better; there is only both. Getting rid of the binary idea that one outranks another is crucial. Your sales and marketing strategy should work together, ultimately. A sales strategy can be shaped by marketing data and vice versa. Communication and synergy between the two is critical.

Take for example a greeting card company which operates an e-commerce shopfront. The buyer and marketing have access to the same information to help shape their strategies: previous orders, market trends, and customer information. Mother's Day is coming up, so what will the sales ('buyer') and marketer for this greeting card company do to shape their strategies?

The buyer is aware that orders for Mother's Day cards spike between two-four days every year. They are aware of how many units they will need to meet this estimated demand again. The buyer contacts its suppliers and receive a large quantity of one card at a great cost price and a limited quantity of others. The buyer would bring this stock update to the marketer who is aware when and how they want to communicate to customers, to order. The marketing team know that X% of customers order from the first email which reminds them, or introduces them, to the need for a card. Equipped with the knowledge of customer habits as well as the stock available, the marketer might choose to 'push', or promote, the card with bulk quantity as pride of place in their communications.

This is a very rudimentary, simple scenario of how sales and marketing would work together to execute a holiday campaign for an online ecommerce greeting card store.


In the example above, the buyer used data about sales trends to shape their stock order while the marketer used data about engagement trends to shape their communications. Too often can we consider that to marry the two in one role, or job description, saves hassle and cost but ultimately it's the business goals which will suffer.

Get in Touch.

Have a question about sales or marketing and want to know more about how Litir Marketing can help? Write us an email at

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