How to Unlock Sales and Marketing Responsibilities

Regardless of your organization type, the marketing vs. sales dilemma has bothered you. Planning and strategy development of both areas is an important part of the success as these departments share a mutual goal - revenue increase. In some ways, marketing and sales are intertwined, and startups and small companies have only one personnel, the so-called marketing.

However, marketing and sales aren’t interchangeable, and along with business growth, companies split their marketing teams into separate departments. As a rule, b2b organizations are sales driven, while b2c is marketing driven. The difference between sales and marketing in the roles and responsibilities we are going to figure out below.

marketing vs sales laptop

Definition of marketing and sales

Before determining what is more vital - marketing or sales -, let’s get the overall definition of both areas.

As a more dynamic process, marketing deals with systematic planning, implementation of marketing strategy, control and improvement of business actions and products or services. It targets to create brand identity, brings leads and prospects for a sales department, involves sending email campaigns to customers and builds long-term relationships with potential customers. However, the marketing department has given conditions, and can’t change them.

Meanwhile, sales strategy focuses on a transaction between two parties and an agreement on the price and security with the help of negotiations and objectives overcoming. This activity is driven by human interaction and has rather a short-term relationship with buyers. That means that sales reps can transform the situation using their personal skills.

Sales and marketing responsibilities

If you are considering moving, for example, from sales to marketing, you should know the difference in responsibilities. Marketing works on the 4Ps: product, price, place, and promotion; and does micro and macro analysis of the market and aspects of marketing and then applies these principles in action via the following marketing efforts:

  • advertising campaigns, public relations,
  • social media,
  • relationship marketing,
  • brand marketing,
  • viral marketing,
  • content marketing and
  • mail campaigns.

The sales team develops its activities on the 4 Cs: customer solution, customer cost, convenience, and communication, which is realized via:

  • follow-up calls,
  • sales letters,
  • meetings,
  • cold calls, and
  • networking.

Sales vs Marketing share a common goal: the development of customer relationships, yet from different perspectives. Both of these business processes require specific skills, training from the staff, and communication and cooperation within the company. To put it simply, sales can’t succeed in the revenue objectives without developing future-focused marketing methods and marketing strategies.

Marketing vs Sales Coffee

Difference between sales and marketing

So, are marketing and sales the same things? Often both teams' duties and responsibilities overlap. However, there are some key differences in these business functions.

Market changes are permanent things, so marketing has to stay ahead of the changes. The marketing process includes:

  • Helping sales by locating the potential audience and/or channel partners.
  • Developing pricing strategies.
  • Generating quality leads.
  • Enhancing information transactions.

From this point, the sales continue to build customer service and convert leads or prospective customers into actual paying buyers by direct interaction. They set specific boundaries for closing the deals: week, month, or quarter.

Dealing with the marketing vs sales dilemma, you should remember that these activities demand different skills and training. Definitely, marketing provides tactics and clues for the sales team. However, this department shouldn't perform an auxiliary function.

The following comparison will aid you in the roles and responsibilities distribution among your teams.

Where is the difference

If you still ask google: ‘how is marketing different from sales?’, here are the comparisons regarding these positions.

Where Is The Difference


By employing strategic thinking, marketing uses the pull strategy and generates interest in the products or services. Nevertheless, the role of sales teams within a marketing strategy is focused on tactical thinking by pushing this strategy to convince a customer and ensure a closed deal.


In this aspect, marketing vs sales works in cooperation. Meanwhile, marketing shows the ways to reach a customer and sets up relationship building; sales applies the received info and tips for achieving the ultimate result - a paying buyer and customer satisfaction.


We already know that marketing & sales, in some cases, are substitutional. Moreover, if to generalize the goal of both departments so it will make a profit for the company. The difference is in subgoals and used methods to achieve them. For a sale rep, the primary goals are to drive the company's revenue and increase the average purchase value. To monitor this, managers determine individual sales rep quotas and commissions.

On the contrary, the goal of marketing is to provide the sales team with prospects and leads. Marketers lure future customers and care about their awareness, conversion, engagement and retention.

As you can see, sales and marketing roles have different aims while talking about sales. So, they should work side by side.


Sales and marketing department responsibilities differ in their path to achieving their goals. Marketers use funnels to communicate with the target audience as well as generate and deliver potential leads to the sales team. Each funnel stage requires a specific approach to introduce products or services, saying what pains they can relieve. After, when a sales rep carries a prospect and gets a customer, a marketer still gives the support to gain client loyalty and increase retention.

The sales process quite differs from marketing. The easiest way to explain this is to learn the sales pipelines. So, all the stages that are included in the pipelines are the sales team's processes. They receive the inquiry, create a deal, communicate potential leads, build reliable relationships, transform prospects into clients, win or lose the deal and support customers if they have any questions during or after the purchase. This way, sales also provide customer retention. Therefore, the 'sales vs marketing' formulation is sometimes inappropriate, as these departments should always work together.

Tools and Resources

Now we have a lot of efficient technologies and tools, and the variants to utilize them also highlight the difference between marketing and sales.

The well-known tool among sales reps is CRM (Customer Relationship Management). This technology allows sales teams to manage sales pipelines and deals, chat, make meeting appointments, create invoices, view the statistics and check KPIs. They can also use other tools and software to do the same things, but it takes more time and decreases the sales reps' productivity.

For Zendesk users, there is a good way to implement the CRM system without buying Zendesk Sell, and this is an application called CRM and Deals. The integration can be installed on Zendesk Support, providing all the necessary CRM features and customization opportunities. Just try a free trial to overview the app's capabilities.

CRM And Deals For Zendesk

So, what about the marketer and their tools? Quite often, digital marketing representatives use the tools that are appropriate for internet marketing. For example, SEO or SMM activity are aimed at website and social media promotion. Besides, marketing requires knowledge of project management and content creation tools. Also, creating marketing campaigns via emails is the primary skill almost every marketer should do. The ability to use all the instruments properly shows how important the role of marketing and sales is.


Due to marketing search, the company gets the market view from the customer's perspective. This way, the organization is directed to the targeted audience or group.

Sales work in the opposite direction. They present the positioning of the product or service from inside the organization toward the potential buyers.


Apart from extending the variety of selling activities, marketing develops a strategy for determining current and future customers’ needs. This is essential to lay out the basis for long-term relationships.

Despite customer relationship management, sales try to fulfill buyers’ demands. For this, they match the company’s product or service within a specified period.

Major Focus

Marketing deals with the promotion and distribution of the price of a product or service and looks for ways to fulfill customers' needs through the company's offers.

The key targets for the sales teams are achieving a set quota and fulfilling sales volume objectives from sales plans.

Integrating sales and marketing

Despite the difference between marketing and sales, they are working together, and only in synergy do they reach sales goals and bring revenue to the business owner. Sometimes there can be friction and misunderstandings between marketing and sales managers as they work for the same purpose. Also, if someone slows down, the other pulls them up. Need to know how to avoid it? Here are some useful tips:

  • Hold regular sales vs marketing meetings for full-fledged communication.

    During communication, exchange ideas and plans, tell each other about workflow issues to find fresh ideas, or talk about work. Therefore, sales are closer to clients; as a result, they are familiar with buyers' persona, needs, and desires and know their real problems. In turn, marketers collect information about customers' loyalty to the brand and the interaction between buyer and company. Both teams can exchange valuable info and improve each other's results.
  • Join common goals.

    Join marketing and sales goal planning with common goals and actions. Marketers can help sales with personal social media management and increase their expertise on the net. In turn, sales can present real cost measuring of team results using extensive sales reports.
  • Incentivize your marketing team.

    Salespeople are always rewarded for their work according to their results. However, marketing attracts leads and prospect and help sales to convert them into buyers. Sales get the reward as they close the deal, but it is the final stage where marketers lead them.

marketing vs sales blue

Final Thoughts

After revealing the crucial moments, you see that marketing vs sales differences lie in various approaches, tactics, strategies, and personnel-specific skills. However, in small businesses, even both teams only sometimes know the difference between marketing and sales. Both teams work on developing a trustful relationship with customers and boosting revenue. In short, you can achieve high results by setting up workflows for both teams, with communication as a must.

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