In business, the primary purpose is to increase revenue, and both marketing and sales are integral parts of that purpose. They are so integral, and so closely intertwined, that many do not recognize the difference between the two. In fact, in small businesses, the same person or people may perform both sales and marketing tasks; however, a strong understanding of the different responsibilities involved with each will help make both stronger and more effective.
Marketing is all the events, advertisements, website elements, networking contacts and other tactics that pull people into your business. The primary purpose of marketing is to create interest and inform your potential customers of what your business can do for them. Tactics used for marketing would include: analysis of market, distribution channels, competitive products and services; pricing strategies; sales tracking and market share analysis; and budgeting. The scope of marketing is market research, advertising, public relations, and customer service and satisfaction with the goal of reaching customers and building long lasting relationships.
Sales, on the other hand, is the actual transaction between a business and its customers where the buyer receives the goods or services in exchange for money. To increase revenue, sales tactics will focus on creating a match between what the customer wants and needs and what the business offers. After the marketing tactics have drawn the customers to the business and created the relationship, sales will work one on one with the customer to persuade them to purchase the product or service to fulfill their needs.
The reason many businesses combine their marketing and sales is that one cannot truly function without the other. Without marketing, there are no new customers for the sales, but without sales, marketing has no purpose. When viewed together to establish a solid strategy and separately to hone specialized techniques, the result will be the increased revenue all companies strive for.