Difference Between Sales And Marketing


Last Updated: September 17, 2022
no preview

“Marketers make things better by making change happen.” -Seth Godin

You’d have come across words like “sales” and “marketing”, but do you know what they mean? The terms “selling” and “marketing” are frequently used interchangeably. However, they are quite different.

It is like comparing  Jim from ‘The Office’ and Schmidt from ‘New Girl’. If you have seen both these shows, you can easily point out the difference. If you aren’t a fan, let’s give you some context – Jim works in sales, while Schmidt works in marketing. While the two functions work closely together and do have interdependent tasks, they can be quite distinct on their own as well!

Want to understand the difference between sales and marketing? Let’s dive right in!

What is marketing?

Marketing is EVERYWHERE! It is the key to selling and earning.

We see it in newspapers, where full page ads try to tempt us with exciting offers and services. We see it while scrolling through social media, from direct ads to celebrities endorsing products and services. We see it on posters, billboards, bus shelters… wherever we go, brands are competing for our attention. 

If you were to start your own business someday, one of your key goals would be to make it profitable. Marketing is a critical channel for accomplishing that goal. It is the process of attracting customers to your company’s product or service and getting them interested in it.


Do you remember Dove’s campaign about ‘Real Beauty’? Or Nike’s Find Your Greatness Campaign? Both are great examples of marketing. A successful marketing campaign help improve the sales of a product or service. A smart marketing campaign doesn’t just get new customers but also delights existing customers, ensuring that they remain loyal to the brand. This isn’t a one-time fix, but an ongoing strategy that helps business achieve their revenue goals. You can check out @madovermarketing on Instagram to see examples of what great marketing looks like.  You can also check out Mentoria’s career article on Marketing Manager to see whether this career appeals to you or not!

What is Sales?


Sales is what “sales” means. Simply put, this career requires you to strategize and implement those strategies to help sell products and services. 

Sales refers to the actual selling of products and services – it helps you make money to keep your business running and make it profitable. All the marketing strategies you apply lead to this function – sales.

Every company has a sales team that focuses on selling its products or services to the right people in the right places. A salesperson is someone who sells goods or services on behalf of a company or owner. You may call it the food that your business needs to survive. It is responsible for business growth, customer acquisition and customer retention.

What do sales and marketing have in common?

There are certain similarities between the two since they work hand-in-hand.

  • Even though sales and marketing are different, if you were to look at the bigger picture, the goal of both is to boost revenue.
  • The focus of both sales and marketing is to engage the customer.
  • Both require an in-depth understanding of what kinds of customers would buy your product or service, and what will convince them to buy your brand over your competitors.

Let’s spot the differences in sales vs marketing

While these two functions work hand-in-hand to meet revenue goals, they have a few distinct differences that set them apart:

  • Marketing works behind the scenes to raise customer awareness of products and services. Sales, on the other hand, takes the lead by selling products to end users.
  • Before selling begins, marketing must identify the customers’ needs and determine the best way to reach them. Marketing always happens before selling.
  • Sales focuses on a small group of people, whereas marketing reaches out to the general public or large groups of people.
how marketing works
  • Sales is concerned with the needs of the company, whereas marketing is concerned with the needs of the consumer.
  • The objective of sales is to convert prospects into actual customers, whereas marketing focuses on familiarising your brand with new buyers or reacquainting it with current or former customers.
  • The processes of both are fairly different – they even adapt to different strategies. For example, sales may use inbound or customer-centric strategies. Marketing can be done via social media and/or print media. 
  • Sales seeks to maximise profits, whereas marketing seeks to increase brand awareness, market share and customer satisfaction.

What’s the scope in both careers? 

Let’s talk about sales first.

Every business needs to sell its products or services, which means salespeople are needed by everyone! It is one the most lucrative career options. Most companies offer cash incentives to salespeople to meet or exceed their targets, allowing you to earn significantly more than your salary. 

If you are willing to work hard and learn on the job, you can get an entry-level sales job, gradually develop your skills and grow in your field. Because you are constantly dealing with new ideas and business models, experience in sales provides numerous opportunities to enter the world of entrepreneurship and business.

Now, let’s dive into marketing! 

Marketing has a very broad scope; it encompasses all activities from idea generation to profit realisation. Most marketing jobs need a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a general bachelor’s degree. 

Post-marketing degrees are available not only at various levels but also with varying concentrations and opportunities for specialization. An MBA in marketing has a broad range of applications in India. Students who complete this post-graduate course can also work as sales executives or managers in reputable companies. 

Digital marketing has recently emerged as the most sought-after career path for marketing students. Here are some top colleges for courses in marketing:

Explore Career Options in Sales and Marketing

Here’s a list of career options you can explore to kickstart your career in sales:

1.  Sales Development Rep (SDR)

They are in charge of conducting research, prospecting, and lead qualification during the first stage of the sales process. That could entail locating and contacting possible excellent fits, responding to inquiries for more information, following up with prospects who downloaded content, recruiting on LinkedIn and other social media sites, and more, depending on the company. The average salary as a sales development rep is Rs.8 Lakhs.

2. Sales Engineer

A sales engineer plays a unique role in hybrid sales, engineering, science, and technology, as they take on multiple responsibilities on the job. However, in order to be considered for this position, you must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. The average salary of a sales engineer is Rs 311,529 per year

3. Insurance Sales Agent

An insurance sales agent informs customers about various types of insurance and assists them in selecting the policy that best meets their needs. It is an entry-level position with no educational requirements for success.

The average salary of an insurance sales agent is Rs 274,551 per year.

insurance agent

4. Account Manager

Their job responsibilities include both sales and customer service. They have a specific clientele to whom they provide services in relation to the products and services they sell. They are paid well even at the entry-level, and with experience, they can command much higher pay. The average salary as an account manager is Rs 585,986 per year.

Are you more keen on marketing? Here are some options you can explore!

1. E-Commerce Marketing Director

An eCommerce marketing director takes the role of a marketing director, managing an organization’s overall marketing efforts, and applies it directly to online storefronts and marketing. The average salary as a marketing director is ₹43,65,448/year

2. Marketing Research Manager

A marketing research manager conducts research and plans marketing programs with the goal of increasing interest in a company’s products or services. Marketing research managers are highly analytical individuals who study markets to evaluate what advertising will work best for a specific target audience. This career path requires a bachelor’s degree or higher and has a high earning potential.

The average salary as a marketing research manager is  ₹ 10.0 Lakhs/year


3. Digital Marketing Manager

As a digital marketing manager, you must be up to date on the latest marketing strategies and tools. You will be in charge of running digital marketing campaigns, from ideation to execution. A digital marketing manager may also closely work with the entire marketing team to ensure that campaigns go live. The average salary of a digital marketing manager is ₹ 7.2 Lakhs/year

4. Marketing Assistant

Marketing assistants work on projects that aim to increase the organization’s profits. They help marketing managers create effective marketing campaigns. The Average salary of a marketing assistant is ₹ 5 Lakhs/year.

These are just some of the career options. It is a vast field and you can explore suitable options!

Know Your True Calling!

Still confused about whether you should choose sales or marketing? Take Mentoria’s holistic psychometric career assessment to discover if marketing or sales is the ideal career for you based on your unique interests, skills, and personality! Our counsellors will help you shortlist your top three careers, and help you understand how to get into those careers. That’s not all! We’ll be a part of your journey from the time you sign up until you get a job you love. What are you waiting for? Take the Mentoria assessment to begin your #CareerReady journey right away!