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Marketing and Sales Are Different, but Must Be Seamless in Moving Forward

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Marketing and sales are not the same. Formal definitions of each function are listed below:

Marketing: According to the American Marketing Association Board of Directors, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and process for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Selling: According to Dictionary.com, the verb “selling” is defined as “1. To engage in selling something. 2. To be on sale. 3. To offer something for sale. 4. To be employed to persuade or induce others to buy, as a salesperson or a clerk in a store. 5. To have a specific price; be offered for sale at the price indicated. 6. To be in demand by buyers. 7. To win acceptance, approval, or adoption.”

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Marketing refers to the process of creating and communicating a brand, the firm’s story and its offering(s). Sales refers to the physical presence of a firm in front of, visually or vocally, the target audience, with a focus on closing business.

When firms separate marketing and sales, the resources may be deeper as they are by design more dedicated, but often they don’t work well together. Managers must consider how they will accomplish efficient and effective marketing, and how they will accomplish efficient and effective sales concurrently.

Whether the answer is a single resource to do both, or a combination approach, it is important to acknowledge that marketing and sales are different, yet must work seamlessly together to put the firm’s best foot forward.

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