In mid-size
companies, we often hear the terms Sales and Marketing used together. Sometimes
this seems logical because the two need to work together. However, the two are very
different functions and require very different skills.

The job of
Sales is to “sell what’s in stock”. Every firm has specific products or
services and the role of Sales is to sell those things. The Sales people
develop relationships with customers and/or channel partners. They are expected
to overcome objections, negotiate prices and terms and also work internally to
be sure their customer’s orders are serviced.

On the
contrary, the key job of Marketing is to understand the marketplace from the
perspective of the customer. Marketing’s job is to direct the organization
toward the customer segment where the company can profitably compete. Marketing
should help the organization see how it needs to modify its offerings, pricing
and communication so that it meets the needs of the customers. Marketing may
also guide Sales as to where they should be selling and what tactics to use.  

Markets are
constantly evolving and changing. The job of the marketing department is
to stay abreast of and ahead of the changes, and help the sales people with the
right insights to make the sale.

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