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Marketing and sales share a common goal: create customers. However, they reach the goal in distinct ways.

Marketing creates customers by talking to them as a group. Sales creates customers by talking to them on an individual level.

State Farm Insurance markets to 25+ year olds who need to buy car insurance through tv, radio, print, and digital advertising. They’re building awareness and brand preference among a broad demographic.

Their agents are the sales force. They build personal relationships with this same demographic in their territory. They are responsible for soliciting and creating individual policyholders.

Marketing creates customers by getting prospects to take steps toward the business. Sales creates customers by taking steps toward prospects.

Call us. Request a demo. Visit our website. These are calls-to-action used by marketers to get prospects into the sales pipeline.

Sales people call prospects, visit prospects, and demo the product with prospects. Ideally, marketing produces leads for sales staff.

Marketing is focused on annual campaigns. Sales is focused on quarterly goals.

Marketing is focused on introducing the brand position to the target audience through multiple touch points over the course of the year (social media, event sponsorships, advertising, etc.).

Sales is focused on the immediate acquisition of customers. Their performance is generally judged on a quarterly basis.

A healthy business is built on strong cooperation between marketing and sales. They must agree on the value proposition of their business as well as the profile of the target customer. When done correctly, marketing is the advance team that clears obstacles for the sales team to close the deal.

At the end of the day, marketing and sales are judged by their effectiveness in growing the company’s bottom line.