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Sales vs Marketing, differences and who is suitable to pursue them?

Sales vs Marketing

Sales can be termed as a process which focuses or targets on individuals or small groups. Marketing on the other hand targets a larger group or the general public.

Marketing includes research (identifying needs of the customer), development of products (producing innovative products) and promoting the product (through ways such as advertisements) and create awareness about the product among the consumers. As such marketing means generating leads or prospects. Once the product is out in the market, it is the task of the sales person to persuade the customer to buy the product. Well, sales means converting the leads or prospects into purchases and orders.

While marketing is aimed at longer terms, sales pertain to shorter goals. Marketing involves a longer process of building a name for a brand and pursuing the customer to buy it even if they do not need it. Where as sales only involve a short term process of finding the target consumer.

In concept also, sales and marketing have much difference. Sales only focuses on converting consumer demand match the products. But marketing targets on meeting the consumer demands.


A sales person has characteristics vital to sales success. He is driven by challenges with a mission to close. People may see a person with a sales personality as friendly and outgoing but what they may not recognise is that he is friendly and a people-person with a purpose. He speaks to people, assessing if this person may be a target customer. A person with a sales personality focuses on one thing -- making the sale happen.

There are fews skills that are needed to become a salesperson:
  • Listening;
  • Communication;
  • Rapport building;
  • A great memory;
  • Collaboration;
  • The art of persuasion; 
  • Adaptability;
  • Resilience;
  • Objection handling; 
  • Public speaking.


Marketing skills and qualifications open up career opportunities in company marketing departments, marketing consultancies, advertising agencies and market research firms. Although the specific skill requirements may vary from job to job, the traits needed for success in marketing are consistent across the career spectrum. Good marketing people are first-class communicators, good team players and skilled project managers, with excellent analytic and creative skills.

Essentially you will need a broad mix of skills to be successful in this industry and potential candidates need to show evidence of the following.
  • interpersonal skills;
  • good oral and written communication skills;
  • numeracy and analytical ability;
  • creativity and imagination;
  • influencing and negotiation skills;
  • teamwork;
  • organisational ability;
  • IT skills;
  • business and commercial acumen;
  • drive and ambition.

If you would like to view tertiary programs related to this article, click here to go to the list of recommendation.  If you are not sure which path you want to pursue for your tertiary education,  you should find this psychometric test here to be helpful in providing some aptitude breakdown and course suggestions upon completion of the test. Feel free to proceed to the test, it's free after all. 

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