My answer: "In a nutshell, marketing is the education you do to create desire for your product or service in your prospect. Sales is the process of converting prospects into customers."
Marketing sets up sales by educating prospects about the benefits and features of a particular product or service. It’s an introduction of sorts that is intended to generate interest.
Marketers and sales people are very different animals. Marketers love using various techniques to get a message distributed to its constituency. They love educating and crafting messages.
Really good, successful sales people typically love the close more than anything else. They thrive on it and live for the high. Remember Richard Gere’s character’s famous line in Pretty Woman when he punched Stuckey at the end, “It’s the kill you love, not me?” That perfectly depicts a great salesperson. They love to be out selling and can barely stand the monotony of being cooped up in an office.
So, marketing is education and sales is closing business. Many companies confuse this and combine these departments. I think that’s dangerous. Now, marketing and sales must work closely together, but a marketer and a sales person are not necessarily the same.
If you have sales people in your organization, and leads are a little thin, maybe it’s time to talk to a marketer. Just sayin’.