Marketing and sales are two very important departments in every company. While they perform different functions, they both need to work hand in hand because they share a common goal: to attract prospects and convert them to customers, ultimately generating revenue for the company. While marketing informs and attracts leads and prospects to a company and products or services, sales work directly with prospects to close leads and convert them into customers. For a business to work smoothly, communication between these two departments is essential. To build a strong partnership between marketing and sales, companies need to understand the core functions of each department and how they complement each other.


Both marketing and sales communicate with the target audience but in slightly different ways. Marketing is about reaching a target audience and promoting a company’s brand or products, which involves getting the company’s message out to the public. They communicate with the audience via their campaign materials and have no direct relationship with them. Sales, on the other hand, relate directly with the target audience. They continue from where the marketing department stopped – getting the message to the public – and further segment the target audience into smaller groups that can be directly targeted. The relationship here is that the marketing department identifies and sends campaign messages across to a large audience and the sales department follows up by targeting this audience individually and selling the product.

Research and Process

While both teams come up with their own plans on how to drive sales and increase revenue, they also need to work together to ensure they have accurate data. The marketing team after conducting their research goes on to draft the campaign plans –  what the product is, its price, who it’ll be sold to, and where it will be sold – also known as the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. The sales team on the other hand outlines the action plan, tools, and resources that will be used to hit these targets (that the marketing team has provided.)

While the marketing team might have conducted their research and based their plans on them, it is important that they involve the sales team in the campaign plans because the sales team are the ones who are in direct contact with the target audience. They will have more and usually better insights from their personal dealings with the target audience which will in turn help the marketing department plan their campaigns better.


The primary goal for both marketing and sales is to generate revenue for the company. Marketing focuses on promoting the company, its products or services, and the brand. The goal is to create campaigns and marketing strategies that will keep the brand in the minds of their consumers and is often long term because campaigns can span over the course of many months. Sales, on the other hand, focuses on meeting  quotas and sales target. The targets are defined and the team calculates how much they need to sell to meet the sales goal. Their goal is short term and focused on making sure the target audience parts with their money in exchange for the services or products as soon as possible since their sales goals are usually calculated on a monthly basis.


One of the most important components of marketing is building a brand name for a company. Good marketing helps create brand awareness through repeated advertising campaigns, thereby putting the company’s brand on the minds of consumers and influencing them to make purchases in the future. Now, spending a lot of money on advertising campaigns does not necessarily mean that a company will make more sales. This is where the sales department comes in; marketing has taken the first step of building awareness, they now need the sales team to close the deals. Without salespersons who are actually out there building direct relationships with the target audience, no revenue is generated.

As these functions are better understood and become better aligned, it is important to create opportunities for marketers and salespeople to work together. The groups should engage in joint planning and training to make them more familiar with each other’s ways of thinking and acting. It will also be useful for marketers to occasionally go along on sales calls and for salespeople, in turn, to help develop marketing plans by sharing their deep knowledge about customers’ purchasing habits.

A successful company is one that has its marketing and sales teams effectively complementing each other, with the understanding that both are essential for company growth.