The Difference Between Sales & Marketing

I know a lot of businesses that would claim they only do sales. Or only do marketing. There is a  troublesome overlap between sales & marketing because they seem to represent two fundamental different standpoints. And for many, they never mix. Sales teams look on marketers as fluffy poodles and marketers look at sales teams as working dogs doing the distasteful muddy work. At best. For some marketers, sales teams are (quite wrongly) the stupid brother of the equation. 

It's time we challenge this viewpoint wherever it exists - because it's downright unprofitable.

Either of these viewpoints  is missing the fundamental opportunity that, despite competitiveness between them, it's almost never a case of being an either/or decision. In fact, used in the right way, both sales and marketing should be each other's most staunch and supportive allies. Sales and marketing is an and/and process.

The difference between sales and marketing

Sales, in its most positive sense is seen as a practical, hands on approach to creating revenues in a business. Sales (for me) is about one to one communication, aimed at making a sale, pure and simple. It's the stuff you do in person and is tailored to each individual customer in an evolving conversation. 

Marketing, on the other hand is about a different set of concerns. Its ultimate goal is exactly the same sales and profits, but it uses a different set of tools. Marketing is more typically associated with one to many communications. Even a team of salespeople can't hope to generate the kind of reach which an advert, an email, or a search engine optimisation campaign might bring, let alone properly qualify them. So marketing has the great potential to cover the ground that sales can't.

Marketing is your one-to-many workhorse

Marketing is helpful for sales teams because it gets out there and it speaks to many customers at once. It should ideally qualify them and it should ideally prompt them to respond in some way. Where it's unfeasible to have a sales force speak to every individual, marketing materials such as websites and brochures are your one to many salesperson.

Sales is your one-to-one workhorse

Before you start writing in, these distinctions aren't totally clear cut. For example, public speaking to many people at a conference or event could be seen as both marketing and sales. But my point is not to create crystal clear definitions here.

Sales & marketing need to be twin allies

 Marketing should work to do everything it can to reach as many qualified leads at the lowest cost and prompt a response. Marketing material is your salesman too. It has to look good, write well and engage the customer through text, images and other media. And it has to work to create opportunities for sales teams to meet and talk to new people and close deals.

Marketing, however, isn't tailored or individual enough to work in the later stages of a sale. And that's where sales leads the way.

At it's simplest, sales and marketing are both essential factors in the equation and do not need to be antagonistic. In fact, they are missing tricks if they are not working very closely together. 

Use the right tool for the right job

Which is the right tool for the job? One-to-many - use marketing to reach, engage and qualify. One-to-one use sales to give personal attention and move qualified leads closer to the sale.

What marketing tools are available that can help sales teams?

In no particular order and certainly not exhaustive:

  • Lead generation websites
  • Landing pages
  • Pay per click advertising (Google Adwords & Bing)
  • Print, newspaper and magazine advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Social media (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Online videos
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Leaflets and brochures
  • Direct mail (postcards, sales letters, DM materials)
  • Sales letters
  • Remarketing
  • Banner adverts
  • Pop-up banners and exhibition stands
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Promotional materials
  • Business cards

The trick ultimately is not how many tools you use, but how well you use them. It's the aim of every business to create a sales and marketing formula which can be followed step by step to consistently create success. And to do that effectively, sales and marketing need to be team members helping each other out and not passive aggressive antagonists.

Ask us

Got a question? Give us a call on
01392 427 358

Join our mailing list

Recent articles

Thu 18 Feb | 2016
We have just launched a new app to help reduce waiting times in hospitals across Devon and Cornwall. The app, NHSquicker, allows people to view up-to-date waiting times for local emergency departments and minor injuries units. It also provides information regarding distance and time to different treatment centres, based on the user's location. Reactor15 have been working with Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network, a collaboration between the NHS across Devon and Cornwall and academics from the University of Exeter to build an app which is widely available for smartphones and tablets, on Apple and Android. The NHSquicker app took six months to build and is a fully native app developed using our own custom framework. Using a native platform which allowed us to build a fast, responsive and reliable experience to users, when accuracy and speed of information is very important. The app also provides information about less urgent NHS services, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians. Mike Saunders, Managing Director of Reactor15 said: "It’s great, once again, to be involved in building a really useful NHS tool. We were asked to build an app which will not only help reduce waiting times in our local hospitals but will also help patients make the right choices with regards to how and where they receive their treatment. We believe our native app platform is both robust and versatile enough to meet the needs and brief of Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network." Reactor15 have a good working relationship with the NHS and have already built the award winning HANDi Paedatric, POPs apps and the Devon and Wakefield Formularies. NHSquicker can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
Read more

Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Reactor15 have been working with Exeter based commercial finance specialists Charterbank Capital, to help develop an intergrated digital marketing strategy. Targeting the south of England, Charterbank Capital have a range of packages for commercial customers including bridging loans, auction finance, development loans and farm finance. Reactor15 have been working on their main site Looking to generate enquires to their service, we have implemented our 11 point SEO plan on the site and have also created an AdWords campaign.
Read more

Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Reactor15 have been busy helping Exeter based Busy Bees Window Cleaning Services and Busy Bees Carpet Cleaning Service with some search engine optimisation. 
Read more

Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Reactor15 extends a warm welcome to Dartington Hall as they join our design agency’s client portfolio, running a Christmas advert campaign in local media and on Twitter. 
Read more

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how Reactor uses and protects any information that you give Reactor when you use this website.

Reactor is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy policy.

Reactor may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 25th May 2012.

Information We Collect

We may collect the following information when you subscribe to our email newsletter or fill in our enquiry form:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Contact information including email address
  • Demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
  • Other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers

What We Do With This Information

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping.
  • We may use the information to improve our products and services.
  • We may periodically send you emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
  • From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


We use cookies on this website.

A cookie is a small file which is placed on your computer's hard drive with your implied consent. Cookies allow web applications to remember you and personalise your experience. The website can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

Google Analytics & Conversion Tracking

We use traffic log cookies from Google Analytics to identify which pages are being used and is an essential part of monitoring and improving our electronic communications. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We use this non-identifiable aggregated traffic information for statistical analysis purposes.

We also use conversion tracking to understand customer behaviour.

Session Cookies

This site uses essential session cookies for the operation of the website.

Google Adwords Cookies

We may use cookies in Google Adwords for remarketing purposes. This means we remember your visit to our website to provide you with advertising elsewhere on the Google Display Network.

Other Applications

If we embed YouTube videos in the site, watching the video will set a cookie on your computer.

We may also use embedded applications such as Twitter, Facebook or Rafflecopter. These third parties may set cookies to remember your preferences.

How to Disable Cookies

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

If you disable cookies, your experience of some parts of the website may be affected.

Links to Other Websites

Our website contains links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy policy. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy policy applicable to the website in question.

Controlling Your Personal Information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

  • whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes.
  • if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us at

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen.

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to Reactor, Queensgate House, 48 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3SR, United Kingdom.

If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.