Most people have a feel for the difference between sales and marketing and the demarcation points, but defining them has proven more difficult.
Here are the definitions of marketing according to the Oxford English Dictionary:
Marketing: The action of buying or selling, esp. in a market; an instance of this.
Selling: To give up or hand over (something) to another person for money (or something that is reckoned as money).
Marketing is the set of activities that turns a goods or service from an abstract concept into something desirable for the user. Marketing folk are trained to make a connection between goods or service to consumption factors a.k.a promotion.
Marketing is the support and engine for sales. All advertising, collateral, promotions or programs are aimed at creating the awareness, information and encouragements that a customer needs to make a sale happen. This tool arms the sales team to make the correct impression and create alignment between the buyer and the seller.
Marketing needs to ascertain what the company is producing is what is needed and the correct information is available to support the sale. The sales group must leverage that to influence the customer to make a favourable decision and exchange the company’s expertise into money.
Both groups, which are simply different points on the same spectrum, are tasked with explaining to the customer why the exchange of goods or services between the provider and buyer is beneficial to the latter. It is marketing’s job to correctly supply the arsenal of the sales team and provide support, while the sales group is tasked with taking correct advantage and applying and leveraging the marketing program to the fullest. It is critical that the teams support one another and provided two-way feedback.