What is the correlation between sales and marketing?

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There is a massive correlation between sales and marketing.  When they work together, they make a crucial and invaluable contribution to a company’s success.  However, the sales and marketing teams in many organisations still seem to work separately. 

This could be because they are managed separately.  It could be because they have not been encouraged to recognise they are working towards a common goal and achieving that goal very much requires both sets of skills.  Either way, we need to make sure sales and marketing work hand in glove.  In this blog we’ll look at why.

Before looking at where sales and marketing overlap, it may be easier to look at the differences between sales and marketing. 

They definitely do overlap because the overall aim is to sell a product or service, but they play very different roles.  Marketing focuses on creating awareness and generating interest in products or services.  Sales converts this interest into orders.  Let’s look at how that breaks down in terms of the different bits that turn interest into orders.


Marketing involves activities like market research, branding, advertising, content creation, social media management, email marketing, lead generation, and keeping in touch with customers/targets.

Sales involves activities prospecting, cold calling, demoing products, pitching, giving presentations, handling objections, negotiating terms, and – of course – closing!  This means it is the sales staff who are more likely to enjoy direct contact with customers and prospects.


Marketing is probably going to be responsible for the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey.  It builds awareness and interest to engage potential customers then provides the flow of information that will gradually make the prospect more inclined towards making a positive purchasing decision. 

Sales tends to take over during the later stages, personally persuading the prospect to make that all important purchase and, if necessary, negotiating the best terms to make the purchase happen.

Metrics and measurement

For marketing, success can be measured in terms of increased brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, engagement levels across the various platforms they’re using, customer acquisition costs, and the ROI their campaigns generate.

For sales the metrics are typically financial, although they will probably also be measured against KPIs like the number of leads contacted, calls/meetings made and sales closing ratio.

Having looked at the differences between sales and marketing, lets now turn to the positive side – the benefits of making sure your sales and marketing functions are working together. 

The simple answer is working together will maximises both functions’ ability to drive revenue as they’ll be in a much better position to achieve your commercial objectives because:

  • Ultimately, both functions have the same goal, to generate business and revenue.
  • They are both working on the same process – turning awareness into orders – they just work at opposite ends with different tactics.
  • They’ll improve communication and understanding.  Sales are closer to the customers so can feed back vital insight into current market needs and demands that will improve marketing materials and campaigns.  Marketing meanwhile can use their expertise to create innovative new campaigns that will open more doors for the sales teams.
  • If they can share data on their performance, this will make both functions more effective because they’ll be able to refine their tactics in line with current customer demands and latest best practice.
  • A more customer-centric approach will be creative because both functions will have a much better understanding of the client journey and will be able to interact more productively with customers at every stage.
  • The organisation will see continuous improvement not only in terms of commercial success but also in terms of developing products and services that meet their market’s requirements perfectly and when you do that, your competitors won’t be able to compete with you!

At Simdure our team is made up of experts in both sales/business development and marketing so if you’d like to have a chat about how we can help you bring your sales and marketing teams closer together, please contact us today by emailing us at [email protected].

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