What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?

A company's financial well-being, reputation and business success are all affected by sales and marketing. While they appear similar, these fields have distinct differences when applied to a business model. To learn more about what makes them unique, continue reading. Schools offering Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Sales vs. Marketing

When a new product or service hits the market, sales and marketing professionals work to get consumers to purchase it. The sales team behind a new product or service launch deals with communicating directly with customers, creating a buying experience and closing the sale. Marketing consists of the behind-the-scenes tactics of selling, such as advertising, pricing, product development and placement, distribution and branding. In short, marketing professionals establish a market and attract customers, while sales professionals convince those customers to buy the product.

More specifically, sales professionals are responsible for boosting trade by persuading customers, establishing sales incentives and offering purchase rewards or options, like financing or coupons. Marketing professionals, on the other hand, promote the product through larger mediums, like telemarketing, billboards or online advertising. They develop ways to reach new audiences and retain current consumers by monitoring trends and conducting market research.

Important Facts About Sales and Marketing

Sales Managers Marketing Managers
Median Annual Salary (2014) $110,660 $127,130
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% growth 9% growth
Key Skills Customer-service, analytical, and communication skills Creativity, decision-making, and organizational skills
Professional Certification Sales Management Certification programs are available. The Certified Marketing Management Professional credential is available.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career and Education Options

Jobs in sales and marketing are available in a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare and wholesale trade. While some professionals in sales and marketing have only high school diplomas and experience in the field, many employers prefer applicants with formal education. Many colleges, universities and community colleges offer degree programs geared toward marketing and sales professionals. The type of position you qualify for may depend on the level of education you earn.

Associate's Degree

You may choose to prepare for a career in this field by earning an associate's degree. You could, for example, earn a 2-year degree in sales and marketing or one in business administration with a concentration in sales and marketing. These programs usually cover sales management, market research, advertising and customer behavior. Upon graduation, you may qualify for a position as a retail sales associate, marketing specialist or customer service representative, among others.

Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management positions in this field typically entail a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration focused on marketing. These programs often include coursework in business law, accounting, negotiation and marketing strategies. The BLS also recommends completing an internship during college, which may increase your chances of employment when entering the field.

With a bachelor's degree, prospective sales and marketing professionals may enter upper-level positions in areas like Internet marketing, advertising or sales management. Those with master's degrees may go on to work in IT management, financial analysis, security analysis, or marketing research.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Benedictine University

    Benedictine University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Benedictine University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Widener University

    Widener University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Widener University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
      • DBA in Management
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

    Saint John's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next »