Sales and marketing aren’t the same thing. However, it seems like many smaller companies want to lump the two together.
Marketing is the component of your business that draws attention to your product or service. Good marketing finds its audience early in the buying cycle. (Or even better, before the prospect even knows they want or need to make the purchase.)
Sales is the avenue that allows the prospect to purchase the product. Sales happens at the end of the buying cycle.
A salesperson can be an order-taker or they can be a consultant, both are valid approaches depending on the item that is being sold. However, a salesperson never replaces a marketing strategy that includes both a branding strategy as well as a promotional (sales) component.
We’ve seen a number of small companies make the mistake of hiring a good salesperson to be the head of marketing. It is rare that this approach succeeds. A good salesperson or sales manager is an incredibly valuable talent to have on your team. Please let them do what they are good at and don’t assume that they can transform into a marketing person.
If you are a growing company and don’t have an on-staff marketing person, you may want to consider outsourcing this aspect in order to get a marketing plan in place.