Porter (1985) in his
Value Chain theory has claimed that both Marketing and Sales belong to the set
of primary activities. Moreover, Porter has even merged these functions in the
Value chain, pointing out their interdependence and equal importance. Even though
Marketing and Sales are mostly considered to be one function and businesses
fuse them, hereafter will be separated to explain their structure and
importance in more details.
Marketing is set of
institutions and processes used to create, communicate, deliver and exchange
offers that have value for customers, stakeholders and society at large
(Gligorijevi?, 2011). Marketing is a strategic activity that makes decisions in
long-run. Sales department implements and fulfils goals set by Marketing in a
short-run. Five main activities in marketing are market research, product
selection, pricing activities, promotion and distribution (Hani? et al, 2005).
Market research is a
process of gathering analysing and interpreting information regarding
customers, products, services and overall performance of a market (Hani? et al,
2005). After performing market research, companies have an insight into what is
the current demand, what are the preferences of consumers, how is the
competition positioned compared to their business and can set the marketing
strategy. Product selection and pricing are close related marketing activities.
Based on market research and type of business, it is determined whether a
company is going to specialise or to differentiate its products and services.
Differentiation would mean higher prices due to more personalised approach,
while specialization means mass production with less customization and lower
Promotion is a way
company communicates with the market. After gathering all the necessary
information and deciding the number of products that are to be sold, businesses
need good communication with consumers. Promotion is a specific blend of tools
that company uses to communicate with customers and build a strong relationship
(Kotler et al, 2014). Direct promotion, sales promotion, advertising through
media and online promotions are the most used ones. Distribution is a final,
but also very important marketing activity. By choosing distribution channel,
businesses choose the way in which their final product is going to be delivered
to the consumers. It is very important to have reliable and well-organized
distribution channels to deliver the product or service at the right place and
The Sales department’s role is to implement and execute marketing
strategies. The Sales department has closer contact with consumers, so it
advises and gives feedback to marketing department regarding current situation
on market. The overall sales process can be done directly, within commercial
spaces or at a distance (Gligorijevi?, 2011).
Direct sales are
conducted by sales agents that interact with consumers personally. Sales agents
are trying to persuade buyers to buy a certain product or service. Sales in
commercial spaces would mean a big number of sellers and buyers at one place
that are interacting and trying to get the best possible deal. A good example
of this selling method would be a shopping mall. Finally, distance sales are
nowadays raising trend number one. The idea of having every product or service
available online is taking over the market. Technological development has taken
its pace and crucial changes in terms of sales have happened, transferring
regular sales to online sales.
Marketing and Sales
department is a crucial function for organising and managing the most important
tasks within a company. It affects all other departments and it is an engine
for generating business activities. Although Marketing and Sales department is
so important, it cannot deliver value on its own and needs to be in a cohesion
with other departments.