I was recently discussing the roles and responsibilities of a marketing team versus a sales team with a client (who has a large sales team). The question was ‘How much leg work should the marketing team do before it is handed over to the sales team?

Traditionally, marketing is focused on brand awareness, product/service education and engagement. Sales is about qualifying the lead, getting the sale across the line and follow-up.

The roles of sales and marketing teams used to be more distinct, but in recent years, we’ve seen more overlap and collaboration between the two functions, and where the line is drawn often varies depending on the specific goals, industry and company dynamics. 

The difference between sales and marketing

As a marketing consultant I feel that more and more of the sales role is being added into the marketing remit.

But what are the differences between sales and marketing, and how do they work together?

Let’s have a look at the key roles of sales and marketing:

Marketing Team Responsibilities:

Brand Awareness: creating brand awareness and visibility through various channels such as advertising, content marketing, and social media.

Lead Generation: through campaigns, events, and other promotional activities.
Education and Engagement: highlights the features and benefits of products or services, and engages with audiences through content and communication.

Market Research: building understanding of customer needs, preferences, and trends, to inform product development and marketing strategies.

Lead Qualification: ensuring that leads meet certain criteria before passing them to sales. This might include factors such as demographic information, budget, authority to purchase, and level of interest.

Sales Team Responsibilities:

Closing Deals: working directly with prospects to move them through the sales funnel, overcome objections, and ultimately close deals.

Relationship Building: building and maintaining relationships with customers, addressing their needs and providing personalised solutions.

Revenue Generation: generate revenue for the company by converting leads into paying customers.

How do the roles of marketing and sales teams overlap?

Lead Nurturing: Both sales and marketing teams play a role in nurturing leads throughout the buyer’s journey. Marketing may use automated email campaigns and content to nurture leads in the early stages, while sales may provide personalised follow-up as leads progress.

Data Sharing: Sales and marketing teams should share data and insights about leads and customers to improve targeting, messaging, and overall performance.

Alignment on Goals: Sales and marketing teams should align on common goals, such as revenue targets and customer satisfaction metrics, and work together to achieve them.

Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop between marketing and sales team to continually refine lead generation efforts and improve the handoff process. This can help identify any gals or areas for improvement in the marketing-to-sales transition as well as optimising strategy.


It’s clear that while there are distinct roles and responsibilities for sales and marketing teams, collaboration and alignment between the two functions are essential for driving business growth and success. As mentioned, the lines between sales and marketing are becoming increasingly blurred, with marketing taking on more of a role in lead generation and nurturing, and sales focusing on relationship building and closing deals.

If you need help creating a marketing strategy that truly supports your sales team, please do not hesitate to contact Tabitha Beasley at The Marketing Associates: tabitha@themarketingassociates.co.uk or call 01233 720379