Sales and Marketing are both cornerstones to growing your business. Studies have shown that when leveraging multiple people for these efforts, the efficacy grows. Basically, it’s more successful and profitable to have each one its own entity. With its own person or team. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t reliant on each other. The truth is they should be integrated.

Many small businesses have 1 person managing both. This is often because money is tight and the SMO doesn’t know what skills to look for to fill each position. So, let’s break those skills down by position.

Before we begin, this isn’t to say it’s impossible to do both. That’s not true. At all. It’s just that most people can’t. They’re wired a certain way which makes them good at one or the other. Some people have transitioned well from one to the other. Some have just been forced to do it long enough that they can do both.

Sales and Marketing

Well, it’s quite simple actually. Marketing is getting people to notice you. Sales are getting them to buy from you. Let’s break it down a little more.


Sales are the activities that you do to sell your products or services. This includes promotions, discounts, direct client interaction, handling new leads, etc. Something as simple as answering questions about a product, or helping someone decide what’s best for them is an act of sales. When 2 parties are discussing a purchase or acquiring something new, it’s a sales process.

Your sales team is a full-throttle high-performance sports engine.


Marketing is the process of creating an interest in your products or services. It’s drawing in traffic, providing education, getting in the minds and eyes of your prospects. Promoting awareness and creating a feeling. Marketing is all of the things you do to get people to know your brand and like your brand. Advertising, SEO, Website, Brochures, Radio, TV, etc. are examples of marketing.

Your marketing team should be creative and able to frequently come up with new ideas

Sales and Marketing Traits

Now let’s look at what traits are best for each of these positions.

Sales Traits

  • Confident but Modest – if you’re too showy and too pushy, you’ll alienate too many people. If you aren’t confident enough, customers will believe you don’t know what you’re talking about. In sales, there are times when you need to dominate without being aggressive or a bully.
  • Dutiful – people don’t like being sold, they’d rather be in a relationship that’s trustworthy. If you have integrity and show a sense of responsibility, you’ll prosper more with your audience.
  • Goal Driven – salespeople are high-pressure seekers. They like to reach goals just to have them pushed to greater lengths. They’re always looking for a challenge and a new ‘high’.
  • Spontaneous – Salespeople need to be quick thinking. Articulate speakers who can speak with authority without a lot of preparation. They can be impulsive because they want the sale. They’re assertive and willing to try numerous ways to achieve their goals.
  • Good Sport – Sales requires you to hear a lot of “no” answers. These people know how to handle disappointment and quickly move on. Much like a QB having a short memory for throwing interceptions. Your best salespeople can get back on the horse and do it over and over and over. Sore losers cannot be good salespeople. They will lose too much confidence.
  • Sociable¬† – They aren’t bashful or inhibited. They have no trouble talking to strangers. They know how to blend in and get along with a variety of personality styles.

Marketing Traits

  • Observant – marketers can often be obsessed with psychology or sociology…perhaps both. They want to know what makes people tick and how. It’s also easier for them to notice the tiniest changes in people and their behavior.
  • Good Listeners – marketers generally tend to listen more than they talk. They are all about receiving information, processing it, researching it, and using it to plan.
  • Comfortable with Change – markets change as often as marketing strategies. Good marketers can embrace change, adapt, and grow with it. It’s common for them to be very experimental. They aren’t opposed to trying new things often.
  • Knowledge Obsessed – you have to always be willing to learn in marketing. It’s a shifting environment. It can change often. There’s always something to learn, improve on, or try.
  • Organized – marketers are very calculated and they’re great at implementation. They can plan and they can do.
  • Patient – marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no here and now. Rather there and then. They know how to be patient to allow things to work.
  • Strategic – much like chess, marketing is based on strategy. Marketers are comfortable with putting a lot of thought into actions.
  • Problem Solvers – most marketers aren’t out for glory. They’re team-oriented and are more focused on fixing issues rather than being in front of people.

As you can see, there’s a lot of differences in personality but it doesn’t mean someone cannot have them all. Just that it’s unlikely. Possible, not probable.

Marketing is the giant net that’s thrown in the ocean. Sales are the fisherman grabbing the catches out of the net. They work together in unison but they aren’t the same thing. They’re two moving cogs of a larger wheel.

You can’t have one running well without the other. They need to be balanced and well oiled

Similar Traits

There ARE traits that I believe are shared with sales and marketing personalities.

  • Curious – the best people in these industries will ask a lot of questions. They will probe, dig, learn. They are driven to get to the root of the conversation.
  • Honest – the worst thing you can do is fail to deliver what you promise. The best people in these fields know you have to have honor and integrity with your relationships.
  • Instinctive – you can’t teach instinct! That skill goes a long way in each of these positions. If you find someone with a good gut for either, snatch them up.
  • Accountable – both sales and marketing require you to be honest about your data, results, and reports. These people have no issues being held up to standards and working on ways to improve their performances.
  • Communicators – communication is key to sales and marketing. This doesn’t always mean talking. Nonverbal or visual communication is just as important.
  • Flexible – theses people shouldn’t get upset at needing to adjust their own strategy to fit what is needed at the time. When promoting different products or services, they may need to adapt to temporary styles, strategies, new people, etc.
  • Enthusiastic – these efforts will always be more successful if the people are intent and ambitious. Happy to do their job.
  • Empathetic – insensitive people simply won’t likely have a career in these fields. They’re too disingenuine and customers will be very turned off.

2 different things blended together indefinitely. This is the ideal visual for sales and marketing


Hopefully, you have a better idea of why many professionals feel that the same person generally won’t excel at sales and marketing. They really are two very different things that aren’t that different at all. Confusing, yes. It’s the dichotomy of these that make it so hard to find the right talent. I have hopes that this article helped you with that. If you ARE using only one person, how do you feel now that you’ve read the piece? If you have teams, do you feel you have the right teams in place?

Let’s connect on Facebook and feel free to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your experiences and what you agree and disagree on.

Thanks for reading!