Marketing and sales are siblings but not twins. Marketing is more closely aligned with your business model and less with the sales team. Forward-thinking organizations understand the value of breaking down silos to allow collaboration across functional departments. The Agile Methodology, adopted in part or in whole across new and established organizations, testifies to the evolution of business organizations embracing the need to adapt quickly to succeed. Delineating the functions of sales and marketing continues to be a semantic battle that can muddy the waters when hiring or bringing on third parties to perform marketing functions with incongruent sales expectations.

While marketing and sales go hand-in-hand, it is important to set proper expectations of what functions belong to each role. Here is a guide to help define the functions you need in your organization and bring on talent or outsource accordingly.

1. Is their role transactional? Regardless of the time to convert a lead to a sale, if the ultimate goal of the individual is to transact with the client, then it is a sales role. For some industries the lead conversion time may be one minute to six months or more. Expect more expensive items to take longer. A pack of gum vs. a home purchase. A real estate agent is in sales. They also handle their own marketing to a certain extent. They are responsible for promoting their personal brand under the umbrella of their brokerage. The brokerage is responsible for marketing the brand, not the salesperson. Can a real estate agent outsource some of their marketing efforts? Sure!

2. Does their role require communicating directly with new, unconverted leads? If yes, then the role is under sales.

 If you are looking for someone to stand at a table at an event to represent your brand, you don’t need a marketer, you need sales. They may not transact, but each person that approaches your table is a lead. If the lead comes in contact with the person and the person is expected to communicate the value of the brand, product, or service, then this is a sales role, or sales assistant. This is not marketing.

3. Are you looking for a way to reach or bring more customers to your online or real-life business? You are looking for a marketer. The marketer communicates the functional benefits of your product or service by crafting communication for a variety of channels to trigger the emotions that make that customer convert to a lead.

4. Does their role require interpretation of data analytics? This is in the realm of marketing. The marketer should have a close understanding of your business model and your brand. Their role requires interpreting data to ensure it aligns with the overall business objectives.

Consider your marketing team as the bridge between your sales and operations of your business, the connection between the front and back end of your business. When you build your marketing strategy, focus on how your brand will connect with new and existing customers. Build a strategy that works to align your business objectives with how you communicate outside of your organization. When you build your sales strategy, think about how you will train your team to nurture the leads towards transaction. While both marketing and sales are both communicators, their roles function quite differently.