March 20, 2020 Eóin Kearney

Hard vs. Soft Skills | Sales vs. Marketing

Recently, I had the pleasure of delivering a sales and marketing module to a group of startups. We looked at the relationship between the two areas and how when built on collaboration, it can help grow your business exponentially.

In today’s terms,
marketing is getting someone to swipe right;
sales is getting them to go on a date.

It is well known that sales and marketing can often be at odds with each other, when in fact they should be best friends. For me, marketing is the science behind attracting potential customers and sales, the art of getting those potential customers to part with their money. In the simplest of terms, marketing is getting someone to swipe right, sales is getting them to go on a date.

Having worked in both sales and marketing positions, I have noticed some other core differences too and it is very much about having the right people in the right roles. Marketing, in my opinion, can benefit more from hard skills (e.g. analytics, design, copywriting), whereas sales; although not exclusively, tends to benefit from the more often under-appreciated, soft skills (e.g. emotional intelligence (EQ), negotiation, empathy ).

The terminology of hard and soft skills can sometimes be misinterpreted, with hard kills being seen as the better and more respected skill set. I believe they each have their place and in fact, soft skills can actually be harder to master. This is down to the fundamental fact; hard skills can be taught while soft skills are about mindset, they need to be accepted on a deep, personal level.

The secret is to be open to continually develop your hard and soft skill sets. Both can be honed by watching those around you. Sometimes, you learn more from just watching others, especially if you can see what they are doing wrong and where they can improve.

Eóin Kearney

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, I bring with me a huge passion for innovation, strategic marketing, and design. Currently based in The Netherlands, I’ve also been fortunate to have lived and worked in both the U.S. and France. If this article helps please get in touch.