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Sales vs. Turnover: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Sales refer to the total revenue from goods sold or services provided, whereas turnover encompasses total business revenue, including from non-sales activities.
Sales vs. Turnover

Key Differences

Sales specifically denote the transactions where goods or services are exchanged for money, highlighting the revenue aspect of a business. Turnover, on the other hand, is a broader term that includes the total amount of business conducted within a given period, which encompasses sales but may also include other forms of revenue.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
In context, sales are often used to refer to the performance of a company’s core business activities, focusing on the exchange of goods or services. Conversely, turnover can also refer to the rate at which inventory or assets of a business "turn over" or are replaced or used within a certain period, offering a more comprehensive picture of business activity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
When analyzing a company’s performance, sales figures are crucial for understanding the demand for its products or services. Turnover, however, can provide insights into the overall health and efficiency of the business, including how effectively resources are being utilized.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
In financial reporting, sales are often reported as a line item, indicating the direct income from core business activities. In contrast, turnover can be used in different contexts, such as employee turnover or asset turnover, thereby encompassing a broader range of business operations beyond just sales.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
While sales figures are critical for marketing and product strategy, focusing on customer acquisition and market penetration, turnover can be a key metric in operational and strategic planning, indicating the overall scale and scope of business operations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Revenue from goods/services sold
Total business revenue
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Nov 10, 2023

Scope

Specific to selling activities
Broader, includes all revenue
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Nov 10, 2023

Financial Reporting

Line item for direct income
Can refer to different metrics
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Nov 10, 2023

Strategic Implications

Key for marketing/product strategy
Important for operational planning
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Business Insight

Indicates market demand
Reflects overall business health
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Sales and Turnover Definitions

Sales

A department within a company that handles selling.
He works in the sales department, dealing with customer relations.
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Nov 10, 2023

Turnover

The total amount of money taken by a business in a particular period.
The company's turnover last year was impressive despite the economic downturn.
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Nov 10, 2023

Sales

Revenue earned from selling products or services.
The company's sales increased after launching the new product line.
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Nov 10, 2023

Turnover

The rate at which inventory or assets are used or replaced.
The high turnover of stock indicates strong consumer demand.
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Nov 10, 2023

Sales

The exchange of a commodity for money.
The sales of the latest smartphone model exceeded expectations.
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Turnover

The rate at which employees leave and are replaced in a business.
The company is looking to reduce its staff turnover by improving working conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Sales

The operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods or services.
Her skills in sales helped the company to expand its market share.
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Nov 10, 2023

Turnover

The act or rate of processing and settling transactions.
The fast turnover of orders is essential for customer satisfaction.
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Nov 10, 2023

Sales

The aggregate amount of goods or services sold.
Last quarter's sales figures were an all-time high for the company.
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Nov 10, 2023

Turnover

The act or fact of turning over
Preventing the turnover of vehicles in accidents.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sales

The exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or its equivalent; the act of selling
The sale of such a nice house should be easy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

An abrupt change or transfer, as of power or ownership.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sales

A selling of property to the highest bidder; an auction.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

A small pastry made by covering one half of a piece of dough with a filling, folding the other half over on top, and sealing the edges.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sales

An offer or arrangement in which goods are sold at a discount
The store has a sale on winter coats.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The number of times a particular stock of goods is sold and restocked during a given period of time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sales

The business or activity of selling goods or services
She works in sales.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The amount of business transacted during a given period of time.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sales

The number of items sold or the amount of money received for a number of items sold
Sales are better than expected.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The number of shares of stock sold on the market during a given period of time.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sales

Plural of sale
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The number of things that are replaced by others of the same kind, or the rate at which this happens
The turnover of red blood cells.
A rapid turnover of hospital patients.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sales

The activities involved in selling goods or services.
He's likable and motivated: perfect for a career in sales.
We have a sales training program beginning this Monday.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The number of workers that have left a workplace or industry and been replaced in a given period of time, or the rate at which this happens.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sales

The amount or value of goods and services sold.
Sales were up 12% over last year.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The ratio of this number to the number of employed workers in a workplace.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Sales

Income (at invoice values) received for goods and services over some given period of time
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

(Sports) A loss of possession of the ball or puck to the opposing team, as by a misplay or an infraction of the rules.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

Capable of being turned or folded down or over
A turnover collar.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The amount of money taken as sales transacted in a given period.
The company had an annual turnover of $500,000.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The frequency with which stock is replaced after being used or sold, workers leave and are replaced, a property changes hands, etc.
High staff-turnover can lead to low morale amongst employees
Those apartments have a high turnover because they are so close to the railroad tracks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

A semicircular pastry made by turning one half of a circular crust over the other, enclosing the filling (usually fruit).
They only served me one apple turnover for breakfast.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

(sports) A loss of possession of the ball without scoring.
The Nimrods committed another dismaying turnover en route to another humiliating loss.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

A measure of leg speed: the frequency with which one takes strides when running, typically given in strides per minute.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The act or result of overturning something; an upset.
A bad turnover in a carriage
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

(dated) An apprentice, in any trade, who is handed over from one master to another to complete his time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

Capable of being turned over; designed to be turned over.
A turnover collar
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The act or result of turning over; an upset; as, a bad turnover in a carriage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

A semicircular pie or tart made by turning one half of a circular crust over the other, inclosing the fruit or other materials; as, an apple turnover.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

An apprentice, in any trade, who is handed over from one master to another to complete his time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

Admitting of being turned over; made to be turned over; as, a turnover collar, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The ratio of the number of workers that had to be replaced in a given time period to the average number of workers
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

Made by folding a piece of pastry over a filling
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Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The volume measured in dollars;
The store's dollar volume continues to rise
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The act of upsetting something;
He was badly bruised by the upset of his sled at a high speed
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Turnover

The process of transferring ownership of a property or business.
The turnover of the family business to the next generation was a smooth process.
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Nov 10, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is turnover just about revenue?

No, it includes asset and employee turnover rates.
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Nov 10, 2023

What are sales?

Revenue from goods/services sold.
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Nov 10, 2023

What is turnover?

Total business revenue or rate of replacing assets.
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Nov 10, 2023

Can sales be negative?

No, sales represent positive revenue.
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Nov 10, 2023

How do sales impact a business?

Directly affects profit and market presence.
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Nov 10, 2023

Is turnover a good measure of company size?

Yes, it indicates the scale of operations.
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Nov 10, 2023

Do sales only include physical products?

No, they also include services.
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Nov 10, 2023

How do businesses increase sales?

Through marketing, quality improvement, and customer service.
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Nov 10, 2023

Do all businesses report sales?

Yes, if they are involved in selling goods or services.
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Nov 10, 2023

Can sales be forecasted?

Yes, based on market trends and historical data.
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Nov 10, 2023

Can turnover be negative?

Not typically, as it represents total revenue or replacement rate.
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Nov 10, 2023

Does high turnover mean high profits?

Not always, as costs must be considered.
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Nov 10, 2023

How are sales tracked?

Through financial records and sales tracking software.
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Nov 10, 2023

Are online sales included in total sales?

Yes, all sales channels are included.
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Nov 10, 2023

What is asset turnover?

A ratio showing how efficiently a company uses its assets.
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Nov 10, 2023

Does high turnover always mean good business?

Not necessarily, as it could indicate high costs or employee turnover.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

What's a good sales growth rate?

It varies by industry and market conditions.
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Nov 10, 2023

Is turnover the same as profit?

No, turnover is revenue, while profit is revenue minus expenses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can turnover indicate market position?

Yes, along with other financial metrics.
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Nov 10, 2023

How does employee turnover affect a business?

It can impact efficiency and costs.
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Nov 10, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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