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Sales

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Sales

Vegetable seller at a market in Porto Covo, Portugal.

A sale is the exchange of a commodity for money or service in return for money or the action of selling something.[1]

The seller or the provider of the goods or services completes a sale in response to an acquisition, an appropriation[2] or a request. There is a passing of title (property or ownership) of the item, and the settlement of a price. A seller agrees upon a price which he willingly gives ownership of the item. The seller, not the purchaser generally executes the sale and it is completed prior to the obligation of payment. A person who sells goods or service on behalf of the seller is known as salesman or saleswoman.

Contents

  • Sales methods 1
  • Sales agents 2
    • Inside sales vs. Outside sales 2.1
  • The relationships between sales and marketing 3
    • Industrial marketing 3.1
  • Sales and marketing alignment and integration 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Sales methods

A beach salesman showing necklaces to a tourist in Mexico.

A sale can take place through:[3]

Sales agents

Agents in the sales process can represent either of two parties in the sales process; for example:

  1. Sales broker, seller agency, seller agent, seller representative: This is a traditional role where the salesman represents a person or company on the selling end of a deal.
  2. Buyers broker or Buyer brokerage: This is where the salesman represents the consumer making the purchase. This is most often applied in large transactions.
  3. Disclosed dual agent:This is where the salesman represents both parties in the sale and acts as a mediator for the transaction. The role of the salesman here is to oversee that both parties receive an honest and fair deal, and is responsible to both.
  4. Transaction broker: This is where the salesperson represents neither party but handles the transaction only. The seller owes no responsibility to either party getting a fair or honest deal, just that all of the papers are handled properly.
  5. Sales outsourcing involves direct branded representation where the sales representatives are recruited, hired, and managed by an external entity but hold quotas, represent themselves as the brand of the client, and report all activities (through their own sales management channels) back to the client. It is akin to a virtual extension of a sales force (see sales outsourcing).
  6. Sales managers aim to implement various sales strategies and management techniques in order to facilitate improved profits and increased sales volume. They are also responsible for coordinating the sales and marketing department as well as oversight concerning the fair and honest execution of the sales process by their agents.
  7. Salesperson: The primary function of professional salespeople is to generate and close business resulting in revenue. The sales person will accomplish their primary function through a variety of means including phone calls, email, social media, networking, and cold calling. The primary objective of the successful salesperson is to find the consumers to sell to. Sales is often referred to as a "numbers game" because a general law of averages and pattern of successful closing of business will emerge through heightened sales activity. These activities include but are not limited to:

locating prospects, fostering relationships with prospects, building trust with future clients, identifying and filling needs of consumers, and therefore turning prospective customers into actual ones. Many tools are used by successful salespeople, the most important of which is questioning which can be defined as a series of questions and resulting answers allowing the salesperson to understand a customer's goals and requirements relevant to the product. The creation of value or perceived value is the result of taking the information gathered, analyzing the goals and needs of the prospective customer and leveraging the products and/or services the salesperson's firm represents or sells in a way that most effectively achieves the prospective clients goals and/or suits their needs. Effective salespeople will package their offering and present their proposed solution in a way that leads the prospective customer to the conclusion that they acquire the solution, resulting in revenue and profit for the salesperson and the organization they represent.

Inside sales vs. Outside sales

Since the advent of the telephone, a distinction has been made[4] between "inside sales" and "outside sales" although it is generally agreed that those terms have no hard-and-fast definition.[5] In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act defines outside sales representatives as "employees [who] sell their employer's products, services, or facilities to customers away from their employer's place(s) of business, in general, either at the customer's place of business or by selling door-to-door at the customer's home" while defining those who work "from the employer's location" as inside sales.[6] Inside sales generally involves attempting to close business primarily over the phone via telemarketing, while outside sales (or "field" sales) will usually involve initial phone work to book sales calls at the potential buyer's location to attempt to close the deal in person. Some companies have an inside sales department that works with outside representatives and book their appointments for them. Inside sales sometimes refers to upselling to existing customers.

The relationships between sales and marketing

Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Social values also play a major role in consumer decision processes.[7]

The field of customer service") label for a number of processes whose inputs and outputs supply one another to varying degrees. In this context, improving an "output" (such as sales) involves studying and improving the broader sales process, as in any system, since the component functional areas interact and are interdependent.[8]

Most large corporations structure their marketing departments in a similar fashion to sales departments and the managers of these teams must coordinate efforts in order to drive profits and business success. For example, an "inbound" focused campaign seeks to drive more customers "through the door", giving the sales department a better chance of selling their product to the consumer. A good marketing program would address any potential downsides as well.

The sales department would aim to improve the interaction between the customer and the sales facility or mechanism (example, web site) and/or salesperson. Sales management would break down the selling process and then increase the effectiveness of the discrete processes as well as the interaction between processes. For example, in many out-bound sales environments, the typical process includes out-bound calling, the sales pitch, handling objections, opportunity identification, and the close. Each step of the process has sales-related issues, skills, and training needs, as well as marketing solutions to improve each discrete step, as well as the whole process.

One further common complication of marketing involves the inability to measure results for a great deal of marketing initiatives. In essence, many marketing and advertising executives often lose sight of the objective of sales/revenue/profit, as they focus on establishing a creative/innovative program, without concern for the top line or bottom lines - a fundamental pitfall of marketing for marketing's sake.

Many companies find it challenging to get marketing and sales on the same page.[9] The two departments, although different in nature, handle very similar concepts and have to work together for sales to be successful. Building a good relationship between the two that encourages communication can be the key to success - even in a down economy.

Industrial marketing

The idea that marketing can potentially eliminate the need for sales people depends entirely on context. For example, this may be possible in some Fast-moving consumer-goods (FMCG) require no sales people at the point of sale to get them to jump off the supermarket shelf and into the customer's trolley. However, the purchase of large mining equipment worth millions of dollars will require a sales person to manage the sales process - particularly in the face of competitors. Small and medium businesses selling such large ticket items to a geographically-disperse client base use Manufacturers' representatives to provide these highly personal service while avoiding the large expense of a captive sales force.

Sales and marketing alignment and integration

Another area of discussion involves the need for alignment and integration between corporate sales and marketing functions. According to a report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, only 40 percent of companies have formal programs, systems or processes in place to align and integrate the two critical functions.

Traditionally, these two functions, as referenced above, have operated separately, left in siloed areas of tactical responsibility. Glen Petersen's book The Profit Maximization Paradox[10] sees the changes in the competitive landscape between the 1950s and the time of writing as so dramatic that the complexity of choice, price and opportunities for the customer forced this seemingly simple and integrated relationship between sales and marketing to change forever. Petersen goes on to highlight that salespeople spend approximately 40 percent of their time preparing customer-facing deliverables while leveraging less than 50 percent of the materials created by marketing, adding to perceptions that marketing is out of touch with the customer and that sales is resistant to messaging and strategy.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sale
  2. ^ Part III, effects of the contract, Rule 5. Sale of Goods Act 1979. Sale of Goods Act 1979
  3. ^ Compendium of Professional Selling. United Professional Sales Association. n.d. 
  4. ^ "What is Inside Sales? The Definition of Inside Sales". Forbes.com. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  5. ^ "What is Inside Sales?". The Bridge Group, Inc. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  6. ^ "elaws - FLSA Overtime Security Advisor".  
  7. ^ https://articles/Lynn_R._Kahle
  8. ^ Paul H. Selden (December 1998). "Sales Process Engineering: An Emerging Quality Application". Quality Progress: 59–63. 
  9. ^ "Ending The War Between Sales And Marketing". hbr.org. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Petersen, Glen S. (2008). The Profit Maximization Paradox: Cracking the Marketing/Sales Alignment Code. Booksurge in 1221. p. 176.  
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