Sales are essentially activities relating to the quantity of products sold in a defined time frame or sales. The sale of a product to someone who needs it is also commonly thought to be a sale. Some examples of sales activities are the purchase of services, products or the provision of a service. Other examples of sales activities are the provision of equipment or advertising materials.
These days the emphasis in most businesses is on sales. With an ever shrinking market, selling has become more important than ever. Sales training is becoming a major business activity as companies seek new ways to increase sales. Sales managers have a crucial role to play in a company’s overall strategy and sales strategies. As part of their role, they need to use effective sales strategies to achieve company sales goals.
A sales strategy is a comprehensive approach to sales and marketing that takes into account the characteristics of the buyer and the product or service being sold. It is designed to take into account the needs of both parties and to ensure that the transaction can be concluded satisfactorily. A comprehensive sales strategy should include the identification of the prospective buyers, the methods for contacting them and the different forms of marketing to be used in order to persuade them to make a purchase. The sales manager should have an understanding of all aspects of the buying process and be able to devise a unique plan to close a sale.
In order to promote sales there are two business functions that need to be properly implemented in the sales process. First, there is the critical function of the sales manager who is responsible for the planning, development and implementation of the sales plan. The sales plan will identify the target audience, the target financial capacity and the sales techniques that will be used to communicate with each market sector. The marketing function, which is often referred to as the strategic marketing function, focuses on using existing sales processes to create new marketing opportunities and to maximize the effectiveness of existing advertising efforts. These marketing functions will provide the necessary linkages between the sales processes and the marketing functions of the company.
When it comes to implementing a sales strategy there are two main approaches that companies adopt. One approach is known as the integrated approach and this focuses on combining the core elements of selling through the various channels and selling through a consistent sales message that is broadcast to the target market. This system consists of developing an effective selling message, creating a selling brochure, developing a distribution plan and testing the message before it is broadcasted. The other approach is known as the independent sales strategy and this consists of developing and maintaining strong relationship networks that are capable of penetrating the target market and developing strong relationships with key distributors. Most of the time, companies that employ these two different strategies for selling will be employing an expensive process. However, an efficient sales strategy can result in substantial savings and if used effectively can improve the quality of the services and products sold.
Sales management and marketing are connected when it comes to identifying potential selling opportunities and this involves the sales person who is responsible for evaluating the selling prospects and determining the kind of selling opportunity that can benefit the company. Sales management is concerned with budgeting, forecasting and analyzing the sales performance of the sales staff as well as monitoring the progress and sales of the company’s products and services. Sales management performs tasks such as evaluating, rating, planning and controlling the relationships between the sales force and the clients and suppliers and developing a strategy that uses the results of these relationships to improve the selling results. Some of the common sales management activities include developing a sales strategy, developing a client profile, evaluating the selling prospect and developing marketing programs that are designed to increase sales.