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Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods or services sold in a given time period.

The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in response to an acquisition, appropriation,[1] requisition]], or a direct interaction with the he point of sale. There is a passing of title (property or ownership) of the item, and the settlement of a price, in which agreement is reached on a price for which transfer of ownership of the item will occur. The seller, not the purchaser, typically executes the sale and it may be completed prior to the obligation of payment. In the case of indirect interaction, a person who sells goods or service on behalf of the owner is known as a salesman or saleswoman or salesperson, but this often refers to someone selling goods in a store/shop, in which case other terms are also common, including salesclerk, shop assistant, and retail clerk.

In common law countries, sales are governed generally by the common law and commercial codes. In the United States, the laws governing sales of goods are somewhat uniform to the extent that most jurisdictions have adopted Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, albeit with some non-uniform variations.

Definition


A person or organization expressing an interest in acquiring the offered item of value is referred to as a potential buyer, prospective customer, or prospect.

Although the skills required are different, from a management viewpoint, sales is a part of marketing.[3] Sales often form a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salespersons (singular: salesperson). Selling is considered by many to be a sort of persuading "art". Contrary to popular belief, the methodological approach of selling refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesman relates his or her offering of a product or service in return enabling the buyer to achieve their goal in an economic way.[4]

According to a 2018 survey of salespeople, selling has become more difficult in recent years due to changes in technology and general access to prospects.[5] While the sales process refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, the definition of the selling is somewhat ambiguous due to the close nature of advertising, promotion, public relations, and direct marketing.

Selling is the profession-wide term, much like marketing defines a profession. Recently, attempts have been made to clearly understand who is in the sales profession, and who is not. There are many articles looking at marketing, advertising, promotions, and even public relations as ways to create a unique transaction.

Many believe that the focus of selling is on the human agents involved in the exchange between buyer and seller.

Within these three tenets, the following definition of professional selling is offered by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD):

Team selling is one way to influence sales. Team selling is "a group of people representing the sales department and other functional areas in the firm, such as finance, production, and research and development". (Spiro) Team selling came about in the 1990s through total quality management (TQM). TQM occurs when companies work to improve their customer satisfaction by constantly improving all their operations.

Marketing and sales differ greatly, but they generally have the same goal. Selling is the final stage in marketing which puts the plan into effect. A marketing plan includes pricing, promotion, place, and product (the 4 P's). A marketing department in an organization has the goals of increasing the desirability and value of the products and services to the customer and increasing the number and engagement of successful interactions between potential customers and the organization. Achieving this goal may involve the sales team using promotional techniques such as advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and public relations, creating new sales channels, or creating new products. It can also include encouraging the potential customer to visit the organization's website, contact the organization for more information, or interact with the organization via social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Social values play a major role in consumer decision processes. Marketing is the whole of the work on persuasion made for the whole of the target people. Sales is the process of persuasion and effort from one person to one person (B2C), or one person to a corporation (B2B), in order to make a living resource enter the company. This may occur in person, over the phone or digitally.

The field of sales process engineering views "sales" as the output of a larger system, not just as the output of one department. The larger system includes many functional areas within an organization. From this perspective, the labels "sales" and "marketing" cover several processes whose inputs and outputs supply one another. In this context, improving an "output" (such as sales) involves studying and improving the broader sales process, since the component functional areas interact and are interdependent.[7]

Many large corporations structure their marketing departments so they are integrated with all areas of the business.[8] They create multiple teams with a singular focus, and the managers of these teams must coordinate efforts in order to drive profits and business success.

The sales department would aim to improve the interaction between the customer and the sales channel or salesperson.

One further common complication of marketing is the difficulty in measuring results for some marketing initiatives.

Many companies find it challenging to get their marketing and sales teams to agree.[9] The two departments, although different in nature, handle very similar concepts and have to work together to achieve the business' goals.

The idea that marketing can potentially eliminate the need for salespeople depends entirely on context.

Another area of discussion involves the need for alignment and integration of corporate sales and marketing functions.

Traditionally, these two functions, as referenced above, have operated separately, left in siloed areas of tactical responsibility.

Methods


A sale can take place through:[11]

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

  • Buyers broker or Buyer brokerage: This is where the salesman represents the consumer making the purchase.
  • 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.
  • Internet Sales Professionals: These people are primarily responsible for ensuring immediate response to the leads generated via social media, website or email campaigns.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Salesperson: The primary function of professional salespeople is to generate and close business resulting in revenue.
  • Transaction broker: This is where the salesperson represents neither party but handles the transaction only.

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.[14] 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.

See also


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