Sales are activities associated with the procurement of products or services at a particular point of time and sold at a certain rate. The acquisition of a product for a certain fee is also considered as a sales. These sales are carried out through agents or middlemen such as retailers, merchandisers, agents, departmental stores, etc. The most common and significant forms of sales are retail sales, business sales, wholesale sales, and business-to-business sales. Other kinds of sales include lease sales, support sales, disposals, and leasing sales.
In sales management, there is the concept of sales force automation. This involves the development of computer software that helps the salesman or agent to be more efficient. Automation helps the sales force to deal with more sales and thus enabling the salesman to deliver the same as efficiently as possible. The sales manager develops, implements, and enhances the sales process by identifying the needs of the customers, analyzing the competition, evaluating the skills of the sales force, analyzing market conditions, reviewing the performance of the agents, planning and organizing the sales promotion, etc. These activities form the basic infrastructure of the sales management system.
Sales training classes teach students how to properly identify the needs of the customers, what makes a customer tick, what emotions make a person buy, how to communicate effectively with them, how to listen carefully and deeply to understand their needs, what language to use when communicating, how to measure things, and how to record each step of the sales process. Students learn how to use the tools and processes that are usually used by salespersons, including cold calling, prospecting, appointment setting, preparation of proposals, presentations, follow up calls, networking, and cold calling. Sales training classes include knowledge about demographics, sales patterns, sales techniques, marketing tools, target markets, pricing, and financing. Students also learn about one stage to two stage marketing plans, strategies for creating a competitive edge, using different media to communicate with customers, and developing and implementing winning sales strategies. A good sales training class should also include information about how to train other salespeople, how to work with other departments within the organization, and how to integrate management and sales.
One important area that is taught in many sales courses is selling finance. Financing is very important to all salespeople. The reason for this is that the buying part of the sales process starts with the buyer (the transaction), while the selling part of the sales process usually continues with the seller (the consummation of the transaction). Many salespeople mistakenly believe that they can sell anything and everything to anyone and as a result, they never really close a sale, let alone make a profit. If you’re a salesperson and you’re trying to figure out how to close a sale even though you don’t really know anything about sales, it might be because you’re selling finance and you need some inside sales training on how to close a transaction regardless of what the product is or what the price is.
Another key area that sales training should cover is selling yourself. Sales people have a unique perspective of how they want to be perceived by their buyers. Although the salesperson may believe that he is selling to a consumer or a person with a need, the truth of the matter is that he is selling to a fellow salesman. The role of the salesperson in the selling process is to identify a need, then find the best way to satisfy the buyer and close the sale.
Finally, the last area that most sales training classes fail to teach students is marketing themselves. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the sales process and the most overlooked. The salesperson represents the buyer and the salesman represent the seller and the entire sales process depend on the buyer perceiving the seller as being worthy of his time. Without marketing, the sales process will literally never end.