Sales is activity related to selling or the amount 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, requisition or a
direct interaction with the buyer at the 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 generally 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
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.
1.1 Relationships with marketing
1.2 Industrial marketing
Sales and marketing alignment and integration
2.1 List of methods
2.3 Inside sales vs. outside sales
3 See also
5 External links
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. Buying and selling are understood to be two
sides of the same "coin" or transaction. Both seller and buyer engage
in a process of negotiation to consummate the exchange of values. The
exchange, or selling, process has implied rules and identifiable
stages. It is implied that the selling process will proceed fairly and
ethically so that the parties end up nearly equally rewarded. The
stages of selling, and buying, involve getting acquainted, assessing
each party's need for the other's item of value, and determining if
the values to be exchanged are equivalent or nearly so, or, in buyer's
terms, "worth the price". Sometimes, sellers have to use their own
experiences when selling products with appropriate discounts.
From a management viewpoint it is thought of as a part of
marketing, although the skills required are different.
forms 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. 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.
Two common terms used to describe a salesperson are "Farmer" and
"Hunter". The reality is that most professional sales people have a
little of both. A hunter is often associated with aggressive
personalities who use aggressive sales technique. In terms of sales
methodology a hunter refers to a person whose focus is on bringing in
and closing deals. This process is called "sales capturing". An
example is a commodity sale such as a long distance sales person, shoe
sales person and to a degree a car sales person. Their job is to find
and convert buyers. A sales farmer is someone who creates sales demand
by activities that directly influence and alter the buying process.
Many believe that the focus of selling is on the human agents involved
in the exchange between buyer and seller. Effective selling also
requires a systems approach, at minimum involving roles that sell,
enable selling, and develop sales capabilities. Selling also involves
salespeople who possess a specific set of sales skills and the
knowledge required to facilitate the exchange of value between buyers
and sellers that is unique from marketing, advertising, etc.
Within these three tenets, the following definition of professional
selling is offered by the American Society for Training and
The holistic business system required to effectively develop, manage,
enable, and execute a mutually beneficial, interpersonal exchange of
goods or services for equitable value.
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
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 of
Relationships with marketing
Sex in advertising
Point of sale
Marketing and sales differ greatly, but generally have the same goal.
Selling is the final stage in marketing, which also 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 to
the customer and increasing the number and engagement of 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 (new product
development), among other things. It can also include bringing the
potential customer to visit the organization's website(s) for more
information, or to contact the organization for more information, or
to interact with the organization via social media such as Twitter,
Facebook and blogs. Social values also play a major role in consumer
Marketing is the whole of the work on persuasion
made for the whole of the target people.
Sales is the persuasion and
effort that from one person to one person (B2C), one person makes to
the corporation (B2B) in the face or in the phone or in the digital
environment, to make a living resource enter the company.
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, "sales" and "marketing" (among others, such as
"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.
Many large corporations structure their marketing departments so they
are directly integrated with all lines of business. 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. 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) or
Sales is the forefront of any organization, this would
always need to take place before any other business process may begin.
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. In many cases becoming a
salesperson is a default career as not many people aspire to be a
salesman but rather fall into the job due to circumstances. It can be
highly rewarding as you receive remuneration in the form of a salary
and also commission.
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 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. 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
The idea that marketing can potentially eliminate the need for sales
people depends entirely on context. For example, this may be possible
in some B2C situations; however, for many B2B transactions (for
example, those involving industrial organizations) this is mostly
impossible. Another dimension is the value of the
goods being sold. 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
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 of 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 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.
List of methods
This section is in a list format that may be better presented using
prose. You can help by converting this section to prose, if
appropriate. Editing help is available. (March 2017)
A sale can take place through:
Direct sales, involving person to person contact
Channel sales, an indirect sales model, which differs from direct
sales. Channel selling is a way for sellers to reach the "B2B" and
"B2C" markets through distributors, re-sellers or value added
Pro forma sales
Sales agents (for example in real estate or in manufacturing)
Sales outsourcing through direct branded representation
Telemarketing or telesales
Retail or consumer
Request for proposal – An invitation for suppliers, through a
bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific product or
RFP usually represents part of a complex sales process,
also known as "enterprise sales".
Business-to-business ("B2B") sales are likely
to be larger in terms of volume, economic value and complexity than
business-to-consumer ("B2C") sales. Because of this complexity, there
is a need to manage the relationships between the buying and selling
organisations, for example using Peter Cheverton's relationship
models and the stakeholder map by Anderson, Bryson and Crosby
Business-to-business ("B2B") and business-to-consumer ("B2C")
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) – A set of standard for
structuring information to be electronically exchanged between and
Indirect, human-mediated but with indirect contact
Take-out or take away
Professional selling skills
Price based selling
Target account selling
Sandler selling system
Agents in the sales process can represent either of two parties in the
sales process; for example:
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.
Buyers broker or Buyer brokerage: This is where the salesman
represents the consumer making the purchase. This is most often
applied in large transactions.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 or services the salesperson's firm represents
or sells in a way that most effectively achieves the prospective
clients goals 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.
Sales Professionals: These people are primarily responsible
for ensuring immediate response to the leads generated via social
media, website or email campaigns.
Inside sales vs. outside sales
In the United States, the
Fair Labor Standards Act
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. 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
Sales incentive plan
^ Part III, effects of the contract, Rule 5. Sale of Goods Act 1979.
Sale of Goods Act 1979
^ Putthiwanit, C.; Ho, S.-H. (2011). "Buyer Success and Failure in
Bargaining and Its Consequences". Australian Journal of Business and
Management Research. 1 (5): 83–92.
^ Philip Kotler, Principles of Marketing, Prentice -Hall, 1980
^ Greening, Jack (1993). Selling Without Confrontation. The Haworth
Press, Inc. p. 23. ISBN 1-56024-326-0. Page image 
American Society for Training and Development
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)". Sales
Competency Project. Archived from the original on 2008-09-21.
^ Paul H. Selden (December 1998). "
Sales Process Engineering: An
Emerging Quality Application". Quality Progress: 59–63.
^ "How To Organize Your
Marketing Department In The Digital Age".
www.cmo.com. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
^ "Ending The War Between
Sales And Marketing". hbr.org. Harvard
Business Review. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014.
Retrieved 16 August 2014.
^ Petersen, Glen S. (2008). The Profit Maximization Paradox: Cracking
Sales Alignment Code. Booksurge in 1221. p. 176.
^ Compendium of Professional Selling. United Professional Sales
^ Peter, Cheverton (2008). Key Account Management 4th Edition. Kogan
Page. pp. 90–104. ISBN 978 0 7494 5277 3.
^ John, Bryson (10 Feb 2003). "What To Do When Stakeholders Matter: A
Guide to Stakeholder Identification and Analysis Techniques" (PDF).
London School of Economics and Political Science.
^ "elaws - FLSA Overtime Security Advisor". US Department of Labour.
Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
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