Every business has one goal – Sales. If we run a business, surely we want more products to be sold. In general, sales means the number of goods sold. But sales are much more than that.
Suppose we have a business which deals in selling jeans, surely we want more and more people to buy our product. But what if other expenses are higher with more sales? Despite higher sales, if profits are not earned, it is futile. Hence there needs to be a deeper understanding of sales.
Meaning of Sales
While generally, sales refer to the number of units sold, it includes the entire process that leads to the successful selling of products or services, including after-sales services. The sales of a product or service neither start at the point of selling nor end when the goods or services are sold.
The scope of sales in practice is broader than the common understanding of sales and includes all the activities needed before selling and after, i.e. pre-sales and after-sales.
Sales and Business
Sales is an important factor for any business as it generates revenue from the operations of any business. Sales and optimisation of the business are often considered the benchmark of a business being successful. Besides, sales can be an indicator of the going-concern status of an organisation. Without any sales, the company may become stagnant, and therefore, sales and business go hand in hand.
Types of Sales in a Business
1. B2B Sales
B2B stands for business to business. It is where the sale of goods or services is made to another business and not to the consumer. For instance, a supplier of raw materials supplying raw materials to a manufacturer.
2. B2C Sales
B2B stands for business to consumer. It is where the sale of goods or services is made to the end consumer by a business. For instance, the stationery store selling pencils, colours etc. to students.
3. Inside Sales
They refer to the sales activities done while sitting in an office. The sales executives of the organisation build relationships with the customers through virtual modes of communication.
4. Outside Sales
An outside sale is an old form of sales. The sales executive is involved in one-to-one communication with the customer or potential customer and carries out his work at the potential customer’s location.
5. Business Development Sales
They are the activities that involve cold calling to generate leads for the business. It also involves carrying out these activities for partnerships, collaborations, identifying opportunities and lead generation.
6. Online Sales
Online sales refer to the sales carried through digital mediums, websites or e-commerce stores. It involves listing your product or services on any digital platform, making a website for online selling, or using Whatsapp for Business to sell.
7. Direct Sales
It is a sale when the manufacturer directly sells to the customer, and there are no other parties in between. The parent organisation directly sells to the consumers instead of a chain of dealers or agencies.
Strategy is an essential aspect of any work. When you strategise something, you create a vision for the execution of your work. A sales strategy is the roadmap you create to execute your sales activities. It guides you in the practical implication of how the selling activities of your organisation should take place.
Types of Sales Strategies
1. Inbound Sales Strategies
Inbound Sale is a sale wherein a potential customer comes to the organisation searching for something, like someone searching on your website for a product or people attending your product seminars to know more and buy your product. In inbound sales, the customer visits the business.
2. Outbound Sales Strategies
Outbound Sales is when the sales representative of your organisation reaches out to the potential customer. They communicate to the customers and convince them to buy the product. In outbound sales, the business, the product visits the customer.
Examples of Sales Strategies
1. Inbound Sales – Examples of inbound sales strategies include making a website, having a blog or making infographics, doing search engine optimisation (SEO) of your websites for making the potential audience and target customer reach you.
2. Outbound Sales – Examples of outbound sales strategies include telecalling, sending email to potential customers, advertisements via social media channels, pop-ups etc.
Difference Between Sales and Marketing
While sales and marketing are used interchangeably, there is a considerable difference between the two in practice. They look similar, but in purview, they are not the same. Let us have a closer look at how sales and marketing differ from each other.
|Serial No.||Point of Difference||Sales||Marketing|
|1||Concept||The concept of sales revolves around making the consumer buy your product.||The concept of marketing revolves around understanding consumer needs and making your product accordingly available for them.|
|2.||Focus||The main aim of sales is to increase the volume of sales of an organisation.||The focus of marketing is to understand the market demand and then incorporate it into sales.|
|3.||Process||The process of sales generally revolves around product and customer only.||Marketing involves various analyses of market conditions and then bringing in a product according to the market’s needs.|
|4.||Approach||The approach in sales is limited to pre-sales and after-sales.||The marketing approach is very long term and starts even before the product is launched in the market.|
|5.||Target||The target of sales is to push the customer towards buying your product.||The target of marketing is to create value that will attract customers to buy your product.|
10 Ways to Increase Your Sales
1. Customer Satisfaction
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all,” was quoted by Michael LeBoeuf, the famous American business author. And in sales, indeed, it holds true. The customer needs to be satisfied not only by your products or services but by your selling etiquettes too. Even though the main aim is to sell our product, it should never be at the cost of losing a long-term customer for a one-time sale.
2. Trained Sales Personnel
For every business or organisation, the personnel who carry out the sales activities, it is crucial that the staff are well-trained to communicate with people and well-equipped with devices used for virtual communications and the resources needed to carry out their work successfully.
3. Bifurcating the Customers According to Their Preferences
One of the ways to increase your sales is to filter out customers. Not every customer will be interested in all the products you need to sell, and you can filter them according to their taste, price, quantity, whether bulky or small etc., and try aiding their specific needs.
4. Providing Free Samples Testing
Another way you can boost your sales is by sample testing. Generally, if you go to a mithai shop with varieties of sweets, they provide you with a sample to taste to help you decide which one to buy. Similarly, if you provide your potential customers with a free sample, they get to experience the quality of your product even before they purchase it, which in turn could influence them to buy it.
Advertising is a very, very important part of sales and business strategy. Advertising now does not mean word-of-mouth recommendations, but it can be executed in various ways in this digital era. You can ask a satisfied customer to give you a shoutout or provide feedback in comments online.
6. Online Store
The world today is digitalised. Every product or service one needs is accessible at their fingertips. It is vital to have a social media presence because people are bound to search for it on the internet. Having your website or an e-commerce store where people can place orders can be very helpful. You can also use platforms that help you integrate with running your business through WhatsApp.
7. Provide Deals and Discounts
You could boost sales by providing discounts. Though it is a traditional approach, discounts work. Alongside, you can provide them limited-time deals on buying the product from your website or e-commerce store.
In the online deals you provide, you can provide discounts or cash backs or any additional offer to make them buy your product.
8. Social Media Presence
Besides having a digital store, it is important to have social media. It is advisable to connect to the existing and new customers through platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. They also allow you to create a brand, besides the selling features.
9. Sales Analysis
It refers to the statistical data of your sales. If you analyse that data, you will get to know more about your sales, give you a better understanding of the product and business, and help you keep track of it.
10. Pre-Sales and After Sales Services
Pre-sales services refer to the services provided before the sale is made. They generally include providing the correct information to the customer or helping with any requirements before the sale is complete. After-sales services also are vital, and they include providing warranties, guarantees, customer support services etc. They are both a part of sales.