In business, Sales are defined as the conversion of sales into cash. Sales are primarily activities associated with the exchange of products or services for a monetary value. The sale of a product to a consumer, group or organization is also often considered a sales transaction. In accounting terms, sales are described as the “sale of a specific product to a specific person.”
Sales are an important part of marketing, which enables a company to gain exposure to new customers. Sales people work on developing strong marketing programs that effectively reach the customers who would most likely purchase a company’s products or services. A successful marketing program takes into consideration factors such as target customer reach, pricing, incentives, and promotions.
Sales is often equated with marketing; however, there is a wide difference between the two. Salespeople are professionals who facilitate the buying process through the sales process. They make the first contact with customers, establish customer loyalty by making purchases and build an intimate relationship by providing information about the products or services offered. In contrast, a marketing manager works with the customer to identify their needs and develop a complete selling system to achieve those needs.
Sales is an integral part of a business’s revenue generating process, but is often times seen as a function of marketing. Many businesses treat sales as a function of marketing and revenue as a function of marketing. Marketing, in turn, is often viewed as a subset of the sales process. Therefore, companies with a marketing department and sales department may not necessarily be in constant contact with customers or they may only communicate once a marketing program has been developed and completed.
A strong sales process allows a business to develop qualified leads, as well as generate revenue. However, in order to qualify as a lead and in order to generate revenue, a business development professional must be involved in the sales process from the very beginning. This will provide the business development professional with an insight into the needs of the potential customer, as well as qualify them for targeted leads and revenue opportunities.
Sales and marketing are not mutually exclusive endeavors. Although most people focus on marketing when they think of salespeople, these two processes go hand in hand and complement each other. Both salespeople and marketing professionals can create a strong connection and can work together to achieve business goals. If your business is looking for an added salesperson, or if you are looking to bolster your marketing ranks, consider hiring a seasoned professional with both sales skills and marketing knowledge.