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Sales Types, Process, Tactics and Growth

Once marketing has strategically identified the markets, sales tactically tries to win the customers.  Marketing gets the word out, and sales helps the customers find what they want. 


The different possible sales types are,


  • Order Takers, which the customer asks for something and their order is then taken.
  • Active Selling, which involves a sales-person approach to the customer such as a car lot. The sales-person needs to be more aggressive, which usually leads to the customer being resistant.  Active selling involves overcoming sales resistance.
  • Inside Sales,  which is done mainly by sales people, such as telemarketers, making outgoing calls to customers.
  • Outside Sales,  which is going to the customers premise after an appointment has been made.


The sales process and tactics starts with two simple goals, selling to current customers, and finding new ones.  Marketing has done all of the strategy to find the targeted market segment; it is now time for sales to tactically find ways to sell to the targeted marketplace.  In retail, the sales challenge is lower since the customer comes to the store.  In many businesses, however, the sales people must look for customers who might be interested in the product.  This is called, “Prospecting.”  A sales person will normally make a telephone call to a targeted individual, or prospect, who they do not know, to make a sale or make appointments for a future visit.  This method is called cold calling.  A sales lead is the name of a person who has been identified as a prospect.  The term “sales call” can refer to a phone call or a personal visit.


The process of determining whether a sales lead has the potential to become a prospect is known as “qualifying” the lead.  If a prospect has been qualified, the sales persons next task is to prepare for an eventual sales call.  The sales person will then build a rapport with the prospect by gaining background information and then assessing the prospects needs.  Once the need has been established, the sales person will pre-sent a solution.  For example, the customer is not sure what kind of phone system to get, so the sales person asks questions about what size and features are needed (assessing the needs), and then determines the perfect fit (pre-sents the solution).  The sales person might then need to do some persuading to close the sale.  A trick of the trade is to continually ask questions to keep the customer involved while moving toward the close.  The hard sell is when the sales person aggressively starts to push the product to the reluctant buyer, even to the point of using intimidation tactics.  The overall goal, however, is not just to make the sale, but to have a satisfied customer.


Sales growth is needed in order for the company to grow. This means the dollar volume of sales must increase in order to always be higher in the next year.  In order to succeed in sales growth, goals should be concrete and measurable (in terms of dollars and units), set at a level that is challenging but not impossible to reach, set on a specific timetable for measuring success, and linked to projected profits.  Here are 5 ways for sales to try and achieve those goals.


  1. Increase the price of the product or service. This is the simplest way and might even be justified in order to increase the dollar volume.  However, customers do not like to pay a higher price.  This is called, “Price resistance.”  When customers see higher prices, they look elsewhere or constantly try to bargain.  If there are few competitors, however, there is a chance that the price increase will work.


  1. Sell other products to existing customers. This strategy can be used if the company has other products that work in harmony with existing products currently being sold.  This is called, “Cross-selling.”  A good example of this is when you order a burger, the order taker asks, “Would you like fries with that?”


  1. Sell new products to existing customers. Companies need to always develop new products to keep the existing customers satisfied.  If they don't, competitors will find ways to steal the customer base with better, and maybe even less expensive alternatives.  The key is to always improve on current products, and develop new ones to meet the customers needs.


  1. Sell existing products to new customers. A company should never be complacent with their existing customer base.  They should always look for new prospects.  The search for new customers should never stop.  Existing customers can leave for reasons such as going to a competitor, not satisfied with customer support, changing their business model, or even going out of business.


  1. Sell new products to new customers. When sales of existing products are decreasing, due to market maturity or saturation (which basically means everyone who wants and can afford the product, already has one), it is time to come up with new products for new customers.  It’s important, however, to make sure to come up with a product that is close to the main business outline.  For example, Nike started off with sport shoes, and then started selling sports related products, like active wear and golf clubs.
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