Selling - its importance in the organisation | Sunday Observer

Selling - its importance in the organisation

Selling is often considered to be a creative art which is practised by using the imagination or the original ideas of the salesperson. This needs dynamism - a forceful and energetic approach so as to convey the sales message to a potential buyer.

Selling requires an ability to persuade, motivate, manipulate and negotiate with a buyer convincing him to invest in a product, service or idea, for mutual benefit. The mutual benefit to both buyer and seller, is the objective. It is a proven fact that nothing happens in a business organisation until the sales team makes it happen.

Scarcity of skilled sales staff, particularly in field selling, is a worrying issue for small and medium scale organisations today. If questioned, many marketing organisations will reveal that they are in search of Sales staff.

Field salesmen of yesteryear were always a self motivated, committed lot, with unquestionable enthusiasm. Of late, the emphasis given to ‘marketing’ by various professional educational institutions, changed the mindset of the younger generation. Hence, most of them try to be in ‘marketing’ in a theoretical sense.

Many of them do not realise that in the SriLankan context, serious marketing activities are typically limited to large corporate companies. The vast majority of medium and small scale businesses are into ‘selling’ rather than marketing in a strategic sense. Therefore, marketing has a very limited number of employment opportunities whilst employment in selling has a substantial shortage.

Sales success today demands a shift from the typical ‘peddler’ mentality of mere demonstration. It requires treating the customer as a participant. The best salespeople regard the sales call as a two way communication. They develop active listening skills and gather information to succeed.

Although highly challenging, selling is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable professions in the world with unlimited potential to earn. A skilled salesman learns the art of selling, psychology of the human mind, and philosophy of living. Selling is the one game in town that pays Bills, that keeps the doors open and pays salaries to everyone in a business. The salesman should be trained in two main segments; ‘Sales knowledge’ and ‘Selling Skills’. Sales Knowledge is to learn about the Company, the Sales role, product knowledge, prices and pricing, advertising and promotions, customers and their behavior, competition, related industry and the economy of the country. Selling skills are about the selling process, communication skills, Influence and persuasion skills, team work, net working, time management, negotiating skills and self promotion skills. Professional salespeople learn the sales process which comprises prospecting, pre-approach, approach, presentation and demonstration, managing objections and closing techniques.

They also learn important related soft skills which are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable.

In addition, a salesman must be aware of intra-personal skills such as enthusiasm, empathy, ego drive and efficiency as the most valuable tools of the profession.

Enthusiasm relates to the belief in the product/ service. Empathy is the deep understanding of customer behaviour whilst the ego – drive is the single most important factor of one’s personal desire to succeed and courage to face failure without giving up. Efficiency is about learning to win by being clever and smart. The previous myth of ‘salesmen are born’ is no longer valid. As depicted in Arthur Miller’s famous play, ‘Death of a Salesman’, the cigar smoking, back slapping, joke telling salesmen do not exist any more.

The Salesman today is educated, well-trained, understanding and knowledgeable.

They learn and develop many personal traits to be a professional, through reading and by attending training programs.

Professional salesmen judge the buyer’s behaviour such as personality, study his moves and adapt to the changing situation. Sales situations vary from one to another, and the process of closing the sale varies from customer to customer.

Therefore, specific techniques to manage different situations should be applied as they crop up in order to handle the objections raised by the customer.

How the salesperson controls and manages, decides the completion of a sale. Everybody, everywhere, every day is selling or buying products, services or ideas. Individuals, groups, governments and companies of every size partake in this fundamental and most important function.

The success of the sales people in an organisation, decides the existence of the business. Sales people are categorised as fighter pilots eager to go to the battle field.

They are the most rewarded lot in an organisation. Dynamism of the sales force is the key word for the success of any business entity.