Sales

What is “Sales”?

Sales is all about selling. If you decide to take responsibility for sales, it is your department that will take the company’s product out to the potential customers and persuade them to buy. Therefore, the company’s income depends in a large part on your powers of persuasion.

You will need to consider:

  • How you will reach your potential customers
  • When you will reach your potential customers
  • Where you can reach your potential customers.

The importance of your role in the company

Within the company you will liaise very closely with the following departments:

  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Finance

Relationship with Marketing:

  • You will share responsibility with Marketing for pricing and promoting your product.

Relationship with Operations & Finance:

  • You will be responsible for supplying accurate sales order records to  Operations and Finance departments.

Image:

  • Outside the company, your department provides the direct link with the customer. You are, in short, the company’s public face. Your sales people will need to project a positive image in order to draw customers to your products.

Sales Forecasting:

  • Estimating demand is the key factor in enabling production to meet the customer’s requirements.

Some skills and qualities you will need to develop

  • Resilience and Persistence:

It will not all be plain sailing. At times you may feel discouraged, and it may seem that no one at all is interested in your product. This is when resilience and persistence will be invaluable. Just keep on trying. Do not give in. Persistence is especially useful when closing a sale.

  • Communication and Motivational Skills:

You will need to communicate clearly and efficiently with other departments, and with your sales team. You will need to learn how to motivate your sales team, especially in those slack periods, when interest and motivation are at low ebb.

  • Organisational Skills:

Make sure that relevant information reaches the right people at the right time. Organise your sales team, so that they reach as many potential customers as possible.

Your role and responsibilities

Help with the 5 Ps:

You will be expected to assist the Marketing department with planning the “5Ps” of the Marketing Mix:

  • Product: you will give advice on product features and feasibility.
  • Price: you will assist with decisions about pricing.
  • Promotion: your input regarding certain aspects of promotion will be particularly important as your sales team will most likely be required to distribute and display promotional materials.
  • Place: conduct research with Marketing to determine where you can best sell your product.
  • Packaging: you will give advice on the best way to package the product.

The sales team:

You must ensure that your sales team is well trained.

They must:

  • Know their product or service well
  • Understand customer’s needs
  • Learn how to relate the benefits of the product of the customer

Your sales people are the company’s ambassadors and create the company’s image.

If they present themselves as honest, reliable, friendly and dependable, these qualities will reflect on your product. Impress on your team the need to develop perseverance, unfailing good manners and sense of humour.

Individual sales record:

  • For each selling day record the number of items received by the salesperson that day. Also record the number of items sold or returned.
  • Use a separate form for each product and for each salesperson.

Sales record and stock sheet:

  • Sales: as in individual sales records, but for all the team combined.
  • Sales income must be handed over intact to the Finance department.
  • Stock: the number of items currently held by your sales team, plus those in store, and their value.

Ongoing review:

  • The Sales Plan should be regularly reviewed in the light of feedback from the sales team.
  • Ensure that customer reaction is recorded in writing to feed back to Production and Marketing departments.

After sales:

  • Your sales team may have to arrange after-sales services and deal with customer complaints.
  • Maintaining the company’s positive public image is just as important now as it was when first selling the product.

Motivation:

  • The development of strong corporate identity and team spirit will help to motivate the whole team. Liaise with Marketing and Production to produce target figures for your team. It is essential and motivating to know what sales you are achieving against targets.
  • The introduction of incentive schemes is usually a popular measure!

Provide regular sales reports:

  • You will expect to present a verbal report of sales performance and targets at the weekly meetings.

Sell the goods off:

  • Apply selling techniques to sell off unsold items before company closes.
  • Remember you may need to retain some items for the Company Competition.

Back to previous page