Defining Personal Selling
Personal selling is when salespersons use a process to engage customers and take a sales order that may not otherwise have been made.
Compare and contrast sales and marketing functions within organizations
- The personal selling process is a 7 step approach: prospecting, pre-approach, approach, presentation, meeting objections, closing the sale, and follow-up. Each step of the process has sales-related issues, skills, and training needs, as well as marketing solutions to improve each discrete step.
- Marketing and sales differ greatly, but have the same goal. Marketing improves the selling environment and plays a very important role in sales.
- Many companies find it challenging to get marketing and sales on the same page. The two departments, although different in nature, handle very similar concepts and have to work together for sales to be successful.
- sales process engineering: The systematic application of scientific and mathematical principles to achieve the practical goals of a particular sales process. Selden pointed out that in this context, sales referred to the output of a process involving a variety of functions across an organization, and not that of a “sales department” alone. Primary areas of application span functions including sales, marketing, and customer service.
Introducing Personal Selling
Personal selling is when a company uses salespersons to build a relationship and engage customers to determine their needs and attain a sales order that may not otherwise have been placed. The personal selling process is a seven step approach: prospecting, pre-approach, approach, presentation, meeting objections, closing the sale, and follow-up.
The sales cycle, more generally speaking, turns leads into prospects, suspects into prospects and prospects into customers.
Prospecting is the step where salespeople determine leads or prospects. The pre-approach is used for preparing for the presentation through customer research and goal planning for the presentation. The approach is when the salesperson initially meets with the customer and determines a customer’s wants and needs. Once the salesperson knows the needs, he or she is ready for the presentation that will entice the customer to commit. After the presentation, a salesperson must meet objections or address customer concerns. Gaining commitment comes next. Finally, the salesperson must remember to follow up after the sale is made.
The sales department would aim to improve the interaction between the customer and the sales facility or mechanism and or salesperson. Sales management would break down the selling process and then increase the effectiveness of the discrete processes as well as the interaction between processes. For example, in many out-bound sales environments, each step in the typical process outlined above has sales-related issues, skills, and training needs, as well as marketing solutions to improve each discrete step.
The Relationship of Sales & Marketing
Marketing and sales differ greatly, but have the same goal. Marketing improves the selling environment and plays a very important role in sales. If the marketing department generates a list of potential customers, sales will benefit. The goal of a marketing department is to increase the number of interactions between potential customers and the organization. Achieving this goal may involve the sales team using promotional techniques such as advertising, sales promotion, publicity, creating new sales channels, or creating new products.
The relatively new field of sales process engineering views “sales” as the output of a larger system, not just as the output of one department. The larger system includes many functional areas within an organization. From this perspective, “sales” and “marketing,” among others, represent a number of processes whose inputs and outputs supply one another to varying degrees. In this context, improving an “output” (such as sales) involves studying and improving the broader sales process, as in any system, since the component functional areas interact and are interdependent.
Most large corporations structure their marketing departments in a similar fashion to sales departments and the managers of these teams must coordinate efforts in order to drive profits and business success. For example, an “inbound” focused campaign seeks to drive more customers “through the door”, giving the sales department a better chance of selling their product to the consumer.
Many companies find it challenging to get marketing and sales on the same page. The two departments, although different in nature, handle very similar concepts and have to work together for sales to be successful. Building a good relationship between the two that encourages communication can be the key to success – even in a down economy.