Sales – what is it?

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There are almost infinitely many variations in sales because a sales process differs from company to company. This can make it difficult to pinpoint what you mean by sales. But by defining and understanding what it means for your company, you can increase the chances of achieving growth goals sustainably with maximum profitability. In this blog post, we break down what selling is and how you can use insights about the process to build a successful sales strategy.

The definition of sales – what is it really?

If you break down what a sale is actually about, you quickly understand that it is a complex process that involves several different steps. These steps may include identifying potential customers, marketing products and services, booking customer meetings, developing relationships, and establishing business agreements. In other words, sales are a process to generate revenue and build profitability.

Different types of sales –B2B, B2C, and more

When talking about sales, different strategies, and models tend to differ. Two of the most common variants are B2B and B2C, where B2B stands for business-to-business and B2C stands for business-to-customer.

B2B refers to sales and business transactions between companies or organizations. For example, it can be manufacturers who sell their products to retailers or a production company that sells its services to a company that needs help with marketing.

B2C is about companies selling goods and services directly to consumers. This may mean, for example, the sale of products in physical and web-based stores or memberships for private individuals at gyms, activity centers, or the like.

There are also more variants, such as C2C (customer-to-customer), which means that private individuals trade with each other. Blocket and Tradera, for example, are two platforms that simplify C2C sales.

Define what sales are for you and your business

First of all, it’s good to look at sales as a divided process. As mentioned earlier, this process differs depending on your business and target audience. A sales process for B2B  is usually more complex compared to sales for B2C. Overall, however, a few steps can be identified that are usually part of a sales process:

  1. Prospect – identify who might want to buy what you have to sell.
  2. Understand needs – understand what your target audience needs and how what you sell can meet their needs.
  3. Reach out to your target audience– find ways to reach out to your target audience (marketing, meeting bookings, etc.)
  4. Develop a solution – propose solutions that meet the unique needs of potential customers.
  5. Confirm – confirm that the customer feels satisfied with the solution and is ready to become a customer.
  6. Follow up – review so that the customer feels satisfied and intends to stay as a customer.
  7. Develop the solution – review if there is potential to build on the current solution (upsell,  cross-sell, etc.)
  8. Referencing – get your customer to refer you to others.

When you have control of the entire sales process, it is easier to think about what you need to optimize your strategy. To understand which sales work for your company, it may be wise to look at history, the current situation, and future opportunities.

Look at the company’s sales from a historical perspective

Sales data can give you many valuable insights into what is going well and what can be developed. By analyzing and understanding sales history, you can, for example, identify trends, map buying behaviors, pinpoint which deals have been most profitable and create an idea of which customer groups tend to leave. You can then take these insights with you as you develop your sales strategy.

Current situation

To be able to break down exactly what you want to include in your company’s sales, it is wise to look at the current situation. The company’s current situation works well as a starting point when you then start planning for future sales strategies.

  • What challenges and opportunities does the company face?
  • Is the company reaching set goals?
  • What works well?
  • Which areas have the potential for improvement?

By asking yourself these questions, you get a good starting point when setting future goals. We can imagine that you observe that your sales team manages to book many first meetings but rarely manages to close a deal. This could indicate that there is potential in developing the step of understanding the customer’s needs and adapting the solution based on these.

What are your goals and visions with the sale?

Once you have a good overview of sales history and current situation, you can set up a future strategy. Review relevant KPIs and growth targets and use your insights when setting goals. In this way, you ensure that the set goals are realistic and reasonable.

It can also be good to set up routines to continuously measure sales. By having measurable goals, you can track your company’s performance and adjust your strategy if necessary.

We at Salesonomics are happy to help you develop a process that works for your company’s goals. We offer both sales training and strategy development. Our goal is to make sales about people who help other people find solutions to problems.

Picture of Simon Blanche

Simon Blanche