Sales are essentially activities related to the quantity or sale of products at a specific designated point of time. The delivery of a purchased service as a gift is also often considered a sales transaction. In business, sales are a significant part of the equation, and are a major force shaping economies. Sales executives often refer to sales as “the food of the business”, since sales directly affect the success or failure of an enterprise.
Sales managers use sales techniques such as marketing, advertising, price promotion, and personal selling to influence buying decisions. Managing sales is a challenge for all companies, large or small. Sales managers must address the various concerns of the company’s management and account for the entire field of sales activities. Sales managers should plan for successful relationships with suppliers, vendors, and buyers. Sales force development is a common practice for companies seeking to increase profits through sales, and the implementation of a solid, integrated sales process is essential to sales success.
The major components of a successful sales effort include marketing, quality, and technical strategies. Marketing is primarily concerned with identifying potential customers, and building a consistent and identifiable message for that customer. Technical strategies relate to product development and research and development to support the marketing strategy. In addition, quality management is important to maintaining quality control of products and completing delivery as scheduled. Net sales is the total number of units sold, less any refunds due to client error or delay, less than the gross profit requested by the client, and usually less than the selling price paid to the supplier.
Sales managers should be aware of the difference between gross sales and net sales. Gross sales refer to the total dollars generated from the sale of product. Net sales refer to the dollars received from the sale of product. The definition is as follows: Net sales is a more accurate representation of gross sales because it takes into account the direct and indirect costs associated with the sale of the product. The major reasons for using the double-entry bookkeeping system in the inventory control process are accuracy and reliability. Double-entry bookkeeping is based on the assumption that items are priced normally throughout the purchase process, and that there will be no significant variation over time.
A successful sales management team incorporates traditional sales techniques such as direct mail, brochures, and television commercials, as well as social media. Social media involves online marketing, email marketing, and networking via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The traditional sales techniques include direct contact with potential customers, the practice of cold calling, and the sale of leads by a salesman to a prospect. With the advent of the internet, more salespeople are working in an online capacity.
Sales management is the science of maximizing sales. This begins with a solid marketing strategy that identifies the goals of the organization. Then, a sound strategy is implemented to reach the organization’s goals. Sales strategies that are based on solid assumptions will provide a higher rate of success than strategies that are illogical or based on a completely wrong assumption. Therefore, a solid marketing program, including invoicing software, is critical for success in any type of industry.