Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Evolution of Sales as a functional area

A typical day in a salesman’s life starts with fixing appointments and following it up with meetings to close the leads generated with the help of the tele calling team. The trips in the city, the innumerable phone calls and finally filling of a Sales log, are highlights that mark the day. It’s a long & tedious day, but the efforts are all compensated by a sizeable salary & associated perks. There have been books written by umpteen star salesmen and management gurus on how to be a better salesman. Authors like Zig Ziglar have made millions by just selling their books on salesmanship.

Times are now changing and ‘sales’ is no longer the tedious set of activities it used to be before. The profile has received a massive upgradation in terms of the paraphernalia that has got associated with the job responsibility of a salesman, thereby rendering it a highly desirable profile across different industries. By paraphernalia, one tends to imagine equipments like gadgets and collaterals. Those are just some of the many. Sales calls are now done over Skype and video conferencing since travelling has become very time consuming these days. Detailed discussions are put in the form of bullet points and shared over emails formally, while multiple mini - discussions are followed up via informal WhatsApp conversations.


Sales earlier had connotations of personal selling, which required meeting clients on a regular basis to keep them connected, nowadays, there’s a team of pre-sales people who are responsible for all customer relationship activities. There are e-CRM softwares that assist the sales team to keep a track of the levels of interaction with a client pre & post sales closure. The after sales services are vital to ensure that the customer remains loyal and doesn’t start looking for options. This implies that just one salesman is not expected to be involved in the entire cycle from pre to post sales. He/she is assisted by a team from sales operations that are efficient in MIS management for all requirements of a client.

Digital platforms have further lessened the requirement of face to face interactions. Connecting with vendors via Twitter and ERP softwares, connecting with front end clients via CRM softwares has lowered the burden on a salesman, who is now just required to close leads and ensure customer satisfaction via provision of requisite services. We thus say that salesmanship has evolved to a level of “Consultative Selling” and “Relationship Selling”, where clients find it extremely convenient to remain in touch with their respective relationship managers to derive full benefit of the products purchased and services availed, after their initial interaction with the salesman. Thus we can say that the era of a Salesman has kind of come to an end and we can now talk of Business development managers, who bring revenue to their company and also ensure that the customer remains associated with their company such that the company can derive the Life Time Value from each of its customers.
 
Going further, in subsequent blogs, we will look into what terms like Consultative Selling and Life Time Value mean. Till then, be that bright spark that can help you succeed in all your endeavours.

By:

Text Widget 2