All About Sales

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Sections of this topic

    All About Sales

    Sections in This Topic Include


    Foundations for Successful Sales

    What is Sales?
    Understanding the Sales Process
    Understanding the Sales Cycle
    Value of Product Knowledge
    Useful Skills to Have in Sales
    Useful Business Skills for Salespeople
    Useful People Skills for Salespeople
    Understanding Types of Clients and How
    to Engage Them

    Types of Clients
    Multi-cultural Customers and Sales

    Sales Process and Sales Pipeline

    Planning Your Sales Strategy

    1. Generating Leads – Using Sales Channels
    Direct Postal Mail
    Email
    Face-to-face
    Internet and Web
    Social Networking
    Telemarketing (Phone)
    Trade Shows

    2. Qualifying the Client — Is Client
    a Prospect?

    First Impressions and Establishing
    Rapport With Leads

    Understand the Needs and Wants of
    Each Lead — Ask the Right Questions

    Getting to Decision-Makers

    3. Sales Interviews and Presentations
    With Prospects

    Opening Statements
    Establishing Rapport and Trust
    Really Listening (Verbal and Nonverbal)
    Effective Sales Presentations
    Dealing With Objections

    4. Sales Proposals and Negotiations
    Proposals and Sales Letters
    Negotiations

    5. Closing the Sale
    Techniques for Closing
    Sales Contracts

    6. Account Maintenance and Management
    Customer Service
    Customer Satisfaction

    Miscellaneous Perspectives — and Challenges and Pitfalls

    Various Philosophies of Marketing and
    Sales

    Challenges and Pitfalls

    Managing Yourself for Successful Sales

    Staying Motivated
    Keeping Positive Attitude
    Organizing Yourself
    Managing Your Time and Stress

    Managing Sales Activities and Sales Force

    Sales Staffing and Training
    Sales
    Success Rules – Free Sales Training

    Sales Forecasting and Goals
    Motivating Sales Force
    Measuring and Evaluating Sales Activities
    Compensating Sales Force

    General Resources

    Resources Providing Many Resources
    Glossary and Dictionaries About Sales
    Free Tools and Templates

    Also consider
    Related Library Topics

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Sales

    In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
    that have posts related to Sales. Scan down the blog’s page to see various posts.
    Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog
    or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog
    also links to numerous free related resources.

    Library’s
    Business Planning Blog

    Library’s
    Building a Business Blog

    Library’s
    Customer Service Blog

    Library’s
    Marketing Blog


    Foundations for Successful Sales

    What is Sales?

    Before learning more about how to do successful sales and selling, it’s important
    first to get a sense of what sales is, so you can more accurately understand
    the guidelines, tips and tools provided throughout this topic. Also, it’s useful
    to understand different viewpoints about sales, especially so you can more accurately
    understand how your clients talk about sales.
    What’s
    “Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and
    Sales?”

    Unlocking
    the True Definition of Sales

    Legal Definition
    of Sale

    Sales – Definition

    Also consider
    Marketing
    (scan the subtopics to understand Marketing)

    Understanding the Sales Process (Sales Pipeline)

    There is a general, overall process that successful sales people follow, although
    there are different perspectives on that process, including names for the various
    steps along the way. The next major section in this topic includes more detailed
    guidelines, tips and tools for each stage of one perspective on the sales process,
    or sales pipeline as some people refer to it.
    Sales
    Process

    What
    is a Sale Process?

    Basics
    of the Sales Process

    Sales vs. Procurement — tips from an expert.

    Understanding the Sales Cycle

    The sales cycle is often referred to as the time it takes to do the sales process
    mentioned above. Timing is critical because the faster and shorter the sales
    cycle, the faster that more revenue is generated, customers are satisfied and
    more customers can be gotten by the organization.
    What
    is the Sales Cycle?

    Sales
    Cycle Steps

    The
    Best Way to Shorten the Sales Cycle

    Value of Product Knowledge

    There’s an old saying that a “good salesman can sell anything.” That’s
    not so true today when the nature of products and services can be highly complex
    and the nature of customers and clients can be highly demanding. Yet there’s
    an ongoing argument about which is best — product knowledge or sales skills.
    Benefits
    of Product Knowledge

    How
    Product Knowledge Can Mean More Sales

    How
    Much Product Knowledge is Enough?

    Also consider
    Product
    Development

    Useful Knowledge and Skills to Have in Sales

    You don’t have to read all of the resources referenced from
    the following links. Rather, a quick scan will give you an impression
    of the different types of knowledge and skills to start learning
    over time. Perhaps for now, realize that there’s more to being
    a good salesperson than learning the sales process and sales cycle.
    Many of the following are also more directly associated with other
    subtopics in this overall topic of Sales.

    Useful Business Skills for Salespeople

    Advertising
    and Marketing Laws

    Advertising
    and Promotion

    Communications
    (Writing)

    Contracts
    (Business)

    Customer
    Satisfaction

    Customer
    Service

    E-commerce
    Ethics:
    Practical Toolkit for Business

    Etiquette
    (Manners)

    Marketing
    Positioning:
    Deciding and Conveying Your Unique Selling Position

    Pricing
    Public
    and Media Relations

    Telemarketing

    Useful People Skills for Salespeople

    Assertiveness
    Conflict
    (Interpersonal)

    Etiquette
    (Manners)

    Feedback
    Handling
    Difficult People

    Listening
    Non-Verbal
    Communications

    Presenting
    / Speaking

    Questioning
    Self-Confidence
    Team
    Building

    Negotiating
    Diversity and Inclusion

    Understanding Types of Clients and How to Engage Them

    Know Your Customers’ Needs
    Customer Relationship Management

    Also consider
    Product Development
    Questioning

    Useful People Skills for Salespeople

    Types of Clients

    8
    Types of Clients — Adjust Your Pitch, Increase Your Sales

    5
    Types of Customers

    8 Types Of Client To Avoid At All Costs

    Multi-cultural Customers and Sales

    How
    to Develop a Multicultural Sales Force

    Multicultural
    Client Skills For Small Businesses – 8 Point Strategy For
    Intercultural Negotiations

    Selling to Multicultural
    Customers

    Also consider
    Diversity
    and Inclusion




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    Planning Your Sales Strategy

    Your sales strategy is the approach you have designed to powerfully describe
    your products and services to your current and potential customers, so that
    they appreciate their benefits to them and thus, are more inclined to purchase
    them from you.

    Your sales strategy should be associated with a variety of methods to guide
    current and potential customers through the typical sales pipeline (described
    below). Methods might include, for example:

    1. Qualifying prospects, that is, deciding which prospects are most likely
      to become customers
    2. Contacting them via communication channels that are most suitable to them
    3. Effectively describing, or pitching, the product or service to them
    4. Closing the sale, that is, getting formal agreement from each customer to
      buy the product or service
    5. Ensuring follow-up activities, for example, strong customer service to ensure
      strong customer satisfaction

    Sales Process and Sales Pipeline

    1. Generating Leads — Using Sales Channels

    21 Lead Generation Strategies
    7
    Deadly Sins of Lead Generation

    Marketing
    Benefits of Using Lead Generation

    Five
    Ways to Beat Prospecting Anxiety

    How to Generate More Leads

    A lead is a potential customer. (Later, in the sales process,
    you will qualify the lead to determine if he/she is a prospect,
    that is, is someone who is very likely to buy from you.) Sales
    channels are the methods by which salespeople and customers communicate
    with each other. The resources that are referenced in this subtopic
    usually give advice about how best to use a particular channel
    in sales, but don’t go primarily with that advice — also follow
    the guidelines in each phase of a sales process, so that you’re
    following guidelines in a systematic manner.

    Direct Postal Mail (Sales Letters)

    How
    to Write Direct Mail Sales Letters

    Sample
    Images of Sales Letters

    Direct Mail Marketing – 101
    10
    Direct Mail Order Ideas to Boost Your Response

    Also consider
    Using
    Direct Mail

    Business
    Writing

    Email

    Steps
    to Selling by Email
    Writing Email Copy That Turns Into Sales

    Email
    Marketing vs. Email Sales

    Also consider
    Email
    Marketing

    Email
    Writing, Management and Policies

    Face-to-face

    The Importance of Face-to-Face Selling
    Face-to-Face Sales Training
    The Importance of Face-to-Face Sales in a Sales 2.0 World

    Also consider
    Communications
    (Interpersonal)

    Interpersonal
    Skills

    Internet and Web

    The
    10 Secrets of Selling Online

    Birth of an E-Salesman: A Tragedy in One Act

    Also consider
    Computer,
    Internet and Web

    Social
    Networking

    Social Networking

    Boosting
    Your Sales With Social Networking

    5
    Social Networking Steps for Sales Professionals

    Also consider
    Computer,
    Internet and Web

    Social
    Networking

    Telemarketing (Phone)

    Cold
    Calls

    Selling
    on the Phone

    It Takes Practice to Sell Successfully Over the
    Phone

    Also consider
    Communications
    (Interpersonal)

    Interpersonal
    Skills

    Trade Shows

    Ten
    Trade Show Exhibit Best Practices

    How
    to Increase Your Trade Show Sales

    Learn How to Maximize
    Your Trade Show Success

    2. Qualifying the Client — Is Client a Prospect?

    Once you have a list of leads, you need to qualify them, that
    is, you need to assess whether they are likely to buy your product
    or service based on, for example, their needs and wants, match
    between their needs and wants and the nature of your products
    and services, key decisions by the decision makers, ability to
    pay and preferences for the timing to buy. A qualified lead is
    a prospect. (Depending on the nature of your product or service,
    you might be asked to provide a proposal, even without having
    an opportunity to more carefully qualify the lead. In that situation,
    you can skip to the section Proposals.)

    7 Prospecting
    Ideas That Work

    Sales Prospecting Myths
    Sales Prospecting Techniques — How Winners Prospect
    80-20
    Rule of Customers: Stop Thinking 20th Century! Attract Only the
    Top 20%

    First Impressions and Establishing Rapport With Leads

    10 easy ways to build a quick rapport with anyone
    Value
    of Building Rapport

    Also consider
    Communications
    (Interpersonal)

    Interpersonal
    Skills

    Understand the Needs and Wants of Each Lead — Ask the Right Questions

    One of the worst approaches now is to start “pitching”
    or pushing your product or service. Instead, learn more about
    the lead, especially by asking useful questions. Here’s where
    the guidelines in the previous topic Understanding Types of Clients and How to Engage
    Them
    are especially useful because you’ll need to really understand
    more about the lead in order to discern if they are a prospect,
    if they are likely to buy from you.

    What are the Secrets of Question Based Selling ?
    World’s
    Best Sales Questions

    Your Customer is Lying — Did You Catch It?

    Also consider
    Skills
    in Questioning

    Getting to Decision-Makers

    Often, the person you first contact is not the person who ultimately
    will decide whether to buy from you. So even if the first person
    really likes your product or service, it’s as important that you
    influence the real decision maker. Many times, that person is
    a very busy upper manager who does not want to be bothered by
    someone trying to sell something to him or her.

    Identifying Sales Prospects: Gatekeepers, Influencers, and Decision Makers
    Reaching the Decision Maker
    How
    to Reach Decision Makers

    Following-Up With Potential Prospects

    Effective follow-up shows you are thorough in your work and
    are sincerely committed to working with the prospect. Also, your
    follow-up often reminds the prospect of your initial contact–
    a contact that they might have forgotten in their busy work lives.

    How to Be Persistent in Sales Without Annoying Your Prospects
    Follow-Up
    Marketing — How to Win More Sales With Less Effort

    Follow-Up
    Calls Can Give You the Competitive Edge

    Knowing
    When to Follow-Up a Sale (includes for prospects)

    3. Sales Interviews and Presentations With Prospects

    Effective Sales Presentations

    Keys to Great Sales Presentations
    How to Create Powerful Sales Presentation
    How
    to Recession-Proof Your Sales Pitch

    Also consider
    Presenting

    Convincing the Customer and Dealing With Objections

    6 Techniques for Effective Objection Handling
    Dealing with Difficult Customers
    The Ultimate Guide to Objection Handling: 40 Common Sales Objections & How to Respond

    Also consider
    Power
    and Influence

    4. Sales Proposals and Negotiations

    Proposals and Sales Letters

    If you have been successful in prospecting the lead and the prospect indeed
    is interested in your product or service, then you might be asked to provide
    a proposal that provides more information about your organization, its products
    and services, and how you would work with the potential client. The client also
    might be asking several vendors to provide proposals, so that the client can
    have more choices from which to choose.

    All About
    Business Proposals

    How
    to Write the Perfect Sales Letter

    Proposal
    Checklist

    Sales Letters and
    Proposals

    How
    to Write a Sales Proposal

    Negotiations

    Often, your proposal or sales letter is the first time that
    the client really absorbs the details of the opportunity that
    you’re bring to him or her. It’s not uncommon that the client
    wants to modify certain terms or pricing. Thus, it’s useful for
    you to have at least some basic skills in negotiating.

    Ten Tips for Convincing the Buyer to Pay More
    Managing the Sales Negotiation Process
    Managing the Sales Negotiation Process
    Sales Strategy Checkup

    Also consider
    Conflicts
    (Interpersonal)

    Negotiating

    5. Closing the Sale

    The closing process is getting the commitment of the prospect
    to buy your product or service. The close is when the client has
    committed. It represents the close, or ending, of the sale process.
    However, many would assert that the sales process really doesn’t
    end there, rather the sales process continues to ensure a strong,
    successful relationship with the client even after a contrast
    has been signed.

    Techniques for Closing

    Tips for Closing the Sale
    Closing the Sale Is Just the Beginning
    After
    You Close a Deal

    Sales Contracts

    Contract
    of Sale

    Understanding
    Sales Contracts

    Many
    Images of Sales Contracts

    Sample Sales Contracts

    Also consider
    Business
    Contracts

    6. Account Maintenance and Management

    What’s Account Maintenance and Management?

    Account
    Maintenance

    How
    to Development Key Account Management Strategy

    After
    You Close a Deal

    Also consider
    Management

    Customer Service

    One of the main responsibilities in this phase of the sales
    process is responding to the needs and questions from customers.
    This phase also is where you can learn a lot about how well your
    product or service is meeting the needs of customers, and about
    any changes that you might want to make to those products and
    services. The following link is to many other links about customer
    service.
    Customer
    Service

    Customer Satisfaction

    The ultimate goals of a sales process should be customer satisfaction.
    Without that, the revenue won’t follow. The necessary learning
    won’t follow about how to continue to improve products and services,
    about how to innovate to produce new products and services. The
    following link is to many other links about customer satisfaction.

    Also consider
    Customer
    Satisfaction




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    Miscellaneous Perspectives — Challenges and Pitfalls

    Various Philosophies of Marketing and Sales

    Before reading the following links, the reader is encouraged
    (if he or she has not yet) to scan the subtopics in this overall
    topic to get a sense of the activities required in sales and the
    order of those activities. This is in lieu of trying to learn
    about sales primarily be reading numerous different perspectives
    and opinions. Do come back to read some of the following after
    getting an overall impression of sales.

    The Ultimate Guide to Relationship-Selling

    Who is selling your product?
    Don’t Take the Sales Order
    Are you Pushy? How do you Pull in Sales Instead?
    Mean Target Marketing-Parents Beware

    Challenges and Pitfalls

    6 Trailblazing Ways Around Sales Productivity Pitfalls
    Hard Sell — Solutions to the 21 Biggest Sales
    Problems

    Pitfalls in Your Direct Sales Business


    Managing Yourself for Successful Sales

    Staying Motivated

    Achieving
    Sales Goals Requires Drive and Motivation

    Images
    for Self Motivation

    Motivating and Inspiring Yourself
    Sales Motivation: A Game-Changing Strategy to
    Beat Your Competitors

    Also consider
    Motivation

    Keeping Positive Attitude

    Do
    You Have a “Sales Success” Attitude?

    In
    Sales, Your Attitude is Important

    What
    Sales Attitude Should You Have?

    Change
    That Negative Attitude and Increase Your Sales

    Also consider
    Attitude

    Organizing Yourself

    Organizing
    Yourself From the Inside Out

    You Can Do It: No Fail Ways to Finally Get Yourself Organized
    Organizing
    Yourself Isn’t an Instant Process

    Also consider
    Organizing
    Yourself

    Managing Your Time and Stress

    Are You In Control of or Controlled By Technology?

    Basics of everyday planning and tasks management
    Triple Your Personal Productivity

    Also consider
    Stress
    Management

    Time
    Management

    Work-Life
    Balance


    Managing Sales Activities and Sales Forces

    Sales Staffing and Training

    Sales Force Structure
    Expand
    Your Sales Force – Part 1 of 2

    Expand
    Your Sales Force – Part 2 of 2

    Sales Training
    Sales Training & Techniques
    Sales
    Success Rules – Free Sales Training

    The Dirty Secret of Effective Sales Coaching
    How
    to Use Virtual Sales Clerks

    Also consider
    Staffing
    Team
    Building

    Training

    Sales Forecasting and Goals

    3 Methods of Sales Forecasting
    Conduct a Sales Forecast
    7 Steps to Achieving Your Sales Goals

    Also consider
    Staffing
    Team
    Building

    Motivating Sales Force

    Expand
    Your Sales Force – Part 1 of 2

    Expand
    Your Sales Force – Part 2 of 2

    Optimizing
    Sales Performance

    Sales Managers: Are You Motivating in the Middle?
    Building
    the Killer Sales Force

    How to Manage a Virtual Sales Force
    Five
    Ways to Re-Energize Sales

    Also consider
    Employee
    Performance Management

    Motivating

    Measuring and Evaluating Sales Effectiveness

    5 Ways You Should Be Measuring
    Sales Performance

    Evaluating Your Sales Techniques
    Measuring
    Sales Force Performance

    When
    to Set Sales Performance Reviews

    Are Your Sales Reps Spending Too Much Time in
    Front of Customers?

    Also consider
    Evaluations
    Evaluating
    Performance

    Compensating Sales Force

    How
    to Set Up a Sales Commission Plan

    The
    State of Sales Compensation

    3 Tips to
    Design a Sales Compensation Plan

    Also consider
    Benefits
    and Compensation


    General Resources

    Resources Providing Many Resources

    Websites
    With Many Free Resources for Nonprofits and For-Profits

    Optimizing
    Sales Performance (an online book)

    Inc’s numerous articles about
    sales

    SalesMarks.com articles
    B2B sales
    leads tools for business-to-business marketing

    Glossary and Dictionaries About Sales

    Sales Dictionary
    Glossary
    of Sales Definitions

    Glossary
    of Sales and Selling Terms

    Free Tools and Templates

    10 Free Sales and Resources
    Free Sales Plan Templates
    15 Free Online Sales Tools


    For the Category of Sales:

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
    want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
    Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

    Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been
    selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

    Related Library Topics

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