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While in many regards the role of salespeople has changed over the last two decades, many things remain the same. Sales requires interacting with old and new customers and acting upon generated leads to attract potential customers. Selling entails being able to make a good presentation by understanding your customers, demonstrating knowledge of your product, and differentiating your product from the competition. Sales also requires the ability to close the deal, and follow up on that sale by providing help or inspiration for future purchases. Follow-up includes evaluating your sales process (whether for a campaign or a single sale) to determine where your sales team has been effective, and where you can change your approach.
Online sales and e-commerce often take sales people out of the equation. In this context sales is defined differently, no longer a team of people selling over the phone or in a shared space, but a process often initiated by the customer after research, or as a response to marketing. Here website design and ease of interaction, as well as easy access to information, are vital.
Some marketers are finding it important for marketing to work together with sales in order to implement a successful marketing strategy. “Sales enablement” and “marketing and sales alignment” are frequently used marketing terms. Sales enablement can be a crucial strategy if your company prioritizes customer experience, satisfaction, and retention. By enabling sales, you choose to value your sales team’s expertise concerning customer interaction, rather than simply handing them instructions. Sales and marketing alignment may mean anything from listening to your sales team’s suggestions as you create a marketing strategy, to working side by side in a unified sales and marketing team.
How your sales team interacts with customers reflects your business culture and defining strategy. Your attitude towards your salesforce reflects your attitude towards your customers, as sales is the public face of a company, the first and sometimes only representatives the customer will meet. A marketing strategy that emphasizes corporate branding can use sales to convey your brand’s image as they represent the company at the forefront in interactions with customers. Customers’ interactions with sales representatives create the most powerful impression of your brand. If you decide upon a customer-centric marketing strategy which aims to retain customers rather than replace them, caring about your customers means caring about your salesforce, as the customer experience generally begins with them.
All departments work towards the goal of creating and maintaining a profitable business. All have differing roles in this process. Your sales department may have crucial knowledge concerning your customers and your target market, attained through personal interactions. When sales and marketing work together, the two teams can improve performance in both areas. Marketing and sales can align to create a more well-defined marketing strategy, improved sales monitoring, more relevant sales team training, a better means to distinguish and qualify potential customers, and more coherent and relevant objectives. Your sales department or salesforce, whether working out of a physical shop, over the telephone, chatting online, or traveling between offices, have the ultimate responsibility for the completion of a sale. As such, they are an often underestimated, vital part of a company.
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