The sale, together with the purchase, forms the commercial transaction known as a sale. This consists of an economic process and a legal act that grants rights and assigns duties to the contracting parties, who maintain a balanced relationship supported by commercial or civil laws.

The sale, in accounting, is an account of a credit nature that records the operating income of the entity. On the other hand, the sale, in finance, corresponds to the total amount charged for the products or assets sold and the services provided.

Through this article, you will know the meaning and concept of sale, and you will appreciate what it is and what it is not. In addition, you will understand how important it is for companies, the economy, and society in general. Likewise, you will identify some of the existing types of sales and you will recognize their main characteristics. Finally, you will introduce yourself to the sales process, and you will learn about its stages and the activities that comprise them.

Sale: concept, meaning, definition, what it is, and what it is not

The sale is an agreement in which the activities carried out by the intervening parties, the seller ( sale process ) and the buyer (purchase process ), are combined, whose immediate consequence is reflected in the economic income for one and the satisfaction of one need for the other.

The word sale comes from the Latin vendĭta and its meaning, according to the dictionary of the English language, has the following meanings: 1. Action and effect of selling. 2. Quantity of things that are sold. 3. Contract under which property of ones own is transferred to another’s domain for the agreed price. 4. House established on the roads or uninhabited for the accommodation of passengers. 5. Site abandoned and exposed to the insults of time, as sales often are.

The sale, from the business point of view, is a set of strategic and tactical activities leading to the closing of contracts for the transfer of physical goods, services, and ideas between suppliers and customers. These activities are possible thanks to a market management system that, by detecting the needs of consumers and intermediaries, seeks to serve them in a way that is profitable for both parties, with the appropriate quality and price, in the agreed quantity, place, and time, guaranteeing the expectations announced by the suppliers.

Definition of sale

A sale is a transaction in which a user or consumer purchases a good from a manufacturer or dealer, after inspection, by a seller’s description, or by sample on the basis that the quality of the goods received will be as good as the original. sample, in its traditional definition.

Secondly, keeping the consumer in mind, sales are understood as a process of seeking and understanding the needs and desires of customers, to help them discover how they can be satisfied through the purchase of a certain product.

Thirdly, considering the selling party, the sale is defined as a communicative process in which the seller imparts his knowledge and information to the buyer to convince him of his ideas, concepts, products, or services. Likewise, as the action of persuading others that what we have to offer them is convenient for them and will be profitable for them, they adopt the purchase decision. Also, as a process that seeks to convince with arguments and persuade with emotions.

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what is not the sale

The sale is NOT:

  • An activity from which a result can be expected at the end, that is, is a process made up of different related activities that may or may not offer a result.
  • In the confrontation between buyer and seller, that is, in the process, there are neither winners nor losers.
  • The same as negotiation, however, in all sales there is some relationship to it.
  • A way to cheat. He does not support deception or charlatanism, in other words, his true interest and his only orientation are for the benefit of the client.
  • Same as marketing. Thus, marketing attracts potential customers, selling gets them.

Importance of the sale

The sale is important for the entrepreneur and the company because it is the transaction that gives rise to their income, it is the objective of the commercial activity (it is a fundamental part of the functional area of ​​marketing), it is what generates the movements in the accounting figures, Consequently, it is what, at the end of the period, will allow us to assess the performance of the firm versus the budgets. If a company does not sell, it will be difficult to sustain itself in the long term.

Likewise, sale is important for the economy because it means the stimulus for innovation, discoveries, and research, for the efficiency of production and distribution; it is the mobile that governs the entire economy. No one is willing to make the necessary investments to set up a company or expand its capacity if they are not previously sure that they will be able to make a sufficiently high and convenient number of sales.

Finally, for society, the sale is important because it represents the engine that drives income and the investments that cause income, in this way the payment of taxes is generated with which schools, medical centers, parks, or roads are built, impacting new jobs, greater well-being of the communities and the recirculation of income that produces growth and economic development.

Types of sale

The types of sales are the different options that commercial agents have to put their products on the market, there is great diversity depending on the criteria by which they are classified. Below are some of the most relevant ones, as well as the simplified characteristics of each one:

Depending on who it is sold to

The types of sales under this criterion are:

    • Wholesale. Wholesalers buy in large volumes and direct their business to other distributors or retailers, not to the end user.
    • Retail. The retailer buys batches of products from manufacturers or wholesalers and then resells them individually to the final consumer.

According to the parties involved

The types of sales according to the parties involved in the process are:

      • Personal sale. It is considered a two-way communication process in which the issuer (seller) makes his message (offer) known to the receiver (client) and the latter in turn responds by informing of the characteristics required to satisfy his need, thus establishing a mutually beneficial relationship.
      • Business-to-business (B2B) sales. One company produces something that another requires to make another good. For example, a tire factory sells its tires to a car assembler that requires them for its final product. It is related to wholesale.
      • Sale of business to the final consumer (B2C). A company sells something to a person who requires it. For example, an appliance store sells a television to a person or family who will use it in their leisure time. It is related to retail.
      • Complex sale. The one that does not depend on a single buying influence or in which the approval of several people is required for it to be carried out. In general, these are large volumes and huge economic amounts.

Depending on the type of meeting

Depending on the type of meeting between seller and customer, the types of sales are:

      • Face-to-face sale. It happens when the buyer and the seller interact at the same time and place. In turn, it can be discerned in:
        • Walking
        • at home
        • In commercial establishment
        • at fairs
      • Non-face-to-face sale. In which the buyer and seller are not in simultaneous interaction at the time or place. The most used types of non-face-to-face sales are:
        • Telephone
        • by catalog
        • telesales
        • Online
        • Automatic ( vending )
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Taking into account its degree of customer orientation

Taking into account the degree of orientation to customer satisfaction, there are the following types of sales:

      • Consultative sale. It is the process by which an advisor applies a methodology to detect needs, solve problems and provide customer satisfaction, thus creating a relationship of mutual benefit.
      • Strategic sale. The objective is to maximize profitability and long-term relationships with the client as a partner, also serving the strategic interests of the company.
      • adaptive sale. In which the salesperson changes his presentation system during the sales interview, as well as when he uses different systems with different buyers depending on the nature of each specific situation.
      • Persuasive sale. It does not seek to satisfy the needs of the client, but those of the seller, consequently it wants the consumer to buy at all costs.
      • Relational sale. It tries to achieve, through communication, service, quality, and other marketing actions, an ongoing relationship with the customer to get to know them better, understand their needs, and thus be able to serve them as conveniently as possible. In the same way, it aims to obtain the repurchase, loyalty, and recommendation of the client.
      • Transformational sale. It focuses on leading the client to sell, which is why it is based on transformational leadership, one in which leaders expand and raise the interests of their followers, not persuading but influencing the potential client.
      • Neurosale. Based on the brain processes that occur during the customer-seller interaction, including emotions, verbal and non-verbal language, cognitive biases, perceptual systems, and decision-making processes, it seeks to create relationships as a result. satisfactory and lasting with consumers.

The sales process

The sales process includes the stages and activities carried out by the seller, whether independent or business, before, during, and after the sale. This sequence is advanced to increase the chances of success and create new business opportunities.

In reality, not all sales processes are the same, nor do all salespeople carry out the same activities. The truth is that having a well-coordinated sales process not only directs the steps that the sales force must take but also increases efficiency. and, in this way, a greater generation of income is produced.

Stages of the sales process

The six stages  most commonly used during the sales process are listed below:

Stage 1. Prospecting and qualification

First, sales planning is carried out through which objectives are set, programs are developed and budgets are drawn up. Immediately afterward, the search for potential clients that fit the profile established in the planning begins, after which the first contacts are made to establish their level of interest and their financial capacity, among other characteristics.

Stage 2. Previous approach

It covers the search for information about the potential client, institution, or person. It is about finding answers to the question: who buys? when does he buy it? Where does he buy it? how does he buy? and why does he buy? In addition, at this stage the best form of contact is chosen, whether it be through a visit, a phone call, an email, or a letter, for example.

Stage 3. Presentation and demonstration

At this stage, it is about orienting the client towards the benefits of the product or service, relating them to the needs that it supplies and the problems that it allows to solve. Its distinctive characteristics, the advantages that its use brings, the benefits that it generates for those who already use it, and the value that it produces or can produce in favor of the client are presented.

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Stage 4. Overcome objections

Objections represent disagreements or differences of opinion of the prospect on one or several points of the commercial offer. There are psychological ones, such as preconceived ideas, apathy, or distaste for decision-making; also a logical type, such as disagreements about the price or the delivery method.

The seller manages these circumstances through a positive approach, keeping calm and keeping his ears open, asking questions that allow him to establish with greater clarity what are the inconveniences that prevent the purchase, in this way, deactivate them and use them as an element that boosts the sale.

Stage 5. Closing of sale

The closing of the sale is the moment in which, if there was one, the negotiation ceases, the client says yes, signs the contract, or pays at the till. Sometimes it is not an easy task, that is why there are certain closing techniques used by sellers to help the buyer decide.

Stage 6. Monitoring and maintenance

Finally, there is the post-sale stage. The objectives of this phase are framed in the search for customer retention, loyalty, and evangelization. Post-sales activities are key to ensuring not only customer satisfaction but also to establishing a lasting relationship that makes repeat and frequent purchases possible. That is why all sales promises must be fulfilled to the letter, as well as the agreed guarantees and maintenance processes when there is room for them. Also, the successive contacts must be established with a moderate frequency in such a way that they do not result in a nuisance for the clients.

We have answered the questions:

What is the sale?

The sale is an agreement in which the activities carried out by the intervening parties, the seller (sales process) and the buyer (purchase process), are combined, whose immediate consequence is reflected in the economic income for one and the satisfaction of one need for the other.

Why is the sale important?

The sale is important because it represents the engine that drives companies, economies, and societies. From it, people’s needs are met, well-being is generated for employees, profits are produced for owners, and social benefits are created for the community and its environment.

What are the types of sales?

The types of sales obey criteria such as: who is sold to (wholesale and retail), who is involved (personal, business to business, business to the final consumer, complex), the type of meeting (face-to-face and non-face-to-face), and the degree of customer orientation (consultative, strategic, adaptive, persuasive, relational, transformational and euro selling).

What is the sales process?

The sales process is a sequence of interconnected steps that provides a framework for action to sales professionals, useful above all to increase their chances of success and the creation of new business opportunities. As a result of its good use, commercial efficiency, and income increase.

What are the phases or stages of the sales process?

There are six phases or stages of the sales process: (1) prospecting and qualification of potential clients, (2) preliminary approach, (3) presentation and demonstration of the product or service, (4) expiration of objections, (5) closing of the sale and, finally, (6) follow-up and maintenance (post-sale).

References

  1.  RAE. Spanish dictionary. Available at: https://dle.rae.es/venta. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  2.  Artal Castells, Manuel (2016). Dynamization of sales: the commercial process. ESIC Editorial, pp. 14 and 15. ISBN 9788473569446.
  3. Kurian, George Thomas (2013). The AMA Dictionary of Business and Management. AMACOM, pp. 391. ISBN 9780814420287.
  4.  Martínez Escriba, Pere (2001). Learn to sell. Planeta Group, pp. 10. ISBN 9788449311277.
  5.  Hopkins, Tom (2014). Sales for dummies. Planeta Group, pp. 28. ISBN 9788432902352.
  6.  Greco, Orlando (2015). Marketing Dictionary. Valletta Editions SRL, pp. 144. ISBN 9789507433832.
  7.  Sánchez Gilo, Raúl (2018). Sell ​​more and better. Smashwords, pp. 37–39. ISBN 9788826074597.
  8.  Vilches, Antonio (2006). Management of Strategic Sales and Industrial Marketing I. Polytechnic University of Madrid, pp. 30 ISBN 9788461132713.
  9. Llamas, José María (2006). The scientific structure of the sale. Editorial Limusa, pp. 36. ISBN 9789681847425.
  10. Kotler, Philip, and Keller, Kevin (2012). Marketing direction. Pearson Education, pp. 561. ISBN 9786073212458