Certain words bring to mind the idea of business. Customers, products, and the key word of ‘sales’ are all words which make you instantly think of business. The idea of sales is almost synonymous with business. For some companies it is what drives their business in the first place. Their product is sales. Other companies use sales only when needed to boost their client reach and company production. Each company handles sales differently and has their own unique methods for how they look and approach sales. We asked a few entrepreneurs for their input on how they view the importance of a steady sales team.
Sales can be seen as a measure of how well your business is or isn’t doing. For business strategist John Mulry, he uses sales as a benchmark for business success. “Sales in business, at the end of the day is one of the key benchmarks for business success. It doesn't matter if your business creates 1 job or a thousand, if it uses the shiniest new technology or if it has more apps than an android market, if your business isn't generating sales your dead in the water. In an age where there's a new wave of nonsensical metrics that business owners are bombarded with i.e. likes, fans, retweets, shares and engagement to name a few, none of these matter. The only things that matter are: Are you generating leads? Are you making sales? And what's next? You need marketing for the first, SALES strategy for the second and a plan and strategy for growth.”
Another way to look at sales is to make sure not to put all your emphasis on it. Former Google employee Eric Kami, now of Sockscribe.Me, warns against building a business solely on sales. “I think building a business on sales only is a huge mistake. The metric a business should be optimizing for is the customer value of a lifetime. Depending on the type of business you operate there are numerous ways to measure this. What it comes down to are some fundamental questions: 1) Are there any behavior traits your top spending customers have in common? (Is this the # of returns? their location? gender?). Once you figure this out then create marketing efforts to capture look alike people. 2) What can you do to change new customers to high spending ones? It's important to test to see what works best here.”
In the truest sense sales is about making money. Katie Donovan of Equal Pay Negotiations sees sales in a true form but also a measure of success for various parts of your business. “To me sales (the exchange of money) are important for two reasons. Firstly, sales is a key means to money and money is the fuel that keeps a business going. Without money the business would cease to exist. Secondly, sales indicates if your company has purpose by addressing a need. No sale means that something is wrong. Either your product or service does not meet a need, or your marketing is not promoting the product/service correctly, or the sales process should be adjusted, or….the list can go on and on. The sales team is important because they are the feet on the ground who are ensuring money is coming in to fuel the organization on a daily basis. They can see what is and is not working long before it is reported on a monthly basis up the chain of command and they can adjust to improve situations on an ad hoc basis. It is the sales team that will understand the product/service gets more interest for a unrecognized need. It is the sales team that will understand that the target market is off by just a hair when repeatedly seeing the supposed decision makers defer to others. It is the sales team that sees that a small product feature change can open up a whole new market. They are your informal market and product development research team before you decide to follow their hunch and truly research some new ideas.”
Business owners and entrepreneurs will always have a unique view on sales. There will debates about what level of prominence sales has in a business and how much emphasis there should be on the team. Business owners will also constantly strive to make sure things are even in their company. Whether you see sales as the highest of the high or just a regular part of business, there is no denying the importance sales has on your business.