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Professional Sales and Promotion 1b: Secrets of Sales Success

They say money makes the world go round, but sales is what keeps the world spinning. In this course, you’ll explore the power of promotion and how to rise to the ranks of an elite sales and promotions rep. You’ll dive into what it takes to be a stellar seller, how salespeople work together in teams to meet goals, and how the savviest sales managers employ proven sales methods mixed with technology, tools, and psychological insights to build and operate an efficient sales team. Are you ready to keep the world in motion? Let’s uncover the secrets of sales success.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: Selling to Organizations

When you think of buying and selling goods or services, things like shoes, groceries, or maybe concert tickets probably come to mind, right? That’s because much of the selling we see taking place every day occurs at a consumer, or retail, level. This typically involves people making purchases in a physical store or at the mall. But, in terms of volume, the vast majority of selling that occurs every day takes place between businesses. Individuals are employed by businesses to make purchases on behalf of the companies and organizations for which they work. But they don’t decide on the products all by themselves. Instead, a number of different sectors have a say in the purchase process, and each one of them brings their own motivation and objectives to the transaction. Sellers must be able to recognize these various types of needs and the process that the organizational customer follows when making a purchase. By forming specialized teams trained to assist the seller with the transaction, companies can establish long-lasting relationships with large and complex organizational buyers.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the importance of selling to organizations
  • Describe the various customer roles involved when selling to an organization
  • Outline the stages an organization follows when buying
  • Examine the nature of team selling and how it works when selling to organizations

Unit 2: Account-Level Research and Analysis

Doing research and analysis for each individual customer and prospect can help a seller make smart business decisions. Knowing as much detail about every consumer, organization, and individual buyer as possible—before, during, and after any type of selling activity ever takes place—is positively vital to the entire sales process. In order to get to know a customer well, a variety of primary and secondary research methods can become valuable tools. The process of learning about each prospect first starts with identifying the best potential clients, followed by performing the relevant research, and then finally engaging in the selling process with each and every one. By gaining deep insights into both individuals and organizations, professional salespeople can be prepared for every potential point of client contact, they can use their time wisely throughout every phase of the sales process, and they can build meaningful client connections that can blossom into respectable business relationships.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the concept of sales qualification and its components
  • Describe the focus of customer-level research used during the sales process
  • Identify primary research tools used to determine customer sales potential
  • Recognize other areas of valuable customer exploration

Unit 3: Legal and Ethical Issues in Sales

What a salesperson says and does with customers, colleagues, and others affects their company and its reputation. Companies with sales teams that demonstrate high standards of conduct build strong reputations and earn the trust of their customers, their colleagues, and their competition. This positive public image begins with ensuring all of the actions taken by members of the team follow the many laws and regulations that apply to businesses in general, and specifically to sales activities. This kind of compliance can only occur when sellers first know the difference between what is actually determined to be legally right and wrong, opting to behave in line with the former while resisting any temptation to succumb to the latter. But it doesn’t stop there. In many ways, a strong reputation and positive public image also depends on differentiating between actions that, while not necessarily illegal, may be considered morally or ethically wrong. Consistently choosing legally and ethically right actions actively shapes the behavior of sales professionals with their customers, informs their interactions with the many stakeholder groups inside and outside of their companies, and protects their jobs, reputations, and valuable company property.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify common legal considerations in sales
  • Describe business ethics and how they impact seller actions
  • Explain how salespeople can make ethical customer-related decisions
  • Detail key intellectual property types and how each can be protected

Unit 4: Sales Management and People

When it comes to professional selling, a sales team depends heavily on the knowledge and capabilities of the leadership guiding their efforts. This team of dedicated sellers is responsible for achieving the company’s financial goals. The sales manager, on the other hand, is the link between the team and the company’s financial success. Managers are responsible for driving the performance of their teams to the highest level. To do so, they must have a diverse skillset that includes not only the capacity to train, develop, and evaluate their teams, but also the ability to keep team members motivated and moving forward. When a sales team hits its financial targets and achieves company goals, the manager is almost certainly the organizing force behind the selling success. When the team does not hit its financial targets or meet the company’s objectives, the manager must evaluate the situation and determine the reason—or reasons—for the team’s shortcomings. That way, the team can begin to correct course with a better sense of strategy for future success. Working behind the scenes, these managers use their experience and motivational techniques to organize and operate a team of effective sellers and ultimately lead them to success.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Detail how sales teams are structured within an organization
  • Identify ways that sales managers can effectively lead sales teams
  • Describe key steps used to train and develop a sales team
  • Explain how sales managers can subjectively evaluate seller performance

Unit 5: Sales Management and Performance

Sales managers play a key role in evaluating their team’s performance. They do so in many ways, using several different measures. Assessing each seller’s performance relies both on real numbers—such as revenue and activity levels—and feedback from customers. These numbers and measures heavily influence seller performance reviews and also how they are paid. The results also help sales managers plan ahead—to set sales targets, adjust compensation plans, and manage forecasts. Among their other roles, sales managers set performance goals, coordinate the forecasting process, and lead the performance evaluations of their employees.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify ways sales managers can objectively evaluate their sales teams
  • Detail various systems used to compensate salespeople
  • Describe quotas and approaches used to set appropriate sales targets
  • Explain sales forecasts and the methods used to develop them

Unit 6: High-Performance Selling

What is the difference between a good sales professional and a great one? We can learn a lot from sellers who consistently outperform both their colleagues and the annual targets. In today’s highly competitive business world, companies who provide superior selling services to customers can stand out from the crowd, but this requires developing sales teams that are highly skilled, demonstrate good habits, and develop close relationships with customers over the long term. These factors lead to customer loyalty, which has lasting benefits for a company. Loyalty boosts sales, increases repeat purchases, and lowers costs. By creating a team of high-performing sellers, a business can get an edge in the market and consistently outperform its competitors.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify selling strategies to achieve high-performance results
  • Describe customer loyalty and ways that salespeople can encourage repeat purchases
  • Explain how to maximize sales growth from existing customers

Unit 7: New Trends in Professional Sales

The role of the professional salesperson is always evolving. It looks different today than it did twenty, ten, or even five years ago. Much of this change is driven by advances in technology. Just as in many other professions, modern digital tools provide sales teams with exciting new opportunities, but they also create new challenges too. As technology progresses in speed and capability, it can impact sellers and customers in both positive and negative ways. The selling process itself will continue to change due to automation related to productivity, communications, and analysis. Sales teams who can embrace this technology-driven change will find that rich and rewarding opportunities abound in this new era, but those who are unable or unwilling to adapt risk being left behind—by both customers and their competition alike.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify drivers of change in sales and sales management
  • Detail the impact of technology on the sales organization
  • Evaluate social media tools that impact selling interactions
  • Describe how salespeople use big data and analytics to achieve competitive advantage

Unit 8: Developing a Sales Plan

As the sales profession becomes more challenging and competitive, sales managers and their teams are focusing more and more on planning. Starting each new quarter and year with a detailed plan helps both sales managers and sellers reach the best results for their customers and their organization. The process starts with a sales manager—the one who’s responsible for planning for the entire team. Next, territories are defined carefully so that the manager can properly allocate all company resources. Finally, each seller creates their own plan, which focuses on a specific territory. This personal plan includes strategies to reach selling objectives. This step-by-step planning effort ensures the entire sales team is focused on the right customers and activities to meet the company’s financial goals and achieve success.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify the components of a sales plan
  • Develop a sales and territory plan based on a specific product, service, and location
  • Determine the types of strategies found in a sales plan

Required Materials

Physical

  • Art supplies
  • Audio recording device
  • Digital camera
  • Video recording device

 

Software

  • Graphic design software
  • Presentation software
  • Word processing software

 

Other

  • Buyer from an organization
  • Helper
  • Sales professional

 

Optional

  • Spreadsheet software

 

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