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What is the Definition of Sales?

Sales professionals are an important factor in helping your small business expand so take the time to understand how to hire the best team. Understanding what this profession entails and what to look for in a salesperson makes the hiring process easier. Learn what the definition of sales is, the different types of selling, sales roles to add to your staff, good salesperson qualitiesand common questions regarding this topic.


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What is sales?

Sales refers to the exchange of a product, commodity, service or delivery for money. It involves helping prospective clients or customers by listening to them and understanding their wants and needs to find them what they’re looking for. Rather than persuading someone to purchase something, selling is focused on meeting the needs of the customer objectively.

Related:How to Hire a Sales Manager

Types of selling

The sale of a product or service manifests in different ways. There are several approaches for a salesperson to take. Here are some of the various types of selling:

  • Aggressive:With this tactic, sales representatives try to make a sale by convincing customers why they need a company’s products or how they could benefit. In some cases, aggressive sellers entice customers with a limited-time sale.
  • Transactional:This simple, short-term exchange gets the customer what they need. In many cases, the customer already knows what they want to purchase. Rather than spending time understanding a customer’s needs, the salesperson focuses on making a quick sale.
  • Social:Sales professionals target prospective customers through social media.
  • Needs-oriented: Sales representatives who employ this technique get to know the needs of their customers by asking them questions that allow them to present a solution in the form of a particular product or service.

Sales roles to consider hiring for

As an employer, it’s important to know the types of sales roles to determine which are the most beneficial for your business. Here are some roles to consider hiring for:

  • Sales associate:With this B2C-oriented position, salespeople encourage customers to purchase a product directly.
  • Sales representatives:Both inside and outside sales representatives sell products or services to prospective businesses, organizations and government agencies. Whereas an inside sales representative often works in an office or from home, outside sales representatives make face-to-face sales transactions. Working for B2B companies, they strive to maintain a positive business transaction and relationship in the hopes of making future sales.
  • Sales manager:Sales managers oversee a team of salespeople within a company or organization.They use their leadership skills to set goals, provide support and mentor each member of the sales team.
  • Sales director:Sales directors supervise and manage a group of sales managers. They ensure all company sales goals are met.

What makes a good salesperson

To make the best hiring decision, understand what skills help candidates succeed in a sales role. Here are some skills and qualities that make for a good salesperson:

  • Empathy: When a salesperson displays empathy toward customers and clients, they’re more likely to make the sale. This tactic shows understanding and helps establish trust.
  • Determination: If a salesperson shows determination, it helps them accomplish their goals and sales quotas. This quality helps them stay focused on their duties and makes them into a more goal-oriented salesperson, which leads to revenue for the company.
  • Confidence:When a salesperson believes in their skills, abilities and the products or services they’re selling, they’re more apt to land a sale and make customers want to buy more from them in the future.

Related:How to Hire a Sales Representative

Frequently asked questions about sales

What is selling in simple words?

Selling is the transaction of money for a product or service. Salespeople aim to sell a product to a willing customer by explaining its benefits and how it’s useful to them.

What are selling skills?

Selling skills refer to the set of qualities and characteristics that make a good salesperson. They’re developed with experience, training and coaching.

What is the process of selling?

The selling process consists of the following steps: Prospect, prepare, approach, presentation, overcome objections, close the sale and follow up.

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