To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business.
– Harvey Mackay, Author, Businessman
Sales is the only function in the company that brings revenue and still it is much looked down by most of the job aspirants. If you ask any Marketing student, majority of them will say that they aspire to become a Brand Manager and only few (if you are lucky!) will say that they intent to go into sales and then grow.
It is not just a coincidence that the field, you aspire to rock one day, is called “Sales and Marketing” and not just Marketing or just Sales. S&M comprises of three pillars, which are
1. Sales: Basic function of sales is to generate revenue for the company. It revolve around reaching to customer, convince them to stock your product, give them discount to pass(sell) product to end consumer, achieve monthly sales target and keep everyone happy(!!!).
2. Marketing: Marketing revolve around creating desire among customers to consume your product and there are many ways. Marketing includes decision like selling 50gm pack or 56gm pack, charge 100Rs and give 10% discount or charge 91Rs. It also includes media planning, promotion and tactical activities planning. To accomplish all task you need market data and that comes from Market research and your on-ground employees (salesmen).
3. Innovation: Innovation is long term strategy that includes new product development, positioning and how do you want your product/brand to be perceived in long term.
A company can be classified as
Sales driven: Balaji wafers, Ghadi detergent etc
Marketing driven: Pepsi, Coca-cola etc
Innovation driven: Philips, Apple etc
Marketing and Innovation are cost function and their cost is paid by revenue generated by Sales function of the company. Companies like Pepsi spends 6-7% of revenue on marketing. Last year Pepsi’s market share increased by 2%(click here) and they doubled promotion spend considering increase in revenue will be able to sustain these massive spend. Philips spends nearly 7% of the revenue in R&D to develop next generation products and over the period the R&D spend has increased with increase in revenue. Thus to increase or continue its dominance, companies need to keep investing in their core competency (marketing/innovation) and these increased investment comes from the revenue which is function of sales department.
Thus to understand your customer, launch new product, deciding on promotional campaign, grow your company, sales is of utmost importance. And In my effort to understand this sales & marketing, I am launching a new tab of “sales” where I will be posting articles related to sales and distribution.
Update: Read Introduction to Sales [Part-2] here