This one is easy, there can be no jargon or confusion whatsoever, absolutely everybody knows what sales is.

Yep, absolutely everyone knows what sales is and absolutely everybody hates it.

For the record here is the definition courtesy of Wikipedia, the noun sales is simply, “the exchange of a commodity for money, the action of selling something.”

So that is simple then, except of course this isn’t our experience of sales, a noun, a doing word, the act of selling and and anyway what is there to dislike in that? Actually if you talk to successful sales people they will tell you that there is nothing better than the act of selling, the glory of closing the deal, bringing the lifeblood of customers and cash into the business and in fact successful sales people are most likely to become Managing Directors and Chairman. On this basis sales people should be recognised as the most important people in any business, only they are not.

This is not the reality that we recognise because successful sale people are like hens teeth, extraordinarily rare. The sales people that we encounter aren’t successful and aren’t involved in the activity of sales at all, they are involved in something else altogether. What they are busy with is the most arduous and ineffective marketing of all; knocking on doors and cold calling and trying to foist there wares on any poor soul that they can get hold of, and that is what we hate them for.

For effective marketing sales is actually quite different, for us sales is about:

  • making the most of leads
  • making it easy for people to buy things
  • building relationships so that customers will return and send their friends

And that is it, that doesn’t sound very terrible does it?

But there is that word again that you will recognise from last week, leads, and what on earth is that. Suffice to say for now that leads are the work of sales people, if you have too many leads you need sales people, if you don’t have enough leads you need marketing.