Defining types of sales and the corresponding professions

Although most sales professionals have a basic understanding of the variety of processes and roles in sales, this concept is often not well known. Understanding the different areas of interest can broaden the horizons of any sales team or company in terms of what can be optimised to increase sales.
In this blog, we will discuss the five basic types of sales and some sales positions within each area. In addition, we will look at how software such as monday sales CRM can support all these types of sales.

Five types of sales categories

The five main types of sales are:

  • B2B sales
  • B2C sales
  • Direct sales
  • Enterprise sales
  • SaaS sales

For a better conceptual and practical understanding, we have attached definitions and examples for the individual types of sales.

B2B Sales

When your company sells goods or services to another company, it is a B2B (business-to-business) sale. B2B sales are often among the most complicated transactions, requiring more time to finalise and more levels of approval.
They are usually higher value transactions than other types of sales. Some B2B sales involve the distribution of inventory to be sold to consumers, others involve the supply of production equipment or business services.
In B2B sales, companies focus on long-term relationships, knowing that if the buyer is satisfied with the transaction, other sales will follow.

B2C sales

Business-to-consumer (B2C) sales eliminate the middleman, allowing the seller to sell their products or services directly to the consumer. Sellers may involve distributors selling the purchased products in a B2B transaction; for example, a supermarket buys frozen food from several B2B sellers and resells it to the consumer in a B2C transaction.
B2C sales often rely on advertising and marketing to reach consumers, appealing to their emotional needs and pain points. In a B2C transaction, brands can better capitalise on their known quantity status and price is often critical to the success of the sale.

Enterprise sales

Corporate sales are large-scale B2B sales. These are often complex sales with high stakes and involving very large companies. The corporate sales process can be long and complicated, as companies often purchase an entire system, not just individual products.
Corporate sales often include implementation, training and support that go well beyond the actual sales transaction. Corporate sales are often very profitable and can bind buyer and seller for several years.

SaaS sales

In SaaS or Software-as-a-Service sales, web-based software is sold to companies. Since the software must be supported, often with customisations for each customer, this type of sale may involve business development managers working with the sales team. The development team must provide demonstrations and training, while the sales team must be familiar with how the software works.
A particularly useful type of SaaS is CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms, which help companies optimise the sales pipeline and provide excellent customer service.

Direct Sales

If you have ever purchased a Christmas tree decoration from an artisan on Etsy, you have participated in direct selling. This type of selling, which involves selling directly to consumers, is used by product developers and small businesses.
Multi-level marketing is another variant of direct selling, as are most real estate transactions. Direct selling usually requires intensive face-to-face communication and the Internet makes it possible for both individuals and companies.

What are the types of jobs in sales?

Just as there are different types of jobs in sales, there are also different types of jobs in sales. If you are looking for a career in sales, choose the jobs you want based on the sector you want to work in and your personality and skills.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important positions that sales people can hold.

Sales development managers

Sales development managers are responsible for generating sales leads and working directly with marketing professionals to develop strategies and implement market trends.

Account managers

Account managers take over once the first sale has been made. Particularly in B2B scenarios, account managers are responsible for the ongoing relationship with a customer or client, providing support, answering questions and collaborating with the sales team to generate additional revenue.

Sales managers

Sales managers usually have a background in sales, but in many ways they are actually administrators managing teams of sales representatives and account managers. Their main role is to train and guide their teams.

Sales representatives

Sales representatives are outward-facing employees in direct contact with customers and clients. Traditionally, a distinction is made between two types of sales representatives: office sales representatives and field sales representatives. In-house sales representatives usually work from an office and deal with customers by phone and e-mail, whereas field sales representatives often sell in person at the customer’s premises.

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