Are salespeople born or can they be trained? Should one concentrate more on the art of sales or the science of it? Which approach can give better and repeated results? These questions are often raised so as to give the sales force a better advantage and equip them with better training to drive sales. Let us delve a little deeper to understand what constitutes the science of sales and what forms the art of sales so as to get the correct answer to the question.
An example can better illustrate the science and art aspect of selling. Typically, in order to maintain relationships with long-standing clients, most sales people visit them with the assumption that perhaps the meet could result in a fruitful conversion and some business. However, if the sales person is not armed with the right information while going into the meeting, it may just result in wastage of time with no order secured. On the other hand, if the sales guy has scientific data containing information like recent buying behavior of his old customers, change in customer budgets, changed requirements etc., he can pitch the right product to the right customer and not waste time and efforts over customers who have shifted their buying patterns.
The availability of high technology has now made it very easy to gain access to information which reflects not only the purchasing trends but also changing buying patterns across a particular customer base. With correct information available at one’s disposal, one can also better target offers, discounts and promotions.
The art aspect of sales begins where the science aspect comes to an end. Once the sales person is equipped with all the relevant data and information, he has to apply his own selling skills and experience to win over the customer or secure more business from an existing one. A salesman having all the knowledge in the world will be able to make no sales if he is unable to build a rapport with the customer or unable to influence him. A sales guy has to win over the trust and credibility of the customer. He has to understand the customer’s psyche in order to put forward the right arguments which will make the customer buy the product.
Human nature differs significantly. No two people are alike. Some arguments which may work with a particular type of customers may not work with others. A sales guy has to be careful while putting forward arguments in favor of his product as well as while handling objection from customers. This is an art which can be excelled with time and experience.
But again, a careful study and observation of the entire sale process helps in scientifically understanding the things, arguments and procedures which work in favour of a particular sales person as also why some sales people repeatedly fail in their attempts. Such a study helps in understanding repeated patterns and commonly adopted practices of successful sales guys which, in turn, brings out the science that works behind sales. When such a study is imparted to sales people in the form of scientific training, the success rate of the sales team goes higher, bringing in more sales and more revenue for the company or the organization.
It can, therefore, be safely concluded from the above arguments that selling is both a science and art. One has to carefully focus on both these aspects in order to secure more orders and grow in his sales career. Managers and business owners also need to pay attention to the fact that, today with better and faster technology available in the market one should always make it a point to equip his or her sales team with all the information and data that can give the team a competitive advantage over rivals. Adopting right technologies which provide insight into customer behavior and buying patterns can significantly boost sales and revenues. The emphasis for business owners, should, therefore, not only be on recruiting the most efficient sales team but also in embracing a scientific approach to selling.
The answer to these questions is more often than not, sales is both an art and science. One should try to maintain a balance between both the aspects of sales in order to reap the benefits.