I know you already are aware of the business model sales orientation, where aggressive selling is the key goal. But do you know you can also infuse sales orientation in customer-centric business to drive customer satisfaction and sales?
In every business, the sales revenue and the profit are next to none. However, you must follow business sustainability practices to achieve long-term goals. While traditional businesses follow assertive sales strategies, you can however do better by mixing sales orientation with customer satisfaction.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about improving sales and customer centricity with sales-oriented schemes, so read until the end!
What Is Sales Orientation?
Sales orientation is a business approach solely focused on boosting your company’s product or service sales. This sales approach mostly disregards customer needs, customer willingness to pay, and customer satisfaction.
In this philosophy of sales, your business mostly produces or develops goods or services and pushes people to buy them. You don’t initially understand the preferences of the buyers. You may not even know if the consumer will ever use the service or product. The goal is sales revenue as soon as possible and as much as possible.
Also, you don’t hesitate to offer great discounts, especially in the consumer goods, beauty, and foods industry, because the manufacturing cost is way lower than the selling cost.
Since you’re focusing on increasing sales, you support and incentivize the sales team more than any other department in your organization. You also don’t think twice to run expensive PPC campaigns to promote your products, services, or sales deals aggressively.
For example, the buy one, get one free or BOGO offers at retail shops, supermarkets, prepaid mobile connections, cheap web hosting for the first few months, etc., are clear illustrations of this sales-oriented strategy.
Key Principles at a Glance
Emphasizes boosting product or service sales
Prioritizes aggressive sales tactics
May not initially consider customer needs or abilities
Focuses on promoting products to customer segments, audiences, and mostly anyone and everyone who can pay in exchange for the service or product
Often neglects market research for customer satisfaction
The customer service strategy follows concepts like de-escalation and conflict management
Utilizes tempting sales offers to drive purchases
Often resort to hidden fees and charges
Next, we will discuss the importance of sales orientation in business.
Importance of Sales Orientation in Your Business
Here’s why all businesses must follow different flavors of sales-oriented schemes to grow and sustain in the market:
This tactic is vital for your business since it brings in the most revenues at the early stages, during startups, for new products, and in high competition.
You can quickly increase your market share in your business segment. The upward movement in market cap is short-lived if you don’t improve the product or service quality.
Your business acquires true expertise in sales because you regularly do cold calls, cold emails, neighborhood canvassing, field visits, and more.
Sales orientation helps you to maintain an ace sales team who are target-oriented, smart, and hard-working.
By setting stringent sales targets for the sales team members in a sales-oriented business, you can easily weed out the nonperforming sales agents.
Your sales chart also helps you to portray yourself as the top brand in your segment. Thus, you get passive and strong brand value by simply selling things that customers may not use after all.
Insights collected from sales calls, sales emails, sales chats, and visits via conversational analytics can help you improve your product quality and ultimately present your brand as a customer-centric business.
Sales-oriented businesses employ highly assertive sales and marketing tactics. They use frequent promotions and advertisements to engage potential customers actively.
#2. Smart Sales Representatives
In sales-oriented businesses, sales representatives are sharp and knowledgeable. They possess deep product knowledge and use persuasive communication to close deals effectively.
#3. Quality Product
These businesses prioritize delivering high-quality products. A focus on quality reinforces their ability to make sales based on product excellence.
#4. Short-Term Sales Planning
Sales-oriented businesses often emphasize immediate sales goals. They may have short-term planning to boost sales quickly.
#5. A Vast Customer Demographic
They target a wide range of customers. Their products or services aim to appeal to a broad customer base.
#6. Unsolicited Services or Products
Sometimes, they offer products or services without prior customer requests. This proactive approach can lead to impulse purchases.
#7. Valuing Everything About Sales
Every aspect of the business revolves around sales. It’s the core focus, and all efforts align to maximize sales.
#8. Hard Closing of Sales Deals
Sales representatives use assertive techniques to secure deals swiftly. They employ strong persuasion tactics to close sales so fast that the customers are sometimes in the dark until they receive an email or text.
Link Between Sales Orientation and Customer Satisfaction
In the world of business, understanding the link between sales orientation and customer satisfaction is essential. When you focus on sales, your primary aim is increasing revenue through effective selling. But here’s the crucial connection: by meeting your sales goals, you often provide customers with what they need or want.
When you prioritize sales, you tend to pay attention to customer feedback. Their satisfaction becomes paramount because happy customers are more likely to repeat purchases. When you consistently meet or exceed sales targets, it suggests your products or services are aligning with customer preferences.
However, it’s vital to strike a balance. While sales orientation can drive revenue, customer satisfaction should not be compromised. You achieve success when you harmonize these aspects. When you sell while keeping customer satisfaction in mind, you create a win-win situation.
Moreover, satisfied customers often spread positive word-of-mouth marketing, which can lead to organic growth. So, remember, a sales-oriented approach can be a catalyst for customer satisfaction, reinforcing the idea that meeting customer needs is fundamental to business success.
How Sales Orientation Can Improve Customer-Centric Business Strategies
It’s easier for sales-oriented businesses to become customer and market-oriented businesses. If you’re one, you already have the expertise of sales in various forms, like online and offline. All you need to do now is focus on customers’ needs and audience preferences and improve customer service.
Here’s how you can achieve this long-term customer-centric goal for brand trust build while you already are a master of short-term sales goals:
#1. Enhancing Revenue Generation
Your sales-oriented business strongly emphasizes selling products or services fast in high volumes to various customer segments. Now, by identifying the right customer segments and tailoring your offerings to their needs, you can boost sales and ultimately increase revenue.
#2. Meeting Customer Needs
To succeed in sales, you must understand your customers’ preferences and requirements. This customer-centric approach ensures that your products or services align with what customers want, increasing the likelihood of making a sale. When you meet customers’ preferences, you actually boost sales activities.
#3. Building Customer Trust
Trust is a critical factor in any customer-centric strategy. When your sales teams genuinely prioritize customer satisfaction, it fosters trust. Honesty and transparency in sales interactions can lead to long-lasting customer relationships.
#4. Balancing Objectives
While focusing on sales, it’s important to balance your goals with the customer’s best interests. A sales-oriented approach should not come at the expense of customer satisfaction.
#5. Leveraging Positive Feedback
You can use a customer satisfaction survey tool to run feedback campaigns. Collect feedback in a database and analyze them to create actionable insights. Sales teams can use these survey insights to reinforce the value of your products or services to potential customers.
#6. Driving Customer Satisfaction
A sales orientation that prioritizes customer satisfaction leads to happier customers. Satisfied customers are more likely to shop for products or subscribe to your services repeatedly. They can also recommend your business to others.
#7. Maintaining Profitability
It’s crucial to manage costs and maintain the profitability of your business. A sales orientation approach helps you to achieve this goal. So, if your business is fully customer and market-centric, you can shift a part of your focus to a sales-centric approach to increase revenue and, ultimately, profitability.
#8. Motivating Sales Teams
You can train your sales team for exceptional customer service so that when selling, they empathize with the customer and don’t just follow hard selling rules. You can rewrite your call center scripts for outbound sales calls; inbound customer service calls suitable for upselling, inbound and outbound emails, chats, and field sales visits.
Challenges in Sales Orientation and Customer Centricity
You’ll face the following gridlock when mixing customer-centricity with sales orientation. However, if you overcome the following, you’ll see robust brand as well as revenue growth.
#1. Striking the Right Balance
Balancing the aggressive sales focus of a sales-oriented approach with a customer-centric emphasis on meeting customer needs can be challenging because these are often conflicting objectives.
#2. Resource Allocation
Customer research, market research, product research, and service improvements require huge investments. Not to mention, you also need to re-train your workforce so they can provide excellent customer service as well as sell offerings actively.
#3. Employee Adaptation
Employees may need to adapt to a more customer-centric culture, which can be challenging if they are accustomed to a more sales-oriented mindset.
#4. Consistency Across Channels
Ensuring a consistent customer experience across various touchpoints, both online and offline, can be difficult. It’s more difficult, especially when combining aggressive sales tactics with customer-centric service.
#5. Managing Customer Expectations
Meeting the ever-increasing expectations of customers can be demanding, requiring continuous product and service improvements. In the meantime, your sales teams also must meet sales targets to keep the revenue flowing.
#6. Cultural Shift
Changing the organizational culture to embrace both sales orientation and customer centricity may encounter resistance and take time to fully implement. You may want to set up a well-structured change management plan.
#7. Long-Term Sustainability
Maintaining profitability while transitioning to a more customer-centric model can be a challenge. During the transition phase, you may need to accept short-term sacrifices of revenue for long-term gains.
Sales Orientation Vs. Business Orientation
Business orientation takes a broader perspective, encompassing various aspects of business operations beyond just sales. Besides sales, other approaches that come under business orientation are production orientation, market orientation, product orientation, and societal marketing orientation.
On the contrary, sales orientation is a business approach primarily centered around the goal of maximizing sales and revenue. It’s a part of business orientation.
Find below a summary table to learn the differences between sales and business orientation clearly:
Maximizing sales and revenue
Holistic business success
Approach to Products/Services
Sell existing offerings
Consider product/service evolution
Transactional (acquiring new customers)
Relationship-building (retaining and nurturing existing customers)
Short-term profit maximization
Long-term business sustainability
Marketing & Sales Tactics
Aggressive, promotional focus
Diverse marketing strategies, customer-centered sales
Innovation & Research
Limited emphasis on innovation
Prioritizes market research and product innovation
Often incentive-driven for quick sales
Focused on team collaboration, customer satisfaction, and long-term growth
Sales Orientation Vs. Market Orientation
Sales and market orientation are two opposite poles of business orientation. In the first approach, you aim at short-term high-volume sales with an aim to increase brand visibility and market cap and ultimately move to a balanced sales and customer-centric approach.
On the contrary, market orientation starts with market research to find the right product or service segments and their target audience. Then, develop products or services based on customer preferences and feedback. Though you make fewer sales, you build a trusted and loyal customer base.
Find below a summary table for quick understanding:
Value-based selling with customized pricing based on needs
Innovation & Research
Prioritizes market research, product development, and adaptation
Heavy sales incentives and bonuses
Professionalism, sustainable growth, and superior customer service
Creating a balance between aggressive sales and customer centricity isn’t very challenging. You just need to shift your focus to some extent to market research, surveys, polls, etc., to know what your customers want.
You can easily achieve this by setting up online marketplaces, even if you’re a wholly brick-and-mortar retail-oriented business. There are effortless and affordable ways to start selling online on digital platforms.
Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
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