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The Sales Departments is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with customers. They work with the Marketing function to nurture leads through the sales funnel, from the discovery of a product or service down through purchase (and repeat purchases). Modern salespeople use various methods to reach customers, including email, phone, social media, direct mail, and even the old fashioned door-to-door tactic. In some cases, sales representatives are supported by technical subject matter experts and administrative employees to ensure that they spend the majority of their time on high-value customer interactions.
Common Sales job titles: COO, EVP/SVP of Business Development
The Inside Sales function is responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships. In contrast to the Outside Sales (or Field Sales) function, they nurture and develop leads remotely, working on the phone (telemarketing, cold calling) or through the internet to create sales opportunities. Inside Sales personnel, sometimes referred to as telemarketers, are closely monitored in order to ensure that they are making the correct number of calls to qualified sales leads and handling those calls appropriately, each day.
Common Inside Sales job titles: Telemarketer, Telemarketing Representative, Inside Sales Representative, Account Representative
Lead Generation & Research
The Lead Generation and Research function is closely tied to the Marketing function. They are responsible for developing pre-screened (i.e., qualified) sales leads that match the persona of a typical buyer through a variety of channels (e-mail newsletters, social media, direct mail, online research, etc.), researching those leads and passing them to sales employees (Inside or Outside Sales staff) for follow-up. Information on sales leads (address, phone number, email, contact history, job title, direct reports, etc.) are often compiled in a customer relationship management (CRM) application for future reference.
Common Lead Generation & Research job titles: Sales Analyst, Lead Generator, Sales Support Specialist, Sales Support Representative
The Outside Sales Group meet with potential or existing customers face-to-face to develop and maintain relationships. They often work with Inside Sales, Lead Generation and Sales Support staff to track down leads, set meetings, gather sales intelligence, generate proposals and produce quotes for sales prospects. Outside Sales staff are the 'face' of many companies - they interact directly with potential and existing customers. These interactions can make or break the public perception of the company that they represent.
Common Outside Sales job titles: Direct Sales Representative, Outside Sales Representative, Area Sales Representative
Pricing & Quotations
The Pricing and Quotations Group works closely with the Inside and Outside Sales Teams to generate accurate quotes for the amount of products or services the customer agreed to buy. They price out all products or services, create payment schedules (if needed), manage discounted and segmented pricing, and also determine the projected revenue for each customer.
Common Pricing & Quotations job titles: Pricing Specialist, Pricing Analyst, Customer Service Specialist, Order Management Specialist
Sales Performance Management & Incentives
The Sales Performance Management and Incentives Group develops compensation packages for the sales force and sets goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) based on company objectives. They are responsible for defining sales quotas, territories, profit-based sales targets, sales forecasts and maintaining a high level of performance within the sales force. They work with Sales management to review compensation packages and adjust them based on feedback from Sales staff, company goals and market pay rates.
Common Sales Performance Management & Incentives job titles: Performance Analyst, Sales Analyst, Incentive Commission Analyst
The Sales Support Group works closely with the Inside or Outside Sales Teams to gather details on potential client needs, draft sales proposals, confirm meetings and perform any other administrative work (printing, faxing, scheduling, etc.) related to selling activities. Sales Support staffs are designed to allow higher paid sales producers to focus on high-value tasks (such as new business development and customer relationship management) by handling administrative and non-customer facing tasks.
Common Sales Support job titles: Sales Assistant, Sales Support Representative, Sales Analyst, Marketing Analyst
Vendor Alliances & Management
The Vendor Alliances and Management Group is responsible for maintaining relationships with vendors that may offer complementary or related products/services in hopes of creating additional sales opportunities This includes maintaining vendor information, negotiating alliances with new vendors, overseeing vendor compliance and requirements, and tracking vendor referrals.
Common Vendor Alliances & Management job titles: Vendor Relationship Manager, Sales Analyst