The power of selling is a great tool that anyone should never take for granted. As we talk, worldwide, we all survive on the power of selling. Even to secure a job currently, you must really be good at marketing and selling yourself to the people (employer) you are looking up to for a contract. Otherwise, if you are not good at that, then you lose out. The same goes for the selling of goods/products and services.
If you are not a good marketer or seller you won’t make any sales or profits and thus you will end up in losses. And you wouldn't want that.
Talking about sales evolution, we are simply trying to understand how sales came about and how it all started.
Sales refer to exchanging a commodity for money or giving in money to acquire a certain commodity; alternatively, sales refer to selling a product or a service to a customer/business whereby a shop dealer gives away goods at reduced prices.
Sales are of different types and forms, for example, inside sales, outside sales, sales support, client services, lead generation/development, business development and account managers. Sales play a vital role in the company's survival/organization, and current sales are the heart of most companies. Sales facilitate relationship development, loyalty-building and trust between customers and the company/business entity. You need sales for business growth, lead conversions, customer retention and more.
It’s time for storytelling, “the evolution of sales”.
As the last stage of marketing, sales date way back to about a thousand years ago and the earliest or the first form of sales was the “Barter trade system”. This was the first and the foremost of all trade systems globally; it began way back in more than about a thousand years ago before the existence of coins and notes.
Barter trade refers to exchanging goods and services without involving money; for example, people would exchange food for weapons, services or any other goods of their interest. The barter system would take place when there would be mutual interest between goods for both traders, and the exchange would take place there and then, for example, if you have food like beans. Still, you have been looking for bananas, and here comes someone who has bananas and looking for beans; the exchange would take place.
Barter trade was begun by Mesopotamia tribes in 6000 Before the Common Era (BCE), which Phoenicians later copied. The bartering system was used to get food, weapons, spices, goods and services; however, even after the invention of money, the barter trade system continued being used by people. Barter trade was later replaced by Traditional marketing (market place) after the invention of money like coins, paper money.
Traditional marketing refers to marketing that is not done online. This is one of the most commonly used local methods/forms of selling goods and products whereby farmers, shop attendants and goods dealers put up shops, start calling people to come and buy from them to make sales and promote their products. It’s true and genuine, and more so, it’s simpler to reach the audience, and the chances are high that if you get a client, they are most likely to buy.
Traditional marketing involves having both a buyer and seller move from their residences to a market place where the exchange of goods and services is done.
The traditional market place involves having established retail stores, outlets, warehouse, clubs, farmers markets and flea markets whereby sellers establish a stall of goods. Then, the buyers come looking for certain goods /products, then they agree about the product the buyer wants, start price negotiations until the buyer accepts/refuses to buy the product. If the buyer buys the product, he/she takes it; then a seller has made a sale. The exchanges here are based on the value of money, and the price negotiations take place between two people, i.e. the buyer and the seller. The traditional market place still exists and takes the lion’s share; however, the seller’s marketplace competes with traditional marketing.
The seller’s marketplace is a seller who sells products/goods either physically or electronically in a marketplace that a provider/seller/facilitator runs. Market place sellers make their sales in different ways, such as selling remotely by delivering goods and services in places where they don’t have operations. These are usually online sellers' marketplace, for example, Alibaba, Amazon, and many others.
There are four types of market place sellers: existing marketplace sellers, wholesalers, brands, and physical stores. The market place sellers have generally increased due to increased industrial revolution and mass production accompanied by the need for effective selling, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth, leading to the creation of the seller’s market place. Upcoming and spreading like wildfire is now conventional Mass media marketing.
Mass media marketing refers to the use of technology as a means of communication to reach a wider audience. Mass media marketing's common means are newspapers, magazines, radios, televisions, social media, and the internet. This is where the general public relies on getting news, information and catching up with trends. From the view of a business community and entrepreneurs, mass media marketing has proven to be one way of improving sales of a company and has worked for the majority.
People used to rely on newspapers for news, information and any other communications. However, later in the 1890s, radios were invented, and people would gather around anyone with the radio for news and any other updates. Later alone televisions were invented, and now radios were used by a few later there came the internet. It’s the current source that people use to obtain news in just a few minutes; most advertising companies have used it to make more sales in the market, and it seems to be working for the majority.
According to Troy Harrison, a sales navigator, the 21st-century model of the evolution of sales can wrap up a great service model around the products you are selling by showing that you are the best resource. The same author says that a few years ago (about 20 years back), there was new evolution of sales which was transitioning from transactional selling to relationship selling, and he goes ahead to say that there is going to be a transition from relationship selling to concept selling which will be the evolution of a new sale.
Tray Harrison says that in the mid-90s, selling was based on product features and benefits. Therefore, people/customers would make purchases depending on who had the best products. While approaching the 2000s, there was an evolution from product selling to service model selling whereby salespeople would sales the benefits of a product but rather than the product itself. This caused a hugely positive impact upon sales that were being made, and in the end, the salespeople themselves started fighting for customers rather than sales because goods were going so fast.
In the same time as the late 90s, there was a new evolution concept known as integrated supply. A sales representative would approach a customer’s office and portray to him or her the ability and the willingness to sell him products of good quality and durable. This crossed to the mid-2000s and is still being used. The future of selling will need salespeople who are highly skilled and professional, well trained, good businessmen, and versatile women.
To wrap up this, in the mid-40s, sales reps would sell their products by dressing up gently, then walk to stores, televisions, radios or walk to people’s offices to show off the new product. They would make sure that every single conversation is turned into a sale. Securing business with a customer would be through exchanging business cards or printed papers or even convincing you by his mouth. The selling methods employed by sales reps by then were; direct physical approach, door to door.
Currently, depending on the rate at which the economy and the world are changing, a few companies that will survive are adaptive and ones that will embrace technology proficiency. Sharing sales content and using marketing automation technologies is now the thing to do with marketing and sales available automation technologies include; contact profiles and contact tagging. Additionally, there is lead automation scoring technology which simplifies stuff without wasting so much time. The current selling methods are approaching prospects who show interest in a product/service by visiting your website or those who Google about it.
The future of selling is still embedded in marketing automation and technology that is yet to come, the evolution has gone from door to door then cold calling, and currently, sales reps are adopting marketing automation methods and the use of technology to find clients who are more interested in their business.
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