Professional salespeople sell products and services to potential customers. The key activities they perform to make sales include research, prospecting, and outreach, building rapport, finding solutions, and closing the deal. What is the role professional salespeople play and how does ethics enhance the business’s success in sales?
The three primary roles salespeople play
The three primary roles salespeople play are creating value for their firms’ customers, managing relationships, and relaying marketing and sales information back to their organization.
01. Creating value:
Value creation sets companies apart from the competition. It helps them to create long-term customers and brings meaning to their product and service offerings.
“Salespeople create value for their firms’ customers by advocating and communicating the customers’ needs, desires, concerns, and preferences back to the company and find solutions” (Tanner & Raymond, 2019). Thus, salespeople need to know how to attract new customers and maintain the existing ones by offering value including, business, financial, user, and solution value.
02. Managing relationships:
“The management of relationships with key customers is a major responsibility of the salesperson”(Kukreja, 2018).
With the internet, customers can easily research information about a business and its product offerings on their own before making a purchase decision. Hence the focus of salespeople is to generate genuine customer relationships that go beyond the transactional.
Salespeople can build relationships by maintaining contact, ensuring that complaints are handled promptly, technical and resource support is provided as needed, and all promises are kept. These relationships enable collecting and disseminating of information about the customer and their preferences, which the company optimizes to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
03. Gathering marketing information:
Since salespeople are constantly interacting with customers and the competition, they gather a lot of information that the business can leverage to build sustainable competitive advantages. This information can also be used for planning purposes, streamlining marketing efforts, and improving product and service offerings.
Ethics are a code of conduct or principles that govern the way business transactions are handled.
“Sales ethics refers to a set of behaviors that ensure that every lead, prospect, and customer is treated with respect, fairness, honesty, and integrity” (Pipedrive, 2021).
Ethical sales behavior:
- Always be honest about the company’s product and service offering, including the features, capabilities, pricing options, and impact.
- Never attacking the competition and always presenting a fair competitor analysis.
- Making a conscious effort to understand the customer’s needs and expectations and provide advice based on the same.
Embedding sales ethics into the company’s culture helps it earn customers’ trust and builds loyalty. Start by clearly defining and communicating a code of ethics and conduct. Follow this by training and retraining the sales team as needed and develop and implement enforcement mechanisms.
How do ethics enhance the business’s success in sales?
Ethical practices play a pivotal role in elevating a business’s success in sales, contributing to several key facets:
- Cultivating a Positive Reputation: Upholding ethical standards establishes a reputation for fair and professional conduct, bolstering the company’s image in the market.
- Enhancing Customer Satisfaction: Ethical behavior contributes to improved customer satisfaction, laying the groundwork for repeat business and sustained growth in sales over time.
- Building Trust and Loyalty: By adhering to ethical principles, a business can earn the trust of its customers, fostering loyalty and creating a lasting customer base.
- Gaining Respect: Ethical conduct earns respect not only from customers but also from peers and competitors, positioning the business positively within the industry.
- Mitigating Risks: Ethical practices help minimize complaints, reducing legal and consumer-rights risks that could adversely impact the business.
- Fostering Peace of Mind: Companies committed to ethical behavior can operate with peace of mind, knowing that their actions align with societal expectations and legal standards.
Regardless of a company’s existing reputation, customers are inclined to engage with businesses they trust. Therefore, a sales team’s commitment to ethical behavior becomes integral in earning and maintaining that trust, aligning with the customers’ needs. In both the short and long run, ethical practices contribute significantly to maximizing a company’s sales efforts.
The Role Professional Salespeople Play – Further reading:
How to improve work behavior. (2023, January 16). Everand. https://www.everand.com/book/620292862/How-to-Improve-Work-Behavior
Pipedrive. (2021, January 7). Sales ethics: Is there a code of ethics for marketing and sales? Pipedrive. https://www.pipedrive.com/en/blog/sales-ethics
Principles of Marketing v2.0 | Textbook | FlatWorld. (n.d.). FlatWorld. https://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/catalog/editions/tanner_2-0-principles-of-marketing-2-0
This article is written by:
Erick appreciates the little details of each place he visits and pens down his experiences for the readers. He likes coffee and can recommend you the best cafes in town!