What is active sales? There are many close terms in the sales dictionary to describe it.
Some people use the term “direct sales” to describe sales activities using personal engagements, live presentations, product demonstrations, etc. But this term stresses more the idea that there is no intermediary between the producer and the client. Something like an OEM in the industrial sector.
Some use the term “outbound sales” to highlight the fact that the prospecting is done proactively to contrast with inbound sales, where prospects are coming up with a request on their own.
Neil Rackham, the author of a sales bible “SPIN selling”, refers to another term of “large sales”, focusing on multistage negotiation processes in complex environments, which are complex due to the fact that the bigger the check - the more thinking it requires by a decision maker to settle, and thus more effort is required of a salesperson.
The closest term to active sales in my opinion is the one coined over 60 years ago by a guy named Robert N. McMurry, which is a “field salesman”. His deal was that he aimed to contrast the workflow of a person who takes orders in a supermarket and the hero, searching the fields, knocking door-to-door, office-to-office, being constantly in a lower status, being continuously refused, intruding again and again, and again actively resented by a prospect, but moving on and pushing the other door...
Today, it is not necessary to be in the fields to get stressed as much. You can also have the same unforgettable experience having Zoom meetings on the laptop in your kitchen 5-7 times a day.
Active sales – is a process of a field sales-super-person, minus going into the field. This job includes such activities as:
- Searching for leads
- Initiating a contact
- Building trust
- Briefing for qualifications
- Navigating a client towards a solution
- Doing presentations
- Working with objections
- Following up
- Sending quotas and signing deals
This is considered one of the unhealthiest corporate professions in the world with highest mortality rates at early age. But on the other hand, it is the job that can never be fully replaced by a machine and on which companies depend upon.
Leadgeneration of today can go as much as to provide a salesperson with open doors. In this door, there will be a person standing, anticipating and curious to learn more from a hero.
For B2C, it’s not so hard to convince to open a door for you. But when you’re looking at the door of a Fortune 500 top manager, this is harder. You must find the door. You must knock. You must learn from silence. And when you learned enough from silence and it is open, you ask one million questions about why it is open and how this can be repeated.
Opening these heavy doors to the field salesperson of today is the topic to be explored.