Sales: Science or Art?
Tahsin realised that the main reason behind these targeted ads was his wrist-watch search on Facebook
Tahsin is an undergraduate student. He usually searches online before purchasing anything. A few days ago, he started searching for a wrist-watch on several Facebook pages. After that incident, Tahsin noticed that numerous wrist-watch ads were coming across his Facebook interface. Tahsin realised that the main reason behind these targeted ads was his wrist-watch search on Facebook. But he could not find out how it worked.
According to Investopedia, a sale is a transaction between two or more parties in which the buyer receives tangible or intangible goods, services, or assets in exchange for money. In some cases, other assets are paid to a seller. In financial markets, a sale can also refer to an agreement that a buyer and seller make regarding the price of a security.
In sales, sellers always try to present their products to target customers to get maximum success. Nowadays, companies are taking new strategies and using technology to increase sales. Tahsin had faced a similar thing. Here, they used Tahsin's previous activity details to present a product on his Facebook feed.
But now the most debated topic among sales leaders and people involved in sales is which is more applicable to sales, science, or art? Science is the systematic knowledge of the physical or material world that can be attained through observations and experimentation. Art is a practical thing where imagination and creativity matter most.
In the case of the science of sales, methods that have been proven to be effective are usually used. There are uses of social psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural economics.
Various scientific researchers tried to know how the human brain works and how to influence it. There has been a lot of research in the sales process over the ages on how to increase sales.
The US-based Lead Response Management study shows that midweek to just before the end of the week is the best day to call customers. For most people then, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to contact your leads. The best times to call are usually between 8 am and 9 am and then again between 4 pm and 5 pm. It is 100 times more likely to successfully contact a lead if one responds within 5 minutes and 21 times more likely to qualify that lead.
The research by Software Advice shows that buyers are 300 percent more likely to answer a call if they recognise the area code. That means if they understand that it is a local number, they are much more likely to answer it.
All this research was not done overnight. These results were obtained by conducting surveys on thousands of people over the years. These theories are supported by solid results that were attained by conducting various tests and observations at each step. That is why these research and studies on sales growth are determined by science.
The art of sales focuses on how to attract the buyer and how to present the product. For this, research on customers, rapport building, psychological quirks, approaching strategies, emotional appeal, etc. are important.
The seller has to find the right way to properly present the product, attract customers and build strong relationships, and figure out a lot of other things. For example: when to contact the customer, how to contact to get the most responses, etc. And for these, good results can be obtained by following some theory or principle. Those theories or principles can only be found in science through various research. So it can be said that in the case of sales, the seller applies the theories from science into art.
As the world progresses, new methods of selling are being invented. Nowadays, all kinds of products are available on e-commerce websites. Companies are launching online campaigns to promote their products globally. Data is playing a vital role in this standpoint. All the data of a person's activity are being saved online. By analysing the data through artificial intelligence, it is helping businesses understand customer behaviour. As a result, specific products can be advertised to target customers based on data. In this process, both science and art are being utilised through technology.
To increase the sales of a product, if only art is given importance, then the product will be like a gold brick. A gold brick is a fine thing to look at but is inherently worthless. Art without science is the same as people will not buy it if the quality or usefulness of the product is not good enough for the consumers. The reverse applies to science because consumers want to add artistic value to their lives through their possessions. If one can not make the product appealing, it will never reach the target customers and sales will not increase.
Now if anyone asks, what is sales? Then, what should be the answer, science or art? I will let the readers decide which one.
The writer is completing his BSS in Economics from the University of Chittagong and works as a Brand Executive for Future Icon, a Corporate Training and Consulting Company. He can be reached at - [email protected]