Is Sales an Art or a Science? (Sam vs. Jen)

Meet Sam

Sam is a firm believer that sales is a science. Any sales person who takes their profession seriously will establish a very structured and planned methodology. Sam has mastered the process of establishing a target list, carefully scripting conversation tracks, setting pipeline targets and tracking progress through the sales cycle. He always knows where he stands and can adjust quickly when required. “Make your proven sales process repeatable”, says Sam “and your successful results will be predictable.”

Meet Jen

Jen is a firm believer that sales is an art. No two deals are the same; there are too many variables. Timing, economic landscape, personal drivers, budgetary constraints and unexpected circumstances are just some of the moving factors that cannot be predicted and therefore cannot be boxed into a “one size fits all” process. Every conversation will take on its own life and every sales cycle is unique. “Sales is governed by relationships, and relationships are not predictable”, says Jen “therefore sales cannot conform to a repeatable process and definitely cannot be captured in a CRM system!”

Join the Debate

Do you agree with Sam or Jen?  Please explain.

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5 Responses to Is Sales an Art or a Science? (Sam vs. Jen)

  1. moitz says:

    I’ll surely agree with Jen that sales is an art as nowadays everything works over networking and kind of relationship you have with clients. For example: Most of my clients they know my company by my name but not vice versa. They accept your proposals because of your relations just not cuz ur company is providing something different or something great.
    At the end of the day each of us know how competitive the market is now a days…So most of the products which exist in the market have created their own clients and customers just because there is someone who is “Building Relations”.

    But I’ll not totally disagree with what Sam is saying as being planned,orgainsed makes your job easy and keep uoy focussed. So what I strongly believe is that Sales is more of an Art and less of a Science.

  2. SFrohling says:

    For the most part, I agree with Jen. Sales is an art form, you must have certain characteristics to be successful. It’s all about whether you have what your customer needs. There is a system to it all, which is where the science portion comes into thought, however, like any theatrical play, it’s an art. Have fun debating!

  3. Joni Fisher, CSP says:

    Both! Have you ever witnessed someone who is not comfortable in a sales capacity trying to force it via metrics, goals, coaching, training, etc. It becomes very mechanical and contrived.

    Reverse this and picture a gifted sales Professional creating a bond with his/her clients by emulating their tonality, rate of speach, body language? Regardless of the metrics this person will succeed as it is a natural and intuitive process.

    Best of both worlds would be to overlap the structured “scientific” process over the talent demonstrated through the “art” of sales. BINGO!

    Joni Fisher, CSP
    Fisher Search Group

  4. Bruce says:

    Sales is an art. In order to elevate a pracitce to an art, one must first understand the science.

  5. Syed says:

    I agree with Jen because, Sales is actually an art, it is an ability to create a need for what you have through the art of persuasion.

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