Learn About Selling Orientation

Selling Orientation
Getty Images / PhotoAlto/Eric Audras

Back in the 1960s, the techniques for selling products and services became far more sophisticated. Many Sales VPs and managers began to see certain patterns in the sales trends of their customers. This helped them to refine their sales techniques by focusing more on the methods the business was utilizing to sell products and services. Originally, marketing focus relied mainly on customer buying habits. 

The definition of selling orientation today has evolved to include how a company markets and sells to their customer base and beyond. The inherent idea behind selling orientation is to study various facets of buyer habits and behaviors. Rather than assume target markets are ready to buy and closing sales can be quickly expedited, selling orientation takes the position that all buyers hesitate to buy. 

The purpose of a selling orientation is to uncover the realities of buying habits within the specific realm of each business. The picture of selling orientation is to close sales based on a more aggressive selling technique to create a need in buyers and reduce buying resistance. 

Selling Orientation in Marketing

There are actually two types of orientation. The first is marketing orientation that assumes the business must sell only what their target market needs or wants. Selling orientation relies on creating the desire to buy and need what the business sells. 

How to Identify Your Selling Orientation

To fully understand selling orientation, it's necessary to identify the ambiguity that occurs before each sales presentation. A fully oriented sales staff will know the methods necessary and take steps to ensure sales prospects hurdle the initial reluctance to buy. This brings into question the viability of the products or services. 

In most cases, when sales staff can easily identify this viability, they go forward with a strong, confident, "no questions asked" sales approach. For example, businesses who sell products and services may want to combine the sales approach to present tangible products and subsequently, sell services as products.

Insurance companies often sell various types of insurance policies as "products." The basis of selling orientation is the idea that buyers may not want or need the product or service to be sold. For sales staff, setting up strong strategies to deflect buyer hesitation is an important part of the selling orientation planning. The duality of this selling orientation brings with it the basic premise that customers will buy what they don't need merely because the sales orientation strategy made the selling points irresistible.

Unlike marketing orientation where the needs of customers are the main focal point, selling orientation advances past this strategy and choose to bypass customer need entirely. The other difference between marketing orientation and selling orientation is the time elapse of a sale. Marketing orientation strategies may be used in a longer-term sales process.

Selling orientation is designed for quick sales. In marketing orientation, another difference is the establishment of customer relationships. In selling orientation, developing customer relationships isn't necessary due to the short-term sales or one-time sales approach.

In marketing orientation, the emphasis is placed on changing needs, of customers. In selling orientation, the emphasis is solely on closing a sale quickly and moving to the next sales prospect. In marketing orientation, established customer relationships are a catalyst for future sales. In selling orientation, there is a potential to miss future sales opportunities.