The 4 types of Sale approaches

Sales isn’t as simple and knocking on doors, there are broadly speaking 4 types of sales approach – partner, outbound, inbound and automated sales (note, these are my own classifications)

Partner sales is where you’re leveraging a partner or intermediary to sell on your behalf, its a more complex sales process since you first need to sell to the partner, then keep them motivated and train them to sell on your behalf, then you have to support this partner in selling your product to their customers, in effect you are 2 degrees removed from customer. 

Outbound sales is the more traditional sales model, when we think of door to door salesmen, this is the outbound sales model, you have individual who are incentivised to hunt, then close deals for you. To make this model of sales successful, you need to have abundant and well structured sales commission and hire and manage specific profiles of individuals. Generally you’ll need to monitor sales actions closely to ensure that individuals are selling correctly, ethically and there aren’t unintended consequences that are being incentivised.

Inbound sales this is a more passive approach to sales, and works closely with marketing to attract inquiries, generally it takes the form of a consultative sales approach where an interested party speaks with a knowledgeable individual who is able to articulate the benefits, features and applications of the product to the customers needs. This sales approach needs strong marketing and data to be successful, and a very clear product offering that individuals are trained on, individuals need to have some experience in order to be able to strategically make recommendations.

Automated sales is where your product has reached a level of development that its simple and easy to understand, the pricing is clear and affordable and the decision making process for a customer is similar to that of buying a product in a shop. Automation comes from data analytics that address customer behaviours through a defined sales process, with incentives and retargeting and CRM implemented (and automated) so that it continually attracts potential customers to commit, most mature SaaS business and B2C technology business operate with this model as an idea, examples include Hubspot, Spotify, Canva

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