Sales orientation refers to a business approach that focuses on actively promoting and selling products or services to customers. This approach typically involves a strong emphasis on generating revenue and meeting sales targets, and may include tactics such as advertising, sales promotions, and personal selling. Sales orientation is often contrasted with a customer-oriented approach, which focuses on understanding and meeting the needs of customers.
Sales orientation vs. market orientation
Sales orientation is a business approach that focuses on actively promoting and selling products or services to customers. This approach typically involves a strong emphasis on generating revenue and meeting sales targets, and may include tactics such as advertising, sales promotions, and personal selling. Companies with a sales orientation may prioritize short-term gains and may not take into account customer needs and preferences.
Market orientation, on the other hand, is an approach that focuses on understanding and meeting the needs and wants of customers. Companies with a market orientation conduct market research and use the information gathered to develop products and services that meet the needs of their target market. They also focus on building long-term relationships with customers. A market oriented company is also more likely to be responsive to changes in the market and adapt accordingly.
In summary, Sales orientation is a short-term, product-centric approach focused on selling what the company makes, while Market orientation is a long-term, customer-centric approach focused on making what the market wants.
Examples of sales orientation
Examples of companies with a sales orientation might include:
- A door-to-door sales company that focuses on going out and actively promoting their products to potential customers, regardless of whether or not those products meet the customer's needs.
- A car dealership that prioritizes meeting sales targets over providing personalized service to customers.
- A retail store that heavily relies on discounts and promotions to sell products, rather than focusing on product quality or customer service.
- A telemarketing company that makes calls to potential customers in order to generate sales leads, rather than trying to understand the customer's needs and tailor their approach accordingly.
It's worth noting that many companies may have a sales orientation in some areas of their business, while also having a market orientation in other areas. While a sales orientation can be successful in the short term, it can also lead to customer dissatisfaction and a lack of long-term customer loyalty. In contrast, a market orientation can help a company build strong, long-term relationships with customers, which can lead to more sustainable success in the long run.
- Dunlap, B. J., Dotson, M. J., & Chambers, T. M. (1988). Perceptions of real-estate brokers and buyers: A sales-orientation, customer-orientation approach. Journal of Business research, 17(2), 175-187.
- Jaramillo, F., Ladik, D. M., Marshall, G. W., & Mulki, J. P. (2007). A meta‐analysis of the relationship between sales orientation‐customer orientation (SOCO) and salesperson job performance. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing.
- Pitkänen, I., Parvinen, P., & Töytäri, P. (2014). The significance of the new venture's first sale: The impact of founders' capabilities and proactive sales orientation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(4), 680-694.