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Why are we so afraid of calling Sales ‘Sales’ ?

20 December 2012

Anneke’s Note: This post is by my colleague John Philpin, who asks really thought-provoking questions. Enjoy!

Have you ever thought about how caught up we get in titles and departments and naming things? For example, someone once described their role to me as follows …

“Actually I am in Sales. Specifically Inside Sales. Well really – when I say Inside Sales – I am a Senior Outbound Telesales Executive, with responsibility for the digital acquisition of Western Region Customers.”

Say What ?

I was reminded of this today when I heard a discussion around the need to rename inside sales. Apparently ‘we need to rename inside sales to remove the stigma and old thinking around that term.’ Terms raised included Virtual Sales, Digital Sales and  Social Sales.

How about just calling calling it ‘Sales’ ?

Here’s my take.

The differences between venerable institutions such as ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ are hardly understood – much less “Virtual Sales, Digital Sales, Social Sales”.  The world is all about the customer – not how we organize.
How we do that (the orgs, the teams, the people, the hierarchy is meaningless to anybody outside a company – they don’t care – and nor should they.)

I firmly believe that
– introducing more new terms is self defeating
– forever subdividing internal orgs with meaningless terms is self defeating
– continuing made up separation of organizations is self defeating
– continuing to use terms that border on the ‘pejorative’ is self defeating
– focussing on the organization – not the customer – is self defeating

What do you believe ?

John Philpin is Chief Social Business Strategist with Reality Works Group: he makes Social Business work for customers, partners and your organization. He is also an entrepreneur (founder of 3 companies) and has held CEO and other C-level positions (in Sales, Business Development, Marketing and Customer Management – though he shuns those names!) in both start-ups and large companies including Citibank and Oracle. You can follow John’s thought-provoking thinking at: http://beyondbridges.net/  on Twitter @fractals or the old-fashioned way (on e-mail or phone): jphilpin@realityworksgroup.com, (808)344-2914.