Sales orientation is a business approach that solely aims at improving the sales of a company’s products or services without taking the actual needs of the customers into consideration. A business that uses sales orientation philosophy manufactures goods and tries to make the people buy them without first determining what the consumers want.

The focus is usually on increasing sales and therefore emphasis is directed towards improving sales team, promoting and advertising the product to the possible customers. Companies that use sales-oriented marketing strategy usually ignore other aspects of product marketing such as market research to establish customer need or satisfaction.

An instance of sales oriented business approach is the “buy one to get one free” offers that are offered to consumers. This type of offer is not interested in what the consumer needs but its motives lie in making bigger sales by offering nice deals to the customer.

Among others, companies manufacturing unsought goods are consistent users of sales-oriented approach.

Sales orientation vs. market orientation

Unlike companies that use sales-oriented approach, those that use market-oriented approach place their efforts on meeting the constantly changing needs of the customers. In order to establish a lasting relationship with their customers, such companies are ready to sacrifice the short-term profits.

They sell what the customer wants and needs unlike in sales-oriented strategy where companies sell what the company produces notwithstanding what the market needs.

Characteristics of companies utilizing sales orientation approach

There are certain characteristics that distinguish businesses that use the sales-oriented approach from the market-oriented ones. They include:

  • Aggressive selling tactics
  • Reliance on short-term plans without considering future relationship with clients
  • Almost or total reliance on promotional activity for sale of products or services
  • Most of the budget is dedicated to promoting the company’s product or service

Assumptions made by companies using sales-oriented marketing approach

When a business decides to indulge in sales orientation, a few assumptions are made, such as:

  • Every person is a prospective customer
  • The people are not willing to spend their money on the company’s products or services
  • Application of aggressive selling techniques will lead to improved and increased sales.
  • Mass sales equal high profit

Sales orientation approach may work well in the short term but it is not efficient in the long-term. This is because customers become knowledgeable with time and they demand both variety and quality. In competitive markets, sales-oriented businesses fail and cave into the market-oriented ones.