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What Is a Sales Scenario?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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A sales scenario is a method of training and preparing for future sales situations, in order to have an answer to any possible response by the customer. It is a method of planning and forecasting to ensure effective sales, and is one of the most common sales techniques used. A salesperson will go into a situation prepared for many different sales scenario options, ideally with as much knowledge as possible about the customer ahead of time. This will allow the sales person to prepare the best type of sales scenarios in order to close the deal.

Initially, the use of various sales scenarios is often found in job interviews and in training to become a salesperson. In an interview, the interviewer might role-play with the interviewee as if he or she is the customer, and the interviewee is trying to sell him something. This will allow the interviewer to see the applicant's skills firsthand. Once someone is hired, this type of education might continue, with the new salesperson being placed in mock sales scenarios to determine how to handle various situations, and how to close sales on a regular basis. This training can take up to a few weeks or even months, depending on the company and what the person is selling.

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The sales scenario method is then also used as a way to prepare for selling situations specific products. For instance, each customer might have different needs, and a salesperson who is prepared to address these needs is much more likely to make a sale. It may be best to illustrate this concept with an example. If a salesperson is selling a certain piece of software, he or she might have customers who have not used it before, and they will need to be convinced why they would need such a thing. This is in contrast to customers who already use the software, and wonder why they need to upgrade when their existing product is working just fine.

Preparing answers for a sales scenario like this in advance will give the salesperson methods of convincing the customers that they need to buy the products. It may also provide ideas for selling additional products or more expensive items, often known as "up-selling." Put simply, a sales scenario allows salespeople to anticipate questions or issues the customers may have, and come up with responses in advance to address those problems and ultimately make the sale.

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