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 ?

5 thoughts on “Why Are We So Afraid Of Calling Sales – ‘Sales’ ?

  1. Good post John, I spent over 15 years on inside sales when I worked in the brick and mortar business, I loved the environment and challenge of the job.

  2. I agree there is a stigma attached to the term “inside sales,” because whenever I tell someone I’m in “sales” they ask if I enjoy driving around etc. It almost always seems to be assumed that “sales” = “traditional, outside sales,” which simply isn’t the case anymore in many industries. I’m not sure what the answer is.

  3. I think they should call it the Pancake Department and they should serve pancakes to the employees every morning.

    Seriously though – that’s why my title is “nerd”

  4. “focusing on the organization – not the customer – is self defeating” – That one used to make me nuts. I tried for years to get my former employer to just leave the title off of my cards. We changed so many times even I forgot what we were supposed to be called. And the customer really doesn’t care about the title, they care about whether they have someone who can act as a direct contact to the company.

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