Definition

sales motion

Contributor(s): John Moore

A sales motion is the particular sales method an organization uses to deliver a product or a service to its customers.

A sales motion may be seen as a component of a product or service go-to-market strategy. In the channel context, a vendor may pursue indirect sales as its go-to-market strategy and, at the tactical level, may employ a number of sales motions: selling through distributors and selling through value-added resellers (VARs), for example.

A sales motion can also detail the particular approaches or outline a series of steps used to sell a product or service. Going back to the channel example, a vendor may employ a series of sales techniques when selling through distributors and another when selling through VARs. For instance, a sales motion with a VAR might involve jointly creating an offering that bundles some combination of products and services for customers within a vertical market. Such an offering is sometimes called a sales "play." Some vendors distribute sales "playbooks" to their channel partners to describe how to execute the play and the associated sales motion. Channel partners, meanwhile, may develop their own sales motions for targeting certain customer sets.

Overall, vendors and channel partners apply the phrase sales motion to a variety of sales activities. Other examples of sales motions found in channel sales include up-selling and cross-selling.

This was last updated in January 2016

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