Sales are a fundamental aspect of any successful business. Without sharp sales people your company will struggle and lose to the competition. What makes a great sales person? Many people would say it's someone who manages to convince the buyer and in an ideal world get return business. Building partnerships rather than a one-time push-sell.
Often people hear the word "sales" and think of pressuring, manipulating, and maneuvering potential customers into making a purchase - all the stereotypes of used car or timeshare sales. Think of sales as clearly explaining the logic and benefits of an action or decision and it's clear every job requires solid sales skills. Convincing peers that an idea or initiative makes sense, proving to a boss or customer that a project will generate a solid return, or helping employees who work for you understand the benefits of a new process and embrace the changes required. The ability to listen and effectively communicate is critical in every field, and many people learn more about effective communication by working with sales than they do from working in any other role.
Today we see the increased need for traditional job roles, like accountants, having to embrace the skills of sales. A CPA, who's main task is to find errors and following regulations, might not initially be great at asking questions, looking for opportunities and encouraging thinking out of the box, skills you have to have to be great at sales. The good news is that this can be trained and developed.