What Is Business Acumen And Why It Is So Important In Sales

sales acumen

sales forecast

According to the Forrester research of 2014, over 70% of buyers have only one essential request to a salesperson they’re contacting with – an understanding of their business. And this is, in fact, lies in the basis of a business acumen meaning.

There exist tens of definitions of acumen, as well as associated business, financial & sales acumen. Speaking of the latter, we would define it as the ability to make sales based on a holistic picture of a business of your company & the company of your client, wisely combining perspective, knowledge, experience & awareness. These must be applied to the businesses of a seller & a buyer, as well as to everything concerning the subject of sales – a product or service.

What is business acumen?

When you’re stepping beyond simply sales, aiming at fulfilling figures of your monthly plan no matter what, you’re starting to step out of the box, closer to business acumen. For instance, you might promise your customers amazing client service, hefty price discounts, or bundles with other products, which don’t originally come that way. But, doing so without agreeing with profile departments, puts them in a tough position when it comes to delivering those promises (which also might not always be possible). Thus, you might fulfill your plan but it’ll neither bring long-term revenue to your company nor contribute to the formation of lasting & reliable customer relations (which might be disappointed because of the impossibility to be delivered according to the promises – your promises).

A much better approach – which is exactly sales acumen – would be to sell having in mind these factors:

  • How well you know your client’s needs & cater to them?
  • What business advantages for your company you create with your sales in all terms: short, mid & long?
  • How can you make more sales by satisfying client needs better? For instance, what about the improvement of a product or some of its qualities? Or maybe, it is customer relationship processes that need to be enhanced? Is your product capable of completely addressing the pains of your customer?
  • What strategic look do you adopt in your everyday work?

If to put it differently, then a definition of business acumen would be as such: how your sale decisions help benefit your entire company from the perspective point of view? In months & years?


What are business acumen skills & how to develop them?

When you apply business acumen, you become a better collaborator inside of your company. What you learn from your client during sales can be translated into the improvement of the product or service you sell. Also, it might contribute to the improvement of some processes inside your company, which are connected to producing merchandise and/or adopting decisions about its sales, servicing, defining its parameters, post-service issues & other things. If you can affect those things, you can become an opinion leader in your company, which is a direct way to promotion in salary & job position.

But if you don’t have business acumen – don’t get disappointed. There are skills, which you can boost:

  • Try to understand the pains of your customers. Or do it better
  • Assess your current position & sales & think about how you can improve
  • Learn the discipline, hard work & long-term vision
  • Train emotional intelligence
  • Gain more experience in your direct area of responsibility & adjacent areas
  • Learn the processes of your organization. Define & politely offer their improvement. Along with that, don’t be the one who demands & quarrels with departments – otherwise, even the best of your offers won’t be heard because of a simple boycott
  • Pay attention to your working environment, company’s market situation, legal field & its changes & changes to the businesses of your customers
  • Find a mentor, who can teach you the best practices in the area
  • Network beyond your sales dept & try to embrace the whole picture
  • Study & listen
  • Understand the decision-making process & try to play a larger role within it so as to become more expert.

Recommended articles

business developments

The Differences Between Sales & Business Development Positions

You might have heard of business development vs sales & don’t quite understand how they differ (if they are) or, if not, why these two…

inbound sales

Inbound Sales: What Their Nature Is And How To Use Them

With so many terms and notions appearing and used in sales, it becomes super easy to be lost in them. A term of inbound sales…

ops guide

Sales Ops In 2021: What They Are & What Are They Responsible For

What is a sales operations leader & how they differ from usual sales leaders a.k.a. salesmen? What are their key functions, everyday activities & role…

outsourced sales management

Ways To Increase Sales For Your Business

Any business requires sales and strives to increase them to boost revenue. There are many ways how to increase sales and we list the most…

sales acumen

What Is Business Acumen And Why It Is So Important In Sales

Speaking about definitions of business acumen, what it is exactly, what it consists of, how to develop it & how it applies in practice to…

sales process

How Formalized Sales Process Affects Sales

While sales generate revenues for companies, salesmen have their own approaches towards negotiations with prospects, closing deals & making presentations. By formalizing these efforts &…

relationship selling

What Is Relationship Selling, How It Works And What Benefits It Brings?

A professional salesperson knows many fancy words concerning their job and utilizes many approaches. One of such is relationship sales, also known as the relation-based…

outsourced sales

What Is Sales And Operations Planning

Sales and operations planning, alternatively known as S&OP or simply SOP, is an important managerial function, which is called to provide the consistency and synchronization…

outsourced sales

The Percent Of Sales Method Explanation

A percentage of sales method is one of the simplest ways of rough estimations of different business indices for all companies that sell their products…

outsourced sales

Creating the Sales Strategies In the Effective Marketing Strategy

A plan of sales is a tool that tells your employees what the company’s objectives are, what numbers a team of salespeople has to reach,…

outsourced sales

How to Structure a Company’s Sales Team

A chosen model of sales affects the profit of a company and the associated numbers like the sales department size and quota attainment. We’re looking…

outsourced sales

Reasons to Hire or Not Outsource Sales Team

More and more B2B companies realize that outsourcing may bring outstanding results to their performance and increase the sales of their products. Even though the…

call centre metrics

The Most Important Call Centre Metrics for Tracking

A good call centre is not about bringing sales or promoting the product only, but also about making decisions that impact staff performance. It is…

Business Process Outsourcing: Outsource Your Customer Support

Why does business process outsourcing work better than in-house Outsourcing? Use our article to find out everything about outsourcing customer support. 

live chat support

Why It’s Better to Outsource Your Customer Support

Today’s business industry is teeming with multitudes of advantageous and cost-saving techniques and tools aimed at enhancing a company’s productivity and performance. The highly progressive…

outsource sales calls

How to Increase Sales for Your Business

There are many ways to increase your sales for your business online. However, the main things to consider in each of your strategies are customers,…

outsource customer services

Customer Acquisition Trends in 2021

Customer acquisition has always been a key factor while running a business. However, due to the recent events caused by the pandemic, companies and marketers…

customer service outsourcing

Outsourcing Сall Сenter VS Traditional Call Center Services

Let’s delve deeper into the advantages of outsourcing call center services over traditional call center services. Over the last couple of decades, hiring a call…

call centre outsourcing companies Kyiv

Why Outsourcing Jobs in Ukraine is a Great Idea

The cost of the same category of services provided in different countries may differ significantly which may seem illogical. It is a well-known fact that…

live chat outsourcing

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Are you considering the thought of outsourcing jobs abroad? Do you know what outsourcing is, how it works, and where you can do it? Nowadays,…