By Erick Simpson
While the business of selling goods and services has been around for thousands of years, it is important to note the history of the sales process.
It is thought that the first structured sales process was developed by John Henry Patterson, of National Manufacturing Company (later National Cash Register, or NCR), in Dayton, OH. He applied his philosophy on developing “scientific” methods and procedures that led to great efficiency in manufacturing to other aspects of the business, such as sales. By the late 19th century, Patterson had developed a huge sales force motivated by sales quotas and complete with territories. Patterson organized and created the first sales training event in 1884 and established the first sales training school in 1893. He taught a very simple sales philosophy, which is still used and is the underlying framework for the Seven-Step Sales Process.