Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Sales


Quick Summary of Sales

Total value of goods or services sold by a company in a period of time, often called turnover or revenue. Sales are recognised in the accounts at the point when the company either has received payment or is very likely to do so.

Full Definition of Sales

Sales are defined as the total money value collected for the provision of goods and services. Accounting guidelines state that sales are recognized when transactions are realized. Effective sales management aids business enterprises to enhance sales volume and maintain a steady growth of customers.

Gross Sales

It is total invoice sales value when customer discounts, returns or allowances are not yet deducted.

Net Sales

It is gross sales less returns, allowances and discounts.

Return On Sales

It is used for measuring a company’s profitability. Return on sales is pre-tax income (of a fiscal year) divided by gross sales.

Sales Tax

A tax imposed by a government on an item’s retail price is called sales tax. Sales tax is collected by retailers from consumers. This is an indirect tax, in particular a consumption tax. A sales tax has a high compliance rate. Vendor taxes, value-added taxes, consumer excise taxes, and retail transaction taxes are various types of sales taxes.

Cost Of Sales

This term is found in a business organization’s income statement. It refers to the cost of buying raw materials and producing finished products. It is also known as the ‘cost of goods sold’. Cost of sales equals starting inventory plus the cost of goods bought during a certain period less closing inventory.

Sales Techniques

There exist a variety of sales techniques. Some of them are listed below.

  • Direct sales
  • Indirect sales
  • Pro forma sales
  • Electronic sales
  • Agency-based sales
  • Business-to-business sales
  • Door-to-door sales

Direct sales involve personal contact between buyers and sellers. Mail-order is an example of indirect sales. The process does not involve direct contact amongst buyers and sellers. Electronic sales are conducted via the web. Agency-based sales comprise a broad category. It includes issues like sales outsourcing, consultative sales, telemarketing, and complex sales. Business-to-business sales include industrial as well as professional sales.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Sales. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. November 30, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Sales. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: November 30, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Sales. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Sales are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 13 Views.