Ah yes. That is the best outcome to be sure. Unfortunately, that isn't the way it works often times. I did read into your statements and consider selling the entire process whereas you were speaking strictly of the sales pitch, presumably after all the marketing and buy-in have occurred. There is, indeed, a difference between the two.
In my company, and I would presume in many older companies as well as egotistically run younger companies, the top often gets taken in by the fawning over them at the ego stroking that is often accompanied with sales. They feel because they have the authority, they also have the knowledge and, therefore, don't get others involved. Now this is often not the case as well, don't think I am overgeneralizing here, but there is a great deal of ego-stroking that tends to go into a sales process - and many manager's egos confuse authority with knowledge. I think most salesmen know this, and many, if not most, will use this if and when they see it. As I said, I have seen many products purchased because it is a great idea from the marketer to solve an issue the manager identifies, but that was never run past the workers to determine suitability and then ends up shelved or making issues much worse than they were without the product.
If you don't work from the bottom up, how will you be able to identify the issues and target your products? If you don't get the buy-in from the bottom, who will champion the product internally? And getting back to the point, if they say No, and you don't accept it, how can you expect to have a champion or get buy-in by going through with the sales process?
With your separation of definition, I can sort of see where you are coming from; but once the No is stated, even in your definition of sale, you are in most cases alienating those very same stakeholders. The ONLY situation I can see where you are not is when the purchasing department (Money only, no authority or desire) says No, but the manager has the authority to override them and say yes.