This is a solution of Sales Planning Operations assignment, discusses numerous types of marketing methods.
In the current markets the organisations are always trying to determine a way to gain and maintain competitive advantages over the other organisations in the same industry. This requires the organisations to identify, analyse, anticipate and satisfy the needs of the customers in the market. The organisations try to prepare the products that satisfy the needs of the customers to the maximum extent. After the production process is complete, the organisation implements the marketing strategy to make the products reach the customers. These marketing strategies of the organisations include a lot of activities related to marketing and promoting the product of the organisation. The organisations have dedicated sales and marketing departments to carry out these activities (Dalrymple, 1995). Personal selling is the process in which the seller or a representative of the seller communicates directly with the potential buyer and explains the features and usage of the product to the potential buyer. Now a days’ in the buying process of most of the daily products the only human interaction with the buyer at the time of buying is the person at the billing counter. But organisations are trying to implement personal selling for their products as it involves creating a relation with the customers, understanding their needs and fulfilling those needs by trying to convince the customer regarding the usage of the product.
1.1 Personal selling supporting promotional mix
Consider the shoes manufacturer Nike as the example of the organisation on which we will discuss about the marketing strategies.
Promotion is one of the elements in the marketing mix of Nike.Advertising and promotion is the process which includes the activities that help the organisation to convince the potential customers about the features and usage of the products and make them interested about the product. The activities in the promotional process of marketing are defines by the elements of the promotional mix. There are five elements in the promotional mix of Nike such as advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing (Dalrymple, 1995).
Personal selling is the process in which a representative of Nike or the retailer selling the products of Nike communicates directly with the customers who is looking to buy a shoe in the shop. This is the most basic mode of personal selling. A more generalised definition of personal selling would be the process of convincing the potential customers to buy the product through telemarketing, sales presentation, sales meetings or incentive offers for the market intermediaries (Chen, 2007).
Support of personal selling to promotional mix
Personal selling can be considered the most effective and efficient form of promotional activity as it allows the promotional approach of Nike to be modified according to the needs of the potential customer or a group of potential customers.
The ultimate objective of all the marketing and promotional activities by Nike is to ensure that its products are sold in an acceptable rate. Personal selling involves processes that are also done at the individual level (Ferrell, 2007). The sales representative of Nike communicates to the customer directly, listens to his or her needs and in the way of providing the solution to their needs, promotes the product of Nike which is suitable for the individual customer or the group of customers.
The close relationship of sales representatives with the customers allows Nike to understand the needs of the customers in a better way and to collect the feedback of the customers. This allows Nike to modify its promotional activities and products for future. So ultimately personal selling supports the objectives of the promotional mix.
1.2 Buyer behaviour and decision making process
Buyer behaviour of an individual or a business can be defined as the process or the behaviour which is used at the time of buying a product. The buyer behaviour of the potential customers of an organisation helps the organisation to plan and implement strategies aimed to maximise the sale of its products (Wilson, 2000).
Decision making process
This is the process through which the buyer goes through when he or she is thinking of buying a product. The decision making process has five stages such as need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post-purchase behaviour. In the first stage, the potential buyer of the product recognised his or her needs for the product. After the buyer realises about his or her needs, the buyer searches information about the several alternatives available in the market. In the third stage, the buyer compares all the alternatives to determine the best choice among them. Then the buyer purchases the product. In the last stage, the buyer uses the product and evaluates his or her decision of buying the product.
Consider a situation of a person in the television showroom thinking of buying a television of Bravia model of the manufacturer, Sony. The buyer behaviour of that person can be defined as the way in which he or she behaves. This behaviour of this potential buyer includes his or her body language, facial expressions, questions, queries and gestures while inquiring about the product. This behaviour of the potential buyer helps the seller to understand and analyse the mentality of the potential buyer (Ferrell, 2007).
The decision making process for the person in the television showroom starts with him or her realising the need of a new television. Then the customer does research about the alternatives available in the market based on the personal traits and behaviour of the customer. The information search phase of the decision making process varies according to the personal traits and behaviour of the customer. After the person decides for a particular model of television of a particular manufacturer and a particular retailer, the person buys the television. In the last stage of the decision making process, the customer uses the television and evaluates his or her decision of buying the television (Micheal, 2003).
1.3 Role of sales team in marketing strategy
The marketing strategy of an organisation includes the operations and activities that allow the products of the organisation to reach its potential customers. For this reason the organisation such as Nike creates a marketing mix which defines the most important elements in the processes of marketing such as product, price, place and promotion (Micheal, 2003). The organisation recruits and establishes a sales team just to focus on the sales of the products of the organisation.
The sales team in an organisation such as Nike plays a very important role. The main role and responsibility of the sales team is to increase the number of sales of the products of Nike, which in turn increases the profit of the organisation. The sales team is also responsible for the positive and strong relationship between the customers. The sales representatives directly communicate with the customers of the organisation, listen to their issues, solve their queries and convince them about the benefits of buying the product of Nike. The new customers or the potential customers receive a lot of information of brand image, reputation, popularity and demand of Nike from the sale representative. This allows the organisation to maintain its brand image and reputation in the market. The current customers of Nike continue to trust the organisation due to follow up conversations with the sales representatives regarding new products and offers from Nike. Increased trust and confidence of the customers in Nike allows the organisation to satisfy the customer more efficiently (Weitz, 1999).
- We are a manufacturer of printers for personal and industrial use.
- We operate in a number of countries to provide individuals and industries high quality printing solutions.
- Our printers are designed to provide you all types of printing solutions in the industrial level.
- We have a number of designs of printers which you can use for your various requirements.
- A generic classification of all of our products is mentioned in the next slide.
Why use HP printers ?
- The HP inkjet printers are the best multifunctional printers.
- They have a very affordable pricing structure depending on the requirements of the printer.
- The pricing structure of the printers depend on the features that the printer provides along with the quality of the printed documents (Ferrell, 2007).
- Some of the major features for which HP printers are well known in the market are mentioned here.
- They are created from 30 % recycled plastic.
- They can print posters, banners, drawings and presentations.
- They provide professional color documents.
- They are the most affordable large format printers.
- They provide wireless connectivity.
- They use less energy as compared to the laser printers.
- They allow Bluetooth connectivity from PCs, PDAs, cameras and memory cards.
Toners and cartridges
- The cartridges of the HP printers provide you with excellent quality printing.
- The cartridges are affordable and have a long life time (Ferrell, 2007).
- The original HP cartridges and toners provide you with the results of very high quality.
- The HP cartridges and toners are designed to be easily recyclable.
Clients and partners
- Our organisation has a number of clients and partners who can vouch for the quality of the result produced by a HP printer.
- There are lot of cases in which our client has benefited to a huge extent due to the high quality of the documents printed by a HP printer.
- The high quality of the documents printed from out product allows you to excel in your presentations.
- This allows you to prepare excellent client presentations, sales presentations and reports.
- The high quality of your documents and reports suggest the standard of your operations.
- The high quality of your documents allows you to make a very good impression on your clients.
- This helps you to strengthen your brand image and reputation.
- Our product helps you to achieve what you are aiming for.
Discounts and offers
- We provide a lot of discounts and offers to privileged customers.
- You can avail certain offers and discounts when you buy our products in bulk.
- The discounts and offers depend on the size of the order and the medium of order.
- You can avail some of the promotional offers for our newly launched products.
Support and maintenance
- We have implemented an excellent support and maintenance system for our customers.
- The after sale services that we provide are of very high quality (LaForge, 2009).
- If you face any problem regarding any aspect of the product, we will be only a call away to help you to the maximum extent.
- We have a large number of flexible payment options available for you.
- The payment for the product is done in an organised way after the order has been placed (Marshall, 2001).
- The procedure of ordering our product ensures the confidentiality of your personal information.
Installation and assembly
- After placing the order for the products, technicians from out organisation will go to your organisation and install the product.
- All the necessary processes of setting the products up and configuring it will be done by our technicians (LaForge, 2009).
- This will allow you to focus on all the other matters in hand instead of installation.
Benefits to you
- The great quality of the printed documents in your organisation will suggest the high standard of the organisational processes.
- You will be able to impress your clients with high quality of the reports and presentations.
- Your organisational processes will have high quality documentations (Dalrymple, 1995).
Questions and answers
- Do you have any questions regarding our organisation?
- Do you have any questions regarding the features of our products?
- Do you have any questions regarding the usage of our products?
3.1 Sales strategies in line with corporate objectives
For maximum efficiency and profit, the sales strategies are developed in line with the corporate objectives.
Corporate objective is basically a statement that defines the intent of the organisation and provides the organisation with a direction for all of its activities. The corporate objectives of an organisation define the aim it wants to achieve (Micheal, 2003).
Sales strategy of an organisation can be define as the strategy which aims to fulfil the sales quota of the organisation for the particular time period and increase the sales of the product of the organisation.
Consider the television manufacturer Sony having a sales strategy that aims to increase the number of sales of the television in one particular financial year. The sales strategy also helps Sony to increase the loyalty among the customers, gain competitive advantages over the competitors, access the market to the maximum extent and position the company with very strong brand image (Wilson, 2000).
All of these activities of the sales business strategy help Sony to achieve its corporate objectives of providing its customers with the best quality televisions in reasonable price.
The alignment of the sales strategy with the corporate objective ensures that the sales team and the entire corporation are focusing on the same aim. This strengthens the financial status of the corporation. The basic objectives that should be included in the sales strategies are growth, revenue, profit, market penetration and leadership. For example one of the corporate objectives can be to increase the number of customers of the company. This is achieved by implementing an efficient sales strategy which increases the sales figure of the products (Stanton, 1991).
3.2 Recruitment and selection procedures
The sales strategies which are defined in the organisation are followed and used by the sales team in the organisation. The sales team of the organisation are responsible for achieving the sales goals through the effective and efficient use of the sales strategies.
The recruitment and selection of applicants into the sales team of Sony can be done by using several techniques. These techniques help the human resources managers of Sony to identify and choose the people who are most suitable to play the role among a number of applicants. The recruitment and selection process starts with the process of advertising the job opening in the organisation by preparing a detailed job description and personal specification required for that job (Stanton, 1991).
There are a number of selection techniques available for Sony to select the required number of employees from the huge number of applicants for the job vacancies. These selection techniques help the human resources developing manager in Sony to choose the applicants who are the most suitable for the job openings in the organisation. Efficient use of the recruitment and selection procedures in the organisation helps the sales team of the organisation to operate more efficiently. The members of the sales team will be completely clear about the policies, guidelines and the sales strategies of the organisation and the sales team will clearly understand the activities required to achieve the sales goals of the organisation.
3.3 Role of motivation, remuneration and training
Sales management is the process in which the organisation such as Sony manages all the activities related to its sales team to ensure that the sales strategies are implemented efficiently. The main objective of the sales management process is to achieve the sales goals of the organisation through proper implementation of the sales strategies. The sales management process in Sony use several techniques such as motivation, remuneration and training to manage the sales team and sales activities (Marshall, 2001).
The sales team can be motivated by enhancing the sales environment, organising regular meetings with the members, providing appraisals to the people with good performance, providing recognition to the people with exceptional performance and maintaining a very good relationship among the team members. The results of motivating the sales team are improved sales figures due to enhanced performance of the individuals, better implementation of the sales strategies of the organisation such as Sony, increased profit of Sony and strengthening of the brand image of Sony (Wilson, 2000).
The concept of remuneration can be defined as the system in which the employees of Sony are appraised or recognised due to their good performance. The employees showing good performance in the financial year or the current quarter are appraised and they receive an increase in their salary. This increases the morale of the employees along with their interest to work harder.
Training is the process in which the current employees of Sony enhance their skills in the field they are currently working in. This allows the employees to increase their performance by using their newly enhanced skillsets. This in turn allows the sales team to implement the sales strategies in a more efficient way.
3.4 Sales activity and sales output
The sales management system in Sony includes the implementation of sales team and sales strategies to ensure organised sales activities and controlled sales output. The sales teams in Sony organise the activities related to the sale of the products. These activities include all the marketing and promotional activities done by Sony to attract customers and enhance their brand image. Sales management system in the organisation manages the usage of the several marketing planning to implement the marketing strategy of the organisation (Szymanski, 1988).
The sales team decides the market intermediaries, promoters, advertising agencies, retailers and the salespersons that carry out the sales activities of the organisation for a particular product. The control of these sales activities by the sales management system of the organisation allows the organisation to control the sales output also. The sales output defines the total value of sales done in a particular time period.
Some of the sales activities include requesting the customers to provide feedback, allow the customers to review the product, organise meetings with the sales managers and providing the sales managers with appreciation letters.
3.5 Databases in sales management
The use of database in sales management allows the sales team to record general information about the sales done, customers and the sales activities includes. This information helps the sales team to review their sales strategies and identify any possible weakness in the strategy. This allows the organisation to modify their sales strategies to improve their sales figures, sales activities and control sales outputs (LaForge, 2009).
The usage of database in sales management allows Sony to track all its sales at any point of time with accuracy. This allows the sales teams in Sony to plan and organise its sales activities to maximise the sales figures of the organisation. The information being stored and managed in the databases allow Sony’s sales teams to produce accurate and timely sales reports which receives the data from the databases used in the sales management system.
4.1 Sales plan
The sales plan for the Bravia range of televisions from Sony.
Value of the product: The Bravia range of televisions provide the buyers with an excellent viewing experience with vibrant colours and amazing contrast ratio. This range of televisions also includes supports for USB devices and HDMI connectors.
Position: Sony provides its customers of the Bravia HDTVs with Triluminos display, X-tended dynamic range, Wedge design, X-Reality pro and bass reflex speaker. All of these features provide customers in every corner of the world and of any age a unique and excellent viewing experience.
Pricing: Sony provides its HDTV customers affordable prices as compared to all the other manufacturers in the same industry.
Long-term and short-term goals: To increase the revenue of the company by at least 30% for the next financial year and to increase the profit by at least 80% in the next four years.
Locations: Sony provides its televisions in most of the Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries which are included in its sales activities.
Advertising: Sony will use its advertising strategies in television advertising, websites, newspapers and banners.
Activities of sales and marketing teams: The sales and marketing teams will make sure that the sales and marketing strategies are implemented in the organisation in an efficient way. The sales team will focus on increasing the sales figure and the marketing team will focus on making the products reach the maximum number of customers possible.
4.2 Opportunities for selling internationally
In the current competitive market, all the organisations are looking for ways to gain advantages over the other organisations in the market. One of the ways to achieve that is to operate internationally. Doing business operations in the international market allows the organisation to tap into an unfamiliar market of many possibilities. The international market can hold a number of opportunities and challenges for the organisation. Sony being an established organisation has a very good brand image for its Bravia range of HDTVs. This allows Sony to have a strong brand image, brand loyalty among the customers and good repeat purchase. These factors assure the sale of the HDTVs in any corner of the world (Marshall, 2001).
The international markets in which Sony is not operating provide Sony with great opportunities due to the vast business of Sony and its brand image. Any of the other organisations operating in those markets have a chance of falling short when competing against Sony for the sale of the televisions (Moncrief, 1986).
The threats in the international market in which Sony is not operating currently are the presence of any other international manufacturer of televisions. This puts a challenge in front of Sony to overcome the existing settled business of the other organisations.
4.3 Opportunities for using exhibitions and trade fairs
Exhibitions and trade shows are the events organised to allow the several organisations to display their products or launch their new products. These events vary in size from a small meeting room to a very large convention centres. The majority of these exhibitions and trade shows are for business-to-business products.
These events allow the organisations to show off their products and their features to a large number of potential customers. So in the current market, organisations are spending large sums on organising trade shows and exhibitions (LaForge, 2009).
Generally an exhibition or trade show runs for two to three days in an area that is capable of holding a very large crowd. The importance of such shows includes direct interaction with the customers, enabling customers to experience the product themselves and providing the customers a large number of unknown facts about the organisations. So these kinds of trade shows and exhibitions are the ultimate marketplace for the organisations which are looking to promote their new products, increase their brand value and attract a large number of new customers (Marshall, 2001).