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Unit 20 Sales Planning and Operations Assignment – Marks & Spencer
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 20 Sales Planning and Operations – Marks & Spencer
Sales planning and operations is a business management process that helps to determine the optimum level of production using the forecasting of the market and deal with the condition. Sales planning and operations involves forecasting, production plan, customer lead time, new product development and strategic initiative plan according to financial capabilities of organization. Additionally, this is a process that requires the support of the stakeholders as well as real time data that could be helpful for making the decision for further operation planning. The unit 20 sales planning and operations assignment – Marks & Spencer will explain personal selling for supporting the promotion mix and compare the buyer behaviour as well decision making in different situations. Moreover, report will explain importance of recruitment and selection procedure for M&S as well as role of motivation and remuneration as well the training management. M&S is leading public limited organization of UK in retail sector that offering the home, luxury, food and fashion products and services according to needs and requirements of target customer group. In the next part, report will develop the sales plan for M&S products and investigate the opportunities for selling intentionally.
Figure 1: Company logo
1.1 Support of personal selling in promotion mix
Personal selling is form of marketing communication that involves and increase direct and face to face communication with the customer or target group of people. This is an important method of creating awareness and planning of target areas for encouraging sales. Personal selling helps organizations to maintain the relation with the potential and existing customers which is beneficial for encouraging sales and operational activities. Following are the key supporting elements of personal selling that influence promotional mix:
- Gain personal attention: For introducing new products and services in market, personal selling is key element for creating the awareness that will help M&S management to gain the personal attention of target customer group by providing detail demonstration (da Silva.et.al. 2012). By offering the technical and functional information about the product and service the sales person of organization could influence the decision of the customer which will also increase the word of mouth.
- Improving image: Personal selling is supportive for organization to transform the image and overcome the misunderstanding of the customers. For example, sales person of M&S could remove the doubts and issues of customers by demonstrating the product utilization and highlighting the key features of product comparing with the other leading products. This kind of process and activity will influence sales of organization and encourage the image.
1.2 Comparison of buying decisions in different situation
According to analysis, it is been identified that customers make decisions on the basis of various factors that could be personal of environmental. For example, M&S is offering the wide range of products and services to attract the all type of customers to maintain the sales according to expected level. Home product like furniture promotes by the organization in upper-middle class people. For that decision of the customer based on the economical condition, current trends and individual needs. These factors have significant impact on the buying behaviour of individual and influence the sales as well promotional activities of organization. The major concern of buyer for furniture product involves need and alternative evaluation to get the best product at optimum prices (Thomé.et.al. 2012). For that purpose, people are comparing the quality and cost through online tolls and website to make right decision.
Apart from that for daily use products like food and cloth safety the decision of customer are based on the culture and requirements. For example, the customer of M&S for food products evaluate the quality, prices and need of the particular food item before buying and gather the information from the various sources like friends and family members to analyze the effectiveness of brand. For such FMCG products individual perception and attitude also have significant impact on the buying behaviour of customers. In addition to this, to buy fashion products buyer make decision on the basis of post purchase evaluate of past activities as well consider the current trends of fashion industry that is essential to maintain the standard. The knowledge of fashion trends as well according to event will also plays critical role in the buying behaviour of individual for fashion product from M&S.
1.3 Role of sales team within marketing strategy
The sales team plays critical role in the development and implementation of marketing strategy for M&S to achieve the goals and objectives. Sales team conducts the research to identify the current market position of the business and evaluate the performance of the product in the market. The marketing department of M&S makes the decisions according to facts and factors highlighted by the sales team through market evaluation and customer needs. This kind of contribution and coordination helps to develop the creative plan and adjustment in the strategy to achieve the goals and objectives. For example, sales team of the M&S collect the feedback from the customers through personal selling and communicate the key point to marketing team to highlight the features and effectiveness of the proposed products and services that will influence the decision of buyers (Hübner.et.al. 2013). The sales department continuously increases the sales and creates the demand for the product by generating the leads. The main aim of the sales team is to generate the database through campaigns, meeting the clients, through e-mails etc.
Moreover, sales team helps the marketing department by analyzing the demand and upcoming trends of the market that would aid to develop the prior plan for advertising and promotion of the products and services. For that purpose sales team of M&S is using analytical tools like Google analytics, social listening technology as well HubSpot. Additionally, the sales team of organization support the top management to develop visionary plan for marketing activities and closely aligned with the strategic goals and value of M&S to improve the quality of marketing strategy and implementation.
3.1 Development of sales strategy in line to corporate objectives
The leading retail and online business organizations of UK are developing and modifying the sales strategy to achieve the organizational objectives. M&S is also having the sales strategy to maintain the effective flow of operations and optimum utilization of resources. The process of developing the sales strategy considers the strength and weakness of organization and products, KPI, financial projection and competitor policies. According to observation of M&S sales strategy, it is been identified that management has sated the benchmarking standard for sales as well as for employee that evaluate at the end of the month. This kind of process gives knowledge about the achievement of target and initiative for encouraging the customer satisfaction through planning. In addition to this, organization is having concern over after sales activities and services to retain the customers and influence the decision of potential customers for meeting the sales objectives (Noroozi and Wikner, 2016). In spite of that the development of sales strategy for M&S products and services the management firstly identifies the target market and organizational objectives which helps to involve the factors like culture and trends in sales planning. For that purpose, M&S is recruiting and offering the training to staff members that supporting the organization to obtain the objectives. Moreover the sales strategy of organization includes the process of collecting feedback from the customers to analyze the effectiveness of activities and issues that could affect the overall process of sales improvement.
3.2 Importance of selection and recruitment procedure
For managing the operations and tasks of production, inventory, communication, delivery and monitoring, M&S requires staff members who have knowledge and skills to make the optimum utilization of resources and contribute in the success run of organization. Following are the key importance of selection and recruitment process used by M&S management:
- Suitability: The selection and recruitment process of M&S is essential for identifying the suitability of the candidates according to position and responsibility. The HR manager of organization develops and describes the primary tasks and core competency to perform the role and responsibility. According to analysis of existing process of organization, recruitment and selection procedure is helpful for increasing flexibility and leadership quality among the staff members which encourage the results.
- Cost: The appointment of qualified and skilled staff members requires the funds that might affect the financial resources of the organization. Apart from that, the current selection and recruitment process involve the cost of operation and minimize the expenses that could be beneficial for organization (Márcio Tavares Thomé.et.al. 2012). These funds have been used for developing and offering the training module as well production activities of M&S.
- Loyalty and productivity: This is being considered as most essential element of selection and recruitment process as it improves the transparency and follow-up of legal rules and regulations that would be helpful for encouraging the loyalty. M&S HR management is following the legal process for selecting and recruiting the candidates that increasing the equality and controlling the discrimination at workplace. This kind of process is helpful for organization to improve the loyalty and performance of the organization.
3.3 Role of motivation, remuneration and training for sales management
The standard of sales management and implementation is based on the following attributes that influence the overall activities and functionality of M&S in sales.
- Motivation: In order to keep the staff members engage and increase the level of satisfaction, it is necessary for management to M&S to motivate the staff. Motivation plays critical role in the improvement of productivity, efficiency and sales of products and services as employees get the financial and non-financial benefits by achieving the targets (Centeno and Stewart, 2013). For motivation, organization is using the Maslow theory in which the manager is anticipating the needs of the staff and supporting them to overcome stress and meet the sales objectives.
- Remuneration: This is an important attribute for keeping the staff motivated and justifies their contribution within organization. Remuneration best method to keep the employees motivated and it also helps the management to identify the personal needs of the staff members According to evaluation, M&S is offering the standard wages and payment to the staff according to position. Monetary benefits include the incentive, bonus, salary increment etc. Non-monetary benefits include performance appraisal, promotion, convenience allowance etc.
- Training: For retail organization performance and behaviour of staff members have direct impact on the sales. To improve the communication, behaviour and tactics to retain customers and sale the products, M&S management is offering training to staff at all levels (Greiner, 2015). The major role of training process is to improve the efficacy, decision making and productivity of the staff to achieve the standard and increase the sales.
3.4 Sales activity and control over sales output
The sales management of M&S organizes the sales activities in following manners to control the sales output.
Benchmarking standard: In order to control and monitor the sales activities, M&S management has sated the benchmarking standard for each position and evaluate the performance of sales team on the basis of them. For example, organization has determined the target for each sales team for specific products and services according to market conditions and sales revenue of organization for particular month. By evaluating the statics the management control the sales output and provide the direction for managing the sales.
Sales meetings: According to analysis, it is been considered that to control the sales output the manager of M&S conduct the meetings with sales teams at different location and collect the feedback for experience with the people (Bolander.et.al. 2015). By using the feedback the manager make the decision according to needs and requirements to encourage the control the sales outcome. The aim of meeting is to increase the sales by putting more efforts.
3.5 Use of database in sales management
In the current scenario, ICT tools have significant role in the planning, storage and analysis of information to maintain the sales and identify the issues that affecting the objectives. Following are the important usages of database for M&S:
- Source of information: For large organization like M&S database is key sources of information that helps to forecast the sales outcome, requirements of human resources and activities to meet the standards. The top management of organization analyzes and compares the information using the database and evaluates the performance of individual in sales. By considering the information, manager of M&S provide the essential guideline and tactics to manage the sales outcome.
- Sales and profitability: This could be ultimate reason for organization like Marks Spencer to invest in tool like sales database is to improve the bottom line (Haas.et.al. 2016). By recording the customer data the sales team develop the plan to optimize the sales of home and food products as well as profitability. In addition to this, by having the information on the figure tip the manager could make the decision with accuracy and confidence.
- Scheduling: By having the sales information the top management of organization could make the prior plan for managing the activities according to market needs and trends that would influence the sales activity of M&S. The sales database allows manager to setup or adjust the schedule of sales prospect and enter into specific market of segment.
4.1 Plan for sales of products or services
M&S is leading retail and food sector organization that offering the wide range of products and services to meet the needs and requirements of the customers as well as gain the competitive advantage. Organization is going to launch new food products Spicy Berger for all type of customers. The aim of organization behind offering such food products is to gain the attention of visitors as well change the taste of people (Czinkota and Ronkainen, 2013). This kind of initiative will help organization to encourage the brand image and sales volume of organization. To manage the sales operation the management of organization could use the following plan:
Figure 2: Food section of M&S
Mission of organization: The organization introducing new food product for expanding the market and retain the customers for longer period of time. Management is highly concern over the quality and delivery of the products and services to meet the satisfaction level of customers.
- Working people, visitors and students
- Middle class income group.
- To increase sales 7% by end of the year.
- To increase the revenue up to 6% by end of financial year 2016-17.
- To offer high quality and hygiene food products
- Pricing: The organization will set optimum price for Spicy Berger that will help to influence the sales in target market.
- Sales: M&S will sell food item through online and physical stores that will influence the decision of customers.
- Promotion: For advertising and marketing, M&S management will use the social media context, print and TV ads. These kinds of initiatives will help to create the awareness about new food product (Highhouse.et.al. 2015).
- To encourage the sales manager will conduct the meetings
- Manager should collect the feedback for new product and services.
4.2 Opportunities for selling products internationally
M&S is international brand that offering its products and services across the world. This kind of brand image will help organization to lunch the new food product at international level. The new product Spicy Berger will have high demand in Asian counties like India and Bangladesh and China where people like to have spicy food. These markets are major opportunity for global brand like M&S which will help to influence the decision of target customer and increase the sales in the international market. In order to create the better opportunities at international level organization has to consider the demand and needs of the customer in proposed market segment which will support to determine the prices, place and marketing option for international market (Johnston and Marshall, 2016). In addition to this, organization requires the funds for establishing the outlets in Asian counties to avail the opportunities and beat the existing food brands.
4.3 Use of exhibition or trade fairs
To create the awareness and influence the decision of customer, M&S should participate in the trade fairs at international or national level which will provide the platform for demonstrating the food product and collect the feedback from customer to make changes in the products regarding quality, taste and offering of the Spicy Berger to customers at international level. There are many food festival and fairs being organized by the national governments and leading food authority of counties which will be helpful of organization like M&S to lunch the new parodists and avail the opportunities to expand the market. This kind of activity will be beneficial for organization to meet the objectives as well anticipate the needs of the international customer for food items (Kjellsdotter Ivert and Jonsson, 2014). Moreover, participating in trade fairs organization will able to develop the plan to develop and deliver the food product to meet the satisfaction level of target customer.
From the study, it is been considered that sales planning and operations are major part of organizational process to cover the market and meet the financial objectives. Report has provided the information about personal selling and decision making of customer in different situation using the example of M&S customers. Moreover, report has discussed about the motivation, payment and training process of organization and their effectiveness in the sales management. At the end report has developed the plan for introducing new food products name Spicy Berger and developed the sales plan.
Books and journals
Bolander, W., Satornino, C.B., Hughes, D.E. and Ferris, G.R., 2015. Social Networks Within Sales Organizations: Their Development and Importance for Salesperson Performance. Journal of Marketing, 79(6), pp.1-16.
Centeno, C. and Stewart, J., 2013. Have Information and Communication Technologies and the Internet really changed employability; job search and selection and recruitment processes?. In Una salida digital a la crisis económica de Europa (pp. 123-142). Fundación Ideas.
Czinkota, M.R. and Ronkainen, I.A., 2013. International marketing . Cengage Learning.
da Silva, A.M.L., da Fonseca Manso, L.A., de Sousa Sales, W., Flavio, S.A., Anders, G.J. and de Resende, L.C., 2012. Chronological power flow for planning transmission systems considering intermittent sources. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 27(4), pp.2314-2322.
Greiner, B., 2015. Subject pool recruitment procedures: organizing experiments with ORSEE. Journal of the Economic Science Association,1(1), pp.114-125.
Haas, A., La Rocca, A. and Snehota, I., 2016. Building Initial Relationships: The Emerging Tasks of Sales in New Business Development. In Thriving in a New World Economy (pp. 2-5). Springer International Publishing.
Highhouse, S., Doverspike, D. and Guion, R.M., 2015. Essentials of personnel assessment and selection. Routledge.
Hübner, A.H., Kuhn, H. and Sternbeck, M.G., 2013. Demand and supply chain planning in grocery retail: an operations planning framework.International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 41(7), pp.512-530.
Johnston, M.W. and Marshall, G.W., 2016. Sales force management: Leadership, innovation, technology. Routledge.
Kjellsdotter Ivert, L. and Jonsson, P., 2014. When should advanced planning and scheduling systems be used in sales and operations planning?.International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 34(10), pp.1338-1362.
Márcio Tavares Thomé, A., Felipe Scavarda, L., Suclla Fernandez, N. and José Scavarda, A., 2012. Sales and operations planning and the firm performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61(4), pp.359-381.
Noroozi, S. and Wikner, J., 2016. A modularized framework for sales and operations planning with focus on process industries. Production & Manufacturing Research, 4(1), pp.65-89.
Thomé, A.M.T., Scavarda, L.F., Fernandez, N.S. and Scavarda, A.J., 2012. Sales and operations planning: A research synthesis. International Journal of Production Economics, 138(1), pp.1-1