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Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 20 Sales Planning and Operations
The role of unit 20 sales planning and operations assignment sample is significant in Avon’s comprehensive planning process. In a market condition that is highly competitive for gaining long-term success it is important that a business adopts a meticulous planning that includes sales activities. It has been observed that a sales plan comprises of actions that further are involved in managing the sale of products that eventually are driven through the company’s business objectives and marketing strategies. In order to effectively managing the functions of sales management, it is important to understand sales planning and operations. An organization’s sales planning gives a picture of where the business is heading, how it will attain its goals and measures undertaken for the same.
One can describe promotion as a technique that involves marketing planning a product through establishing interactions with the targeted customers and the existing ones. For promoting a product one needs to have a targeted market and customers. Promotion mix is a consolidation of the elements that are available for promoting a product/service. (O'guinn, Allen, Semenik and Scheinbaum, 2014)
Purpose of promotion
The key purposes of promotion mix is to grabbing customers attention, building their interest and further convincing them that a particular product/service will fulfil their needs thereby, driving them in making a purchase.
The role of personal selling is significant in promotion mix because of the involvement of personal and one-to-one communication between the seller and buyer which is a two-way communication done for influencing the customers purchase decision. Any promotion mix component does not involve personal contact thereby making personal selling a unique technique. Although direct marketing involves customer interaction but the emphasis is objectifying a product’s product benefits/features and not on building customer relationship. (Armstrong, Adam, Denize and Kotler, 2014). Advertising, sales promotion and PR comprise of one-way communication with no involvement of prompt feedback. Personal selling, on the other hand involves personal presentation by the sales team at Avon’s stores whose key purpose is to sell products and build long-term customer relations. The customers’ behaviour and buying decisions are dependent on the salesperson skills further allowing Avon to gain a competitive advantage. Avon’s personal selling approach is more customer-oriented and is related to methods used for catering the mutual needs of both customers and the brand. (O'guinn, Allen, Semenik and Scheinbaum, 2014)
Techniques of personal selling are:
One can describe buyer behaviour as a methodical approach that customers pursue when they enter the process of purchasing thereby, making a decision to buy. Both customers’ gradual process of decision-making along with familiar ways that are adopted while making a decision is effective in evolving the marketing strategies. Customers pursue the decision making process that is different from individual consumers and organizations thereby drawing B2B and B2C buying situations. (Solomon, 2014)
B2C Buying Situation
In this situation, the buying behaviour of a consumer primarily concerns with customers making a purchase either for personal or family use.
Three types of consumer buying situations are there. In a complicated buying situation, take for example while buying an expensive product above depicted stages are undergone because of high customer involvement. In a habitual buying situation, low buyer involvement is there. Take for example, while buying groceries or making repeated purchase or purchasing branded cosmetic products. In this case, the second and third stages are skipped. A variety-seeking buying situation involves low customer involvement as they are aware of the differences between the wide products range and have the tendency to switch brands. (Solomon, 2014)
Factors affecting Consumer buying behaviour
B2B buying situation
In this situation, one can refer the buyer behaviour as process of decision-making through which Avon establishes the need for purchased products amid the clients for identifying, evaluating and choosing from the alternatives. Organizations buying Avon’s products go through seven stages of decision-making process.
Business buyers are influenced by more factors like environmental, organizational, interpersonal and individual factors when compared to individual consumers. The environmental factor of a products demand affects the organizational buying behaviour. Organizational factors in terms of zero based pricing, longstanding contracts, seller’s performance assessment and centralization or decentralization of purchasing department affects the organizations buying behaviour. (D'amico, Di Vita, Chinnici, Pappalardo and Pecorino, 2014)
One can refer sales teams as company’s representative group who are subjected to sell products in Avon’s store. Both the activities of sale and marketing are important for Avon and dependent on each other hence, should be integrated for forming a cycle. Sales deals with serving to customers’ needs by products selling thereby, bridging the gap amid potential customer’s needs and products. (Márcio, Felipe, Suclla and José, 2012). One can say that products are sold through personal selling when Avon uses its salespersons for establishing customer interaction for understanding their requirements thereby, taking an order which otherwise have not been made. Both sales and marketing team have a common objective hence, the sales team role in the marketing strategy can be explained by gathering information, competitor intelligence, customer database development, by estimating the sales potential, convey products related information, finding potential customers, allocating stock, remaining in touch with sales office.
Personal selling’s role
Types of selling
Private, treaty and auction are the common types of selling and each method has both merits and demerits based on customers’ needs such as price, privacy or urgency, the product type and store location and state of the local market. (Márcio, Felipe, Suclla and José, 2012)
Characteristics for personal selling are:
Take for example, Aldi, a global supermarket chain is a rage amongst customers who prefer discounted shopping. The sales team deals with cost control, corporate aspects, operational details and stable products sales development. They are accountable to set sales goals thereby, giving in many efforts for attaining the desirable targets. They design strategies for offering adequate pricing and distribution policies favoring the interest of customers’ and Aldi’s profit. The sales team is also responsible for preparing Aldi’s sales plan, making use of optimum resources for assisting the successful implementation of the plan and evaluation and monitoring of the sales plan and make amendments according to the market needs.
One can describe corporate objectives as the statements of definite results meant to be attained and are integral for Avon’s strategic management process that can further be linked to profit and sales, growth rates, etc. Avon’s corporate objective is maintaining customer loyalty for enhancing its profit margins. In one hand, where corporate objectives set direction for Avon, corporate strategy on the other hand, is an action plan for accomplishing the corporate objectives. If Avon’s corporate objective is to raise profits with 20%, then its corporate strategy will cover setting the production objective by reducing the costs of production by outsourcing and downsizing the staff. (LaValle, Lesser, Shockley, Hopkins and Kruschwitz, 2011). Avon’s marketing objective is chosen in context of attaining the corporate objective and strategies. For Avon’s corporate objective for increasing profit margin by 20%, its marketing strategy should aim of increasing the market share.
Sales objective takes place after marketing objective and strategy and has an aim of providing assistance in marketing strategy’s accomplishment and determining whether the number of products is sold as planned. This eventually will increase Avon’s sales up to 20%. Marketing tactics or the 4Ps are formed together by sales objective and sales strategy and are altered conferring to business objectives. It is important that corporate, marketing and sales objectives fit into the SMART model. Corporate objectives comes from Avon’s top management level who sets key business direction and the objectives and strategies should be confer and informed by the objective. It is then followed by marketing objective and strategy where the sales objective and strategies as marketing tactics set measures for implementing the corporate objective. (LaValle, Lesser, Shockley, Hopkins and Kruschwitz, 2011)
Example - The corporate objective of Fantastic Cleaners Ltd. is to increase customer retention with 20% in two years further indicating its direction for the given period. In the next stage, it will identify corporate strategy for attaining the objective, which might be modification of cleaning services or adding of new services such as steam cleaning. The marketing objective in line with the corporate objective will be achieving the desirable rise of customer retention. Penetration strategy will be the chosen marketing strategy because of aggressive competition and need of retaining the customers by offering them with quality services at reasonable price. The sales objective assisting the attainment of the marketing strategy is by maintaining the same sales volume.
Employees are Avon’s most valuable asset hence, the recruitment and selection procedure it adopts has a significant role in attracting potential employees for a right position, at right time. Recruitment and selection procedures are predominant for sales positions and are part of human resource planning. Each stage of the recruitment and selection process should be planned and precisely implemented for gaining desirable results. Job analysis, job description and personal specification should be developed accurately for determining the vacancy criteria. Recruitment procedure should be effective for attracting potential staffs. During the selection processes, applicants skills are evaluated if they meet the positions requirement. Recruitment and selection process result into low employee turnovers further engaging responsible and dependable employees. Different legal frameworks are associated with the process of recruitment and selection and by pursuing them Avon can ensure adequate practice without getting tangled into legal troubles. (Business case studies, 2016)
Through appropriate motivational measures, Avon can enhance its sales team’s capabilities further leading them towards achieving its business goals. The motivational practices has helped the sales management for cultivate the sense of belongingness within the team thereby, increasing their efficiency and overall revenue generation. Use of motivational theories is the key factor of sales strategies for boosting the self-esteem of the team members. In sales, role of remuneration is imperative as team members are paid based on their performances. Since sales involves complications and competition, for keeping the sales personnel motivated proper rewarding is necessary such as monetary rewards. In sales management, training has a vital role. Sales personnel deal with numerous challenges and competition with market change and trends. Adequate training to the sales team can improve their skills thereby motivating them for obtaining advanced skills for ensuring outstanding performances with improved communication skills, interaction abilities, sales techniques application etc. (Kjellsdotter and Jonsson, 2010)
Sales management is responsible for coordinating the sales activities thereby controlling its output. Sales management executes the sales plan, monitors performances and sales programmes and includes recruitment and selection processes, motivating and retention of sales team. (Follett, 2011), The prime intention of sales management and operations of sales are to enhance the sales volume, maximizing profit margin and grow continuously. The sales activities are designed within two sections namely sales territory where customers are grouped based on their geographical locations and are assigned to individual sales personnel or team. Dividing customers geographically, it becomes easier for the sales team to reach them thereby placing easy control over sales volume with optimised time and cost further providing with proper market coverage. Second, is organisational structure of sales through which sales personnel are provided with proper positions further minimizing the sales efforts and maximizing cooperation. Sales organisation is referred as sales task performances. There are certain structures within the sales mainly functional sales organization, geographical sales structures and products sales organization. Sales management is interconnected with other departments that include production, marketing and distribution. Different tools and techniques are used sales representatives to predict the sales. Sales output can be controlled by selecting proper sales activities and by choosing right strategies over the objectives, Avon can control size and sales volume. (Follett, 2011)
Emergence of advanced technology has forced Avon in brining a significant change in its business operations and management and sales by using database. Databases are playing a larger role in the everyday operations since it empowers Avon in maintaining customers’ data and other business relevant information. Ever since the emergence of the technology, Avon’s sales team have been using it thereby, enhancing the opportunities of optimizing the relationships amid sales and success. Sales management database has empowered the sales personnel in quickly, easily and effectively managing the sales channel further making them more coordinated with an additional use of reporting tools making it simpler for analyzing the loss and strategize the future opportunities. (Duval, 2013)
CRM has many effective elements allowing the sales personnel to manage contacts and track sales, leads and evaluate past data further helping in customer relationship management. Use of database has helped Avon in getting out of reaction mode. Database allows the sales personnel in the status of the business and drilling deeper for planning how to deal with each customer in future, thereby saving much of their time and tomorrow more productive. Use of databases will give the sales personnel free time for cold calling, improving the internal process, enhancing client interaction thereby, giving them a sense of controlling the business. (Duval, 2013)
Database management also includes the CRM strategy allowing Avon in maintaining and managing its relations with the customers thereby, boosting their loyalty towards the brand.
This festive season Avon is aiming of boosting the sales of its skincare products and for this, it needs a sales plan to outline the sales targets and identifying the measures for attaining them. For this festive season, Avon has launched Nutraeffects Ageless Multi-Action Cream SPF20 for its female customers above 30 years. Mentioned below is the sales plan for this product:
Selling internationally has various opportunities associated with it and one of the biggest can be seen while business expansion for enhancing the growth opportunities, profit margin and revenue generation. In Avon’s context, selling internationally has benefited the company to cover up the loss, if any thereby prohibiting its impact on the overall business. (Ingram, LaForge, Avila, Schwepker Jr, and Williams, 2012). The opportunities associated with the selling internationally are:
Participating in trade fairs and exhibitions allows Avon to present its products to the masses and drawing attention of new customers. It also allows Avon to effectively research the current market situation and trends, analyzing competitors’ strategies and optimizing its PR activities. (Hahn, and Kuhn, 2011)
Avon has associated the brand with Skyline who being the intrinsic part of the company’s annual conference has contributed in its global success over many years. In the conference, Avon’s products are displayed in variation created by Skyline, which on Avon’s behalf provides designs, hardware, graphics and exhibits management of the show materials. (Skyline, 2016). Opportunities provided by trade fairs and exhibitions are:
At the end, it can be concluded that development of sales activities are significant for a proper growth in the market and revenue generation. Sales planning and operation has a crucial role in building positive brand image and customer relationships. Moreover, sales planning and operations provide updated information in terms of customer buying behaviour and needs to organizations like Avon which can be utilized while designing adequate strategies to fulfil the customer’s needs thus, creating competitive advantage
Businesscasestudies. (2016). Using effective recruitment to retain competitive advantage. (Online) Available at http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/cummins/using-effective-recruitment-to-retain-competitive-advantage/the-importance-of-recruitmentand-selection.html#axzz4M6QweGUu (Accessed on 4/10/2016)
Duval, J. (2013). What Is Database Marketing and When Can It Be Used? (Online) Available at http://customerthink.com/what_is_database_marketing_and_when_can_it_be_used/ (Accessed on 4/10/2016)
D'amico, M., Di Vita, G., Chinnici, G., Pappalardo, G. and Pecorino, B., 2014. Short food supply chain and locally produced wines: Factors affecting consumer behavior. Italian Journal of Food Science, 26(3), p.329.
Follett, M.P., 2011. The process of control. Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships, Pine Forge Press, pp.133-138.
Hahn, G.J. and Kuhn, H., 2011. Optimising a value-based performance indicator in mid-term sales and operations planning. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 62(3), pp.515-525.
Ingram, T.N., LaForge, R.W., Avila, R.A., Schwepker Jr, C.H. and Williams, M.R., 2012. Sales management: Analysis and decision making. ME Sharpe.
Kjellsdotter Ivert, L. and Jonsson, P., 2010. The potential benefits of advanced planning and scheduling systems in sales and operations planning. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 110(5), pp.659-681.
LaValle, S., Lesser, E., Shockley, R., Hopkins, M.S. and Kruschwitz, N., 2011. Big data, analytics and the path from insights to value. MIT sloan management review, 52(2), p.21.
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.