Delivery in day(s): 5
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Unit 20 Sales Planning and Operations
Sales planning and operations can be defined and explained as that process of making a sale with a customer after face to face meeting and personally pitching the potential client about the product or services. Personal selling is a very important part of overall marketing planning and promotional mix and it can act as an adjuvant which strengthens the brand name., brand value and product quality perception in the mind set of client.
Promotional mix and its main objectives are advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion. They are basically the tools which can be used to target the market and population and also it helps in producing organizational sales and profits. Advertising in any form is a one way communication in which message is delivered to the target audience but there is no way for them to listen to their response towards it. In personal selling promotion mix can be used to deliver the message before making the actual business calls and it helps in preparing the potential client about the basic information of products or services. For example insurance products are sold through personal selling but promotional messages helps in delivering the basic information about the insurances and why they are needed.
Role of personal selling at promotion mix is also to deliver the message to the potential client which helps them in making the decision. It is a combination of persuasion, giving solution and also listening to the customer’s complaint and providing assurance so that sales and services can be delivered. Personal selling also helps in developing a strong CRM with the customer which reduces the cost of promotion and advertisement in the long run because a happy and satisfied customer would act as a brand ambassador of the company (Sullivan & Steven, 2003).
Competition is increasing day by day and present world is highly competitive. More and more players are entering in a particular sector and making it more competitive. Consumer is getting more and choosier; their demands are growing day by day. New government regulations are making it increasingly difficult to conduct business in present times. Margins are shrinking and organizations are facing high pressure to keep cost at the minimal.
It is very important for the manufacturers to understand the consumer behavior and attitude because these products will only be purchased if consumer trust and believes in the claims of manufacturers. A lot of factors influence the decision making process and buyer behavior of a consumer. Be it in terms of the promotional campaigns, the packaging that is used by the company, the in store display or the advisement, all these convey a single brand image which has helped the company to create a strong brand image for itself. All these factors also help the company is influencing the consumers cognitive, behavioural and affective responses (Shimizhu, 2013).
One of the important buying decision process influencer is the peer group acceptance and social acceptance of a particular product or services. When a particular purchase is appreciated or accepted by larger section of the society then it is easier for a person to get influenced and go with the flow and make the buying decision without any hesitation. For example buying products from “cancer research UK” is a very appreciated gesture in society and any one would be proud to buy products from them even if it is a bit pricier than counterparts.
Second important buying decision process is to use the 7 step model of buying decision which solves an existing problem or provide a better way to solve anything from existing solution.
Once a problem or a consumer need is identified then it is very easy to drive those customers towards a decision making and make them feel good about the results after the decision making. Anything which eases out their day to day activities, business process or increases convenience can be easily diverted towards a sound decision making (Kotler & Burton, 2009).
Sales teams are the back bone of the entire marketing strategies and their activities because without their support and abilities to do the field work it would be impossible to execute the strategy and even if marketing and promotional strategy of a company is flawless and highly efficient but it is still not able to execute the strategy if their sales team is weak and not able to coordinate their activities with the marketing and promotional goals.
Role of a sales team include scouting for the potential clients and identifying the target audience which can be pitched with the promotional and marketing message. Second role is to initiate the sales conversation with the potential client and discuss with them their current and future needs and also provide information about the product or services available with them. Next role would be to close the sales call where entire process of sales would be concluded and an exchange of product against money or credit notes would be done. Post sales services like delivering the product or services, giving guarantee and ensuring that entire financial transaction also takes place smoothly is a part of the role played by the sales team. It is called post sales support for the client and it is an important part of the role played sales team (Kotler & Keller, 2006).
Sales strategies are developed in such a manner that they work towards fulfillment and attainment of long term as well as short term corporate objectives. For example the long term corporate objective is to grab a market share of 25 percent in next 5 years and for that sale has to increase its annual target by 15 percent on a yearly basis. A 15 percent year on year growth in sales would result in grabbing of 25 percent market share in the period of 4 years and that is how sales strategies are formulated. Once this is done, company has to decide on marketing mix strategies that include product, price, place and promotion. Since this involves cost, a proper financial budget is developed. After all this is done media strategies are identified so that proper communication channel develops with target customers and message is effectively passed on to them (Karl & Eppinger, 2004). Finally the sales happen for which all these strategies are designed. Furthermore, companies will be deciding on marketing mix strategies that includes the product to be introduced, price at which product is to be sold and analysing current price, place suitable for store location and promotion strategies to attract target market. Then a suitable media strategy will be decided depending on above factors and financial budget.
Recruitment and selection of the right people for the right job is very important for the sales strategies as well as attainment of the corporate objectives of any company. Human resources is the most crucial aspect of an organizations success. By managing their human resources and motivating, training, improving and rewarding their employees companies can create a benchmark in the field of recruitment. Companies who are able to meet their corporate objectives are those who believe in innovation, launching new products on regular basis, believe in hiring and invest on talented and creative people and on R&D as well. They have high brand value, strong infrastructure and large and diversified range of products that fulfil needs of different customers. Their people are kept motivated by incentives and promotion based on meritocracy and they also keep their suppliers and labours happy. This essentially means the employees must be literally driven to feel motivated and become active performers that would result in a positive work environment and enhanced productively levels. For this it is important to understand exactly what motivates people. The cue for the HR here is to craft policies and engage employees in a manner which jolts the spirit of the employees’ to a productive work life, more fulfilling with a two pronged effect on the individual as well as the organization.
Motivation plays a very important role in sales management and so does the remuneration and training. A motivated employee would be working on better efficiency levels and at the same time he would be encouraged to take chances and develop a go getter attitude. Right work environment, right compensation for the efforts and right training for the job are some of the factors which collectively keep a person highly motivated and able to perform on a higher level. Motivation is an important factor that has a substantial effect upon the work of an employee. The Vroom’s expectancy theory describes the unfolding of the events in a very effective manner. The expectancy theory deals with the various processes that are followed by an individual while making his choices. Over the years there has been a gradual shift in the ways the companies are conducting their business. They have become more efficient and are trying to maximize their profits for a certain amount of investment and thus they are investing more on the career development and training of the employee. The emotionally sensitive and secure working environment in an organization can also be considered as a reward for the employees. There should be no discrimination in a workplace or there should be no glass ceiling for the employees in an organization. The organization should be supportive in the personal and the professional development of its employees (Hamlet, 2014)
Sales planning and management is the business discipline which is focused on the practical applications of sales technique and also in management of an organization’s business operations. It helps in determining the resources which are needed for a particular sales activity and which type of sales activity requires which kind of employee with training. Thus it helps in optimizing the resources which are consumed for a particular promotion and sales and it enables in controlling the output for the same.
There are various issues which act as a barrier in the sales activity as well like lack of proper scheduling for sales talk, lack of follow up after the sales pitch and ability to take feedback post closing the sales deal which helps in improvising on the sales activity on a regular basis. Sales management also helps in assessing the role and accountability of each team member and this would help in identifying members who are high performing in a team and those who are lagging behind. This way sales output can be controlled or enhanced by making the right combination of members.
Database management is one of the most advanced tools which can be used in sales management and its effectiveness enhancement. Database is a collection of digitized information which can be accessed, processed and used at a momentary notice for making any decision regarding sales and business management. These databases will have past information of the clients, their needs, their buying decision process as well as it would also have the information & knowledge which is needed by a client before they make a decision about the purchase. For example if data base can indicate the number of people who applied for a visa for tourism in a country then they can be the people who can be targeted for travel insurance, tour guides, hotels, currency exchange services etc. it is just a business sense made out from right information that who can be targeted for what kind of services and how much they need it. pitching for hotel service to a person who just came back from a long travel is a wastage but those who are planning to go is a right move. Handling enquiries regarding products in an appropriate manner and the enquiries in the concerned organization may be coming from the internal people or the representatives and the external public and routing them to the right person is a role played by data bases (Joshi, 2013).
The sales plan for any product or service is needed in this assignment. We have taken an imaginary product for this activity, it is a new smart phone by Samsung. The industry includes the major players like Apple iphones, LG, etc. The new Samsung product is based on the gorilla screen, 3 D touch interface, 3 D camera, 4G network accesses, faster and more user friendly interface, waterproof technology with 3 GB Ram and expandable memory up to 128 GB (Naik et al, 2008). The company sales objectives are to break-even the amount involved in the new product development in first year itself which is $ 10 billion. The company has the objectives to achieve target sales of around 5 millions handsets in the first quarter of its launch. The product is supposed to be launched at a price of $ 500 with a close competition to the apple iphones and is a precession over the existing range of Android phones like Samsung S6. The industry is highly competitive and the company has to plan the promotional mix including advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and public relations prudently to avoid any burden on the operational expenses of the company or the product profile. The company plans to achieve maximum profitability of $ 20 billion in the first year.
The opportunities for selling these Samsung smart phones which are a competition to the latest generation of iphones and other smart phones built on Android platforms is quite alluring and the company wishes to launch the product simultaneously in the developed and major growing markets including Asia and Africa. The international markets provide a major boost to sales of such products and also due to the globalised economies where the customers travel from one economy to another almost very frequently, the idea of promoting the product in the international markets is worthwhile (Chazin, 2012). Also the Samsung operates in several countries worldwide hence the opportunities to provide the product to the various countries is affected by the help of the sales team operational in the respective geographies. Main threat to Samsung is low priced products of China. Another big threat is the legal war that is going on between Apple and Samsung. In addition, continue development and changes in technology, price wars, regulatory issues and other major economic matters along with legislation issues also act as threats. Samsung is having opportunity to open more stores across the world that would bring even more consumers. They may launch new products annually and may even provide variations in the existing products. Company‘s sub brands may be launched and may give their customers affordable products. They can also give additional services and come with new offers to keep their customers loyal and to attract more people.
Exhibitions and trade fairs have a major role in promotion of trade transfer of the latest technology and helps in promoting the regional and national industries. Also such events help in driving the foreign investments in the industry and help in advancement of technology and infrastructure. Also it has a positive impact on the economy by increasing the level of spending at hotels, transportations, etc and also creating employment for many at the site of fairs or exhibitions. The exhibitions are an important way of placing the product in front of the target markets and helps in clarifying the customer queries by enabling a two way communication between the target market and the company representatives. In case of the launch of new smart phone by Samsung, the trade fairs or exhibitions helps in promoting the brand or the product by enabling contact with the target market and fast market penetration for the new product and newer technologies such as Water proof feature or the Gorilla Glass feature.
Joshi, G. (2013). Management Information Systems. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 328
Chazin, S. (2012) The Secrets of Apple’s Retail Success (Online) available at http://www.marketingapple.com/Apple_Retail_Success.pdf last accessed on 20 nOV 2016
Naik, P. A., Raman, K., & Winer, R. S. (2008). Planning marketing mix strategies in the presence of interaction effects, Marketing Science, 24(1), pp 25-34.
Hamlett, C 2014, ‘Motivating Employees & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’, Small Business By Demand Media, Viewed Nov 14, 2016,
Shimizu, K. (2003). "Symbiotic Marketing Strategy,"4th edition. Souseisha Book Company.
Karl, T. & Eppinger, D. (2004). Product Design and Development. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2006). What is demographic segmentation, Marketing Management. Prentice Hall. PP: 107-108.