Task – Sales Manager
You are hired as the sales manager for London Education Services. The Board of Directors have thought about whether it is better to market the new course to students or to organisations – where it could become part of their management training programme. To help them decide: they have asked you for a formal report that covers the following points
- Using LES as an example, explain how personal selling supports the promotion mix. You have to consider how the sales pipeline might look.
- Compare buyer behaviour and the decision making process when selling to an individual or an organisation.
- Analyse the role of sales teams within marketing strategy
- One of the organisations LES has approached is Associated British Foods PLC (ABF). Explain how sales strategies are developed in line with ABF’s corporate objectives.
- Explain the importance of recruitmentand selection procedures
- Evaluate the role of motivation, remuneration and training in sales management
- Explain how sales management organise sales activity and control sales output
- Explain the use of databases in effective sales management
- Develop a sales plan for the MBA to be marketed to ABF
- Choose a country and investigate opportunities for selling the MBA internationally to corporates
- Investigate opportunities for using exhibitions or trade fairs to sell to corporates.
This assignment focuses on the sales planning and operations of London Education Solutions Ltd (LES). The company specializes in corporate training and is now planning to venture into accredited university MBA’s. The study gives an overall view of the sales planning and marketing strategies that the company develops and implements to market its new course.
Contribution of personal selling in the promotion mix
One of the most important tools of promotion mix is Personal Selling. LES is aims to push the new course to different corporate houses. Personal selling becomes important as the company is trying to implement push strategy especially in B2B context.
Direct contact with the customer gives the sales manager a scope to be flexible and modify the message of sales to match with the customer’s requirements. Here the feedback of the customer is almost immediate (Kjellsdotter Ivert and Jonsson, 2010). LES has already passed through the prospecting and approaching stages of selling. Sales presentation involves persuasive communication of the features and post sale benefits of the product. LES is implementing the formulated approach by first identifying the prospect’s requirements and provide a pre-prepared sales pitch in accordance to the specific prospect. Unlike the tool of advertising, personal selling enables a sales person to a demonstration of the product to the potential consumer. The company provides multimedia interactive demonstrations that are commonly and widely used at present date. The salesperson is trained to clarify customer queries and overcomes the customer impediments to buying. Identifying closing signals is important. The company offers the customer special reason to close that is by providing 20% discount proposal. Thus, personal selling immensely supports the promotion mix by being one most effective tool.
Comparison between buyer behavior and decision making process
The purchase of ay product or service is primarily dependent on the need of an individual or an organization. Recognition of need, information search, evaluating alternatives, buying and post-purchase behavior are the major steps that lead to decision making for any product. The beginning of any buying behavior of customers is the need recognition. If there is no need there will be no purchase. The company must concentrate on implementing a top of the mind recall strategy for the prospected buyers with the medium of advertising campaign. Brand awareness of the product especially of similar products end up being a strong influential factor in the decision making process. In order to evaluate alternate options customers look for tangible , reliable and concrete knowledge and information that will assist them to make the choice more importantly because the purchase of the product require high level involvement. Solid information and validation of the product features as well as its extra value as compared to its competitors should be provided to highly persuade the buyer’s decision towards the company’s interest.
Role of sales team within marketing strategy
Selling is an integral part of the umbrella that the concept of marketing is. Thus, sales team has a pivotal role within the marketing strategy. Roles of the members of the sales team depends on the segmentation of a market There are different types of selling approaches namely, soft sell; hard sell; consultative and solution selling that is implemented by LES; and selling on the basis of customer personality.
Personal selling comprise of six man characteristics. In this type there is establishment of a personal contact among the seller and the possible consumer. Consequently it develops a personal relationship between them. Such relationship works as an important assistance in case of future cross selling. Personal selling includes oral conversation in which the salesperson provides information about product features. On enquiry from prospect customers the seller gives quick clarification to them. In the process of personal selling the seller accumulates additional information about the preferences of the prospect buyer and finally the selling takes place.
Development of sales strategies in line with corporate objectives
ABF is a multinational food corporation with wide range of product line and operations across the globe. Many individual and distributor are working under this umbrella. Being associated with this organization, would give a huge exposure and promotion in education industry. This has to be a holistic approach to ABF for employment training and development program. Long term association, relationship management, low course fees, quality training is some key facts to be associated with ABF Corporation. Quality man power can help to reach company to its objectives.
SEM must approaches like the way that they know everything about ABF Corporation and its mission goal. ABF wants a strong and sustainable position in the market and new businesses through high level operating efficiency. An MBA certificate will leverage their knowledge and work efficiency that result quality work flow. Furthermore, leadership, entrepreneurship courses would give added advantages for retailer and distributers and for those who wants to be a market leader. Overall, importantly SEM has to design training courses to meet ABF’ objectives.
Role of recruitment and selection process
Tapping the right individual for hiring with the required set of skill is the most vital part any venture. The success and profitability of any organization is primarily dependent on the capability, skill and motivation of the workforce. By specifying the required criteria in relevance to the job profile gives better results in the process. Preparation of job description and person specification is thus important. The sources of recruitment include media advertisement, job portals, consultancies and personal references. A successful recruitment and selection process can deliver a highly motivated human resource, reduced employee turnover and absenteeism, and cost effectiveness. There are various interviewing techniques. Some of them are one-on-one interview, 360 degree interview, group interview and reverse interview. In the selection process selection policies and procedures are developed. This process includes valid tests that help in evaluating and selecting a candidate in accordance to the job specification (Feng, D’Amours and Beauregard, 2010). Thus, this entire process is crucial to create a safer and efficient workforce.
Functions of motivation, remuneration and training in sales management
Motivation, training and remuneration play the role of a driving force and boost to the performance of an employee. Motivation has a major impact on sales performance of an organization. Sales being a stressful and tiring job, motivating factors drive an employee to give better performance. It enables a sales personnel to take actions and make things happen which is key to increasing sales volume.
The planned process of acquiring appropriate knowledge that is relevant to the specific job is referred to as training. Workforce requires training beyond their qualification for professional development. Training endows an individual with higher motivation, enhanced skill set and self confidence, higher sales and profit which automatically results in higher job satisfaction.
Remuneration is the compensation that an employee receives for all the services that he or she renders to the organization. Along with psychological motivations providing financial incentive holds much importance. It also works as a motivating factor to the employees of an organization. On reaching a set target an individual is handsomely rewarded. Thus, it injects in a sales person a want to beat the set target and increase sales volume. Financial incentive is the most common type of remuneration and has a relative level of security.
How sales management organizes sales activity and control sales output
Sales activities are referring to a process of personal selling. Processes are planning, budgeting, recruiting, motivation, targeting, implementation and controlling of sales process. Primarily, fundamental role of sale is to achieve company’s goal.
Sales manager hires sales team and efficient energetic sales people for lead generation and business development.
Setting Target and Goal
Overall sales target setting and achievement are mandatory job for sales manager. Manager has to coordinate between sales promotion and available capital. Critical duties are to find relevancy between realistic forecasts and setting goal.
Planning and Organizing
Once a target goal is setting up, next step is to plan strategy to achieve them. Strategy planning encompasses- recruitment, compensation, motivation, allocating territories. Other traits are appearance, creativity, communication skill and technical usage etc
This step is an art about how to implement sales plan. Plan can be changed according to the circumstances and business environment. Sales promotional initiative like emailing, trade shows, and white papers can be implemented along with sales pitching.
Measuring Sales Out put
Sales outcome or evaluation process is followed by implementation of plan. Sales manager’s responsibility is to evaluate daily, weekly and monthly out come from sales team. Sales manager compares between job accomplishment and targeted goal. Performance is measured through sales volumes, cash flows, expenses, individual performance, and customer satisfaction. Each person should be evaluated on the basis of cold calls, number of new accounts and closure of the deals.
Function of databases in effective sales management
Database system is a computer software program. For effective sales management, database is used from maintaining prospect of customers to analytical improvements (M.T. Thomé, Soucasaux Sousa and F.R.R.S. do Carmo, 2014). A customer relation management application is credentials for sales team and a backbone of a sales process in an organization.
Customers Data management-
It’s a platform to upload customer demographic information such as phone numbers, designation, company information, contact details etc. With the help of database, sales people can make follow ups and can meet more clients.
Research and Survey-
It’s easy to take a glance and get in to the knowledge of data analysis. Database is an effective system for modeling, predictive analysis, profiling, sales growth, sales pipeline etc many companies find solution to difficult problems with it.
Sales Strategy Development:
This process involves using outcome from a database and how important database is for sales strategy. Sales teams can be able to develop a clear view of profitability margin, targeted strategy etc. Though this process based on nature of the company
Managing Sales Team and Productivity
When a sales person make out cold calls and update it in a company’s centralized database account instantly, this helps to get better for entire sales team. A sales database or CRM helps to focus sales campaign more effective such as emails, gift card, birthday wish, coupons, discounts etc. Moreover, database measures individuals each sales person’s contribution.
How to develop a sales plan for the MBA to be marketed to ABF
Before approaching to corporate, they must design a path that will surely convince and influence them to be a part of this course enthusiastically. As selling target customer is ABF and their subordinates who are experienced enough, will observe the understanding of how well SEM know about ABF and what impact they can give to enhance their skills.
Very first step would be to make an appointment with director or with head of human resource department about how things can be done to meet their corporate objectives. A detail presentation about the importance of training will get prospect to open up.
Arranging Seminar and Trade shows
Arranging open seminar, tradeshows and webinar and inviting them is a great way to redirect with corporate, distributors and retailers, discuss about current scenario, and how to enhance leading- edge sale and leadership skills in challenging retail competitive environment.
Influence the Industry groups
Finding the influencer like supplier, advisor, industry leaders, and associates is very important and difficult task to be done. Their recommendation will aid reputation enhancement for long term strategy.
Effective Marketing PR
Effective open ended communication is touch point care to lead generation and clearance of doubts (Tavares Thomé et al., 2012). Position as trusted advisor, have a range of promotional actions like website, video, white papers, email marketing, customer support, free information to increase their knowledge and interests- then convince them why LES’s solution will work.
Choose a country and investigate opportunities for selling the MBA internationally to corporate
India is a dynamic country with lots of growth opportunity. With the huge number of young population, India is the best option for running education business.
Most experienced sales team face challenge while venturing into the international market. Tactics that work at home country may not be effective enough in other country.
Keeping in mind different difficulties, a marketing communication has to be developed across cultures. Huge numbers of MBA colleges and companies are present in India, adding to that online MBA courses. It’s hard to find any corporation that offer management course to its employee. Corporate wants candidate with a strong leadership skill and real time exposure. Apart from top rated B schools, most of them are lack real corporate exposure. Moreover, costing to complete an MBA course from B school is huge a plus there are huge number of engineering and graduate professional who don’t have management degree, are working in corporate.
Some opportunities to sell MBA to corporate -
- Facilitate flexible working time as per their schedule.
- Providing quality course materials and affiliation.
- Provides advance course and 24x7 support.
- Provide reliable unique teaching methodologies
- Offer online course and videos
- Educational company must be involved with company’s research and development part and with corporate social responsibility.
- Engage with industry player, board members, chamber of commerce
- Sponsorship in corporate events.
- Invest in different media advertisement.
- Discounted tuition fees.
Importance of participating in exhibitions or trade fairs
Trade fairs and exhibitions fall under specialist market forum. Organizing such shows is at times directly related to the marketing strategy. Trade fairs and exhibitions permit the marketers to promote their products and services. It also helps in the building of a huge customer database for future business by following them up. Visitors get an idea about the displayed services and products that may attract some which in turn results in new sales (Tuomikangas and Kaipia, 2014). These events are of value also because of the fact that they offer scope for networking. Especially in case of new companies it is important to have knowledge about the competitors. At an early stage of entering the market these events contributes in helping the company to build an impressive reputation in the industry. Such events enable the gathering of many potential corporate at one place.
For London Education Service, it is better to formulate new course to organization. As per course content, it is restricted to only some courses modules which are suitable for corporate employees and not for students. Moreover, company like ABF is expanding; hence, they are in need to quality manpower that will help them to reach their objectives. Students will not get attracted because full MBA course is not being offered. In addition, merging with ABF Corporation is an opportunity for brand building and a sustainable income.
Feng, Y., D’Amours, S. and Beauregard, R. (2010). Simulation and performance evaluation of partially and fully integrated sales and operations planning. International Journal of Production Research, 48(19), pp.5859-5883.
Kjellsdotter Ivert, L. and Jonsson, P. (2010). The potential benefits of advanced planning and scheduling systems in sales and operations planning. Industr Mngmnt & Data Systems, 110(5), pp.659-681.
M.T. Thomé, A., Soucasaux Sousa, R. and F.R.R.S. do Carmo, L. (2014). Complexity as contingency in sales and operations planning. Industr Mngmnt & Data Systems, 114(5), pp.678-695.
Tavares Thomé, A., Scavarda, L., Fernandez, N. and Scavarda, A. (2012). Sales and operations planning: A research synthesis. International Journal of Production Economics, 138(1), pp.1-13.
Tuomikangas, N. and Kaipia, R. (2014). A coordination framework for sales and operations planning (S&OP): Synthesis from the literature. International Journal of Production Economics, 154, pp.243-262.