Question 1 (a) The 3 main roles that a sales manager should perform are listed as below: 1. Manage customer relationships 2. Serve as customer consultants 3. Manage the hybrid sales force Sales managers should firstly, continuously achieve a conversation with his or her customer, provide customized service and recommendations to them in order to increase customer retention. Secondly, sales managers should build ongoing relationships and profitable partnerships with his or her customers.
He or she should also act as a consultancy role towards the sales team, encouraging them to provide ore than Just selling to their customers, and always give personalized advice to them. Sales managers should also manage the sales force, which includes external agents and salespeople to ensure the success of the team. It is obvious in that Ian has proven to be a ‘super salesperson’ due to his experiences and innovative ideas. He is very dedicated to his team as he wants to show them ‘how best to approach customers and negotiate sales’. He practically spends at least one day a month with his salespeople.
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However, from various feedbacks given by his team of salespeople, he might not be s competent when it comes to coaching them and providing them with guidance. The complaint received from the Singapore and Malaysia salespeople are that Ian has been ‘spending so much time with them’. On days when Ian spends with them to provide coaching tips and feedback, he did otherwise. Ian even went to the extent of accompanying the salesperson at sales presentations to review their performance on the spot and give comments when he thinks there is a need to.
He would take over when he is dissatisfied with their presentation to the customers. His salespeople said hat this has led to some confusion in his customers, which might in turn affect the company’s image in the long run. One of the salesperson had his potential customers doubt him, asking why Ian was not satisfied with his performance. This has affected his credibility towards his customers, as well as his image as a salesperson. It is important to manage the relationships with the customers, as well as provide a consultancy role when they require so.
For Ian, he is obviously lacking in the role of managing his hybrid sales force. With his received complaint, he is not managing the ales force, but taking over their roles when he thinks that their presentation is not up to his expectation. He should train his salespeople with the right skills and help them improve consistently to clinch deals with the clients. Instead of doing so, he takes over and present on the salespeople’s Bengal. From their perception, it them and presents an incapable image in front of their clients. Nan’s current performance will lead to poor company image and reputation in the long run.
Taking for example, the salespeople are not able to maximize their potential under Nan’s coaching, they would prefer to either request for a change of sales anger, or they would change company. Ian should be treating his salespeople as empowered equal and provide his salespeople with motivation to work and continuously strive better. Question 1 (b) With the current sales organization structure, the sales team is able to work better with it structured along product lines rather than geographically. Having said this, there are still several advantages and disadvantages towards this department structure.
Geographical sales structure refers to the selling according to the different location of countries and places. This meaner that, according to the culture and demand tatters of a certain area, the company provides the products accordingly and comes up with strategies to attract customers and in turn increase the product demands. Product lines structure meaner that the company focuses on the products they offer, equip the salespeople with the knowledge of the products, and personalize the products according to the needs and wants to the customers.
As mentioned, firstly, the salesperson finds out the needs and wants of the customers. With their vast knowledge of the products the company offers, they are able to suggest the right product to the customer, to fit their demand. By having the product line structure, they are then able to focus on the product that they are selling, and easily set their own targets and objectives for personal achievements and selling quota.
An additional benefit is that, should they need certain information about the product they are selling or suggesting, the company would be able to provide it to the salesperson without worrying that the information is not reliable or wrong. With the product line structure, it is also easier for the sales team to have a better knowledge of the company as a whole, and most importantly the products they are selling. When a salesperson is fully knowledgeable on the products the company provides, this raises their morale and confidence level when they do sales presentations and explanations to their customers.
If it is based on a geographical structure, the sales team will not be able to fully understand what they need to focus on, and most importantly, they are not able to acquire the information they need from the company unless they perform their own research. Nevertheless, this product line structure has also its disadvantages too. From a company’s point tot view, due to the deterrent products being tottered, this would b very competitive environment. The different divisions would be fighting for the company’s resources and this might lead to some unpleasant situations in the company where conflicts occur between the different divisions.
This is especially important when the different product lines need to work together for bundling or several promotions to increase profits for the company. Due to the conflicts between each division, they might not be willing to work with each other, and thus causing the company’s productivity to decrease. When this is compared to geographical structure, the products’ divisions can work gather to think of common strategies to fit products to the customers in the geographic location.
The competition is lesser as product divisions have to work together to achieve a common goal. As the current product line sales structure is suitable to the profile of the salespeople as they have already been used to the structure and habits of selling to the customers, there seems to be no need to have a change of structure since the salespeople are doing well. However, as time changes and consumer’s preferences shifts overtime, there is a need to change the structure to improve the company’s productivity and maximize he potential of the salespeople.
With their vast knowledge of the products, they could now focus on understanding the different geographical locations they want to focus on, and then sell according to the needs and wants based on their research. This would in turn benefit the company in the long run, as customers would view it as the understanding of their lifestyle and habits before introducing any products to them, which seems to be personalized service provided to the customers. The company could also be achieving larger market share of the specific geographical actions, and it would help the company to expand to the other markets in the future.
In addition, there would be a better chance of success when the company releases a new product which would be largely based on the understanding of the lifestyle and habits of the geographic location. Thus, the suggestion for the company right now is to have a change of sales structure for the company to gain larger market share, as well as maximizing the salespeople’s potential to sell and understand the customers’ profile. Question 2 (a) INTRODUCTION WALL values each salesperson in the company. The human touch point when sales are closed with prospects remains the priority of the company.
WALL has embarked onto Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for the past 8 months. WALL would like to emphasis that CRM system is not Just an IT application but rather is a system that allows each of us to better understand the needs of our customers and their purchasing behavior. These will allow us to build a stronger relationship with the customers. In the following presentation, benefits of the CRM system will be shared with the aim to bring WALL and sales team to greater heights by optimizing the M system. WHAT IS CRM?
CRM is a systematic integration of information technology and human resources designed to provide maximum value to customers and to obtain maximum value from customers (Hair, Anderson, Meta, & Fabian, 2010). It is essential for WALL to embark on the new Journey of CRM system as our business portfolio continues to grow. Our company and salesperson will need real-time information of our clients and prospects. Using real-time information will allow a better understanding of the needs of our customers in an individual way.
The needs of our customers can be rather segmented to provide a more efficient and productive meaner of managing our customers. This leads to salesperson able to target the correct group of customers and serve them individually based on a one-to-one marketing strategy. BENEFITS OF CRM One-stop Solution. CRM tracks the interest and activities of our current customers. When these activities are keyed into the CRM system, it allows information to be shared between various sales departments such as the distribution sales department, the accessories sales department and the software sales department.
This provides a one-stop solution to our customers. For example, when a customer purchases our English software, he may require a particular accessory to assist him in operating the software. With this information, the salesperson will be able to value-add by promoting the accessory to the client and not reacting to source for the product when the customer asked for. This value-added service will definitely retain existing customer as it builds upon trust and relationship between the salesperson and the customers. Selection of Prospects. CRM also allow salesperson to focus his resources to the right prospect at the right time.
Customer database of many salesperson grow each day and it becomes hard for individual person to monitor our customers. The dashboard in CRM provides a glance of information such as the probability and purchasing power of each client. These information and historic trending enables salesperson to better time and anticipate the needs of our customers. For example, in WALL, we will be able to monitor and target institutions that require upgrading of their computer system by analyzing the last upgrade by the institution versus the need of the institution to provide technological education to its students, such as Eng distance learning.
Selection of prospects not only allows better time management for salesperson, it also enhances the probability of a close sale and facilitate in identifying larger and smaller prospects. Referral of Prospect. Better relationship not only increases commission sales of salesperson, it also increases the chance of referral from a satisfied customer. Through words of mouth, salesperson will be able to clinch new prospects and thus expanding its customer base. CONCLUSION CRM not only optimizes profit and increase revenue for WALL and its salesperson, it also enhances customers’ satisfaction.
CRM enable salesperson to provide value- added service by understanding the needs of customers. Promoting relevant products or services to our customers that saves resources for both customers and salesperson. These benefits allow WALL to better manage its customer base and increase the customer loyalty and retention. Question 2 (b) IMPLEMENTATION OF CRM SYSTEM As mentioned earlier, CRM system does not replace the need for salesperson in WALL, but rather enhances the salesperson ability to sell more to the right prospects at the right time.
For CRM to be successfully implemented, sales managers will have to fully support the system and believe that the system will work. This will require the sales managers to first lead and subsequently influence salesperson to use and practice the system. Trust in the system will definitely change the company culture to greater heights. Cultural Change. CRM system is a customer-centric approach that requires all in WALL to be committed. Sales managers of various departments will need to be open with the providing information into the CRM system.
Through cross-feeding of information, it will allow a holistic collation of information to serve our customers. This information will then provide relevant information for salesperson to analyses the needs of our customers. Training and Education. To understand the potential of CRM system, proper training will be needed for both the sales managers and salesperson. Areas such as using different fields to extract relevant information will need to be trained.
Through training and education, sales managers and salesperson will be able to leverage on technology to see the future and optimism the system as a force-multiplier facilitate utter management and sales. Creating Value for Customers. Sales managers are the links between WALL and customers and hence will need to allocate resources on identified profitable customers based on the knowledge of product. While the salesperson not only create sales but rather provide value-added service to solve the customer’s problem. The salesperson will need to understand each customer and provide greater flexibility in enhancing customer’s satisfactions.
This approach enhances the professionalism of our salesperson and increases Wall’s creditability that will draw Eng term relationship with our customers. Change tot Sales Process. Management will need to review the sales processes such as allowing salesperson to hunt freely for their prospect in the database, if the prospect is not engaged within a specific period (Graff, 2011). This will encourage salesperson in using the system more religiously to gain sales commission. Creating Database in CRM. For successful implementation of CRM system, the WALL will require high-technology solutions for electronic storage of data and processing data.
Salesperson that are the direct interface with customers will need to solicit elevate information from customers such as problem faced and future development. These information will allow sales manager to analyses the needs and develop relevant approaches to satisfy the problem of customers. Conclusion The success of CRM implementation will need to be top-down approach. Management level will need to walk-the-talk in order to influence change for salesperson to follow. Sales processes can be refined to entice the use of CRM in WALL.
With the successful implementation, CRM system will provide sale force an excellence meaner to enhance sales of WALL. Question 3 (a) The selling process refers to the complete set of steps that must take place in order to execute a sales transaction from start to finish (Webzines, 2013). There are seven stages in the selling process and they are best depicted as a continuous cycle or wheel of over lapping stages. Once the wheel is set in motion, it continues to rotate from one stage to the next. As it reaches the last stage, the cycle will repeat again because the sales person’s follow up can generate repeat sales.
Stage 1 – Prospecting and qualifying Prospecting is the method by which salespeople search for new customers and attention customers. One obvious reason for prospecting is to expand the customer base, which is important because most sales organizations lose customers every year. Prospecting requires salespeople to first obtain leads. A lead is basically the name and address or telephone number of a person or organization potentially needing the company’s products or services. Before considering a lead to be a valid prospect, the sales person must qualify it in terms of need or want, authority to buy, money to buy and eligibility to buy.
Stage 2 – Planning the sales call: the Approach The pre-approach step includes all post prospecting activities prior to the actual visit with a prospect. These include doing research on the prospect, familiarizing with the customer’s needs, reviewing previous correspondence, and pulling together any other new and relevant material that might be appropriate for bringing to the sales Stage 3 – Approaching the prospect The approach usually takes the first minute or minutes of a sale. It consists of the strategies and tactics employed by salespeople when gaining an audience and establishing initial rapport with the customer.
The approach includes opening small elk, the handshake, eye contact, and generally making a good initial impression. Successful salespeople often set a primary objective (targeted outcome), a minimal objective (lowest acceptable outcome), and an optimal objective (best possible outcome) before approaching the prospect. Stage 4 – Making the sales presentation and demonstration The presentation is the main body of the sales call and should occur after the salesperson has predetermined the needs of the customer. This step can be one presentation or multiple presentations over a period of time.
Goals for the sales presentation will vary. First-time buyers must get sufficient information to adequately understand the product’s benefits, which may be facilitated by building the presentation around a product demonstration. Selling points and attributes are visualized and built around a call agenda or sales proposal. This step can be complex, and preparation is essential. Stage 5 – Negotiating sales resistance and objections Objections can be broadly defined as customer questions and hesitance about the product or company. Salespeople should expect that objections would be encountered in every sales presentation.
A number of reasons exist for objections, and despite the fact that objections can delay the sales process, for the most part they should be perceived in a positive sense as useful. This is because by revealing objections, true buyer needs can be uncovered. Sales resistance can consist of either valid or invalid objections, and salespeople need to recognize each type in negotiating with prospects. Stage 6 – Confirming and closing the sales The close is defined as the successful completion of the sales presentation culminating in a commitment to buy the good or service.
Once any objections have en successfully overcome, the salesperson must actually ask for the business and thus begin the process of closing the sale. Stage 7 – Following up and servicing the account After the prospect accept an order, the salesperson will follow up to make sure the prospect is happy with the product or service and that everything that was promised is being delivered. Ian should not have the idea of spending less time on prospecting and qualifying prospects, as it is the foundation of sales.
Finding leads is the most vital part of the selling process because WALL can’t make a sale without identity yang the people to whom they’ll be selling. In other words, without prospecting, nothing else can happen. Prospecting doesn’t happen Just once; it’s a constant process. WALL lose some customers every year for a variety of reasons: customers may no longer need the product or service, have the financial meaner to purchase the product or service, or live or do business in the area, or the business may no longer be open. So if WALL haven’t been building its prospect list, they won’t have new customers to replace the ones they lose.
More than this, finding new prospects is the only way WALL can increase their sales and expand the business. Question 3 (b) Sales presentation is refer as a formal and pre-arranged meeting where a salesperson or a sales team presents detailed information about a product or service (Webzines, 2013). There are six different sales presentation strategies salesperson can adopt. 1) Stimulus – Response Stimulus – response is an approach to selling which relies on the salesperson’s ability to say the right thing (stimulus) in order to obtain a favorable reaction from the buyer (Salespeople, 2013).
The advantages of stimulus – response is that the sausages to the buyers can be structured in a logical order. Questions and objections from the buyers can usually be anticipated and addressed before they are magnified during buyer-seller interaction. However, the limitations of stimulus response methods can be severe, especially if the salesperson is dealing with a professional buyer. Most buyers like to take an active role in sales dialogue, and the stimulus response approach calls for the salesperson to dominate the flow of the conversation.
The lack of flexibility in this approach is also a disadvantage. Stimulus – espouse is most suitable for relatively unimportant purchase decisions, when time is limited and when professional buyers are not involved. 2) Formula Formula approach assumes that the buying process for most buyers is essentially identical and the buyers can be led through certain mental states, or steps, in the buying process by using the appropriate sales messages. These mental states are typically referred to as AID (attention, interest, desire, and action).
The positive feature of this approach is that it led the prospect towards purchase action one-step at a time. The down side of this approach is that the prospect may find the presentation too mechanical and it is a salesperson-oriented rather than a customer- oriented method. In an effort to move the prospect from one mental state to the next, the salesperson has a tendency to dominate the interview, and the customer may have little chance to participate. Little attention is paid to variations in needs or circumstances among customers. ) Need Satisfaction Need satisfaction selling is based on the notion that the customer is buying to satisfy a particular need or set of needs. This approach focuses on the prospects’ needs. The salesperson will use a questioning, probing tactic to uncover the prospect’s needs. Only after relevant needs have been established, the salesperson begins to relate how his or her offering can satisfy these needs. One major advantage of the need- satisfaction approach is that it is customer-oriented and flexible. Proponents of this approach contend that it provides the basis for a friendly buyer-seller relationship with two-way communication.
The limitation to this approach is that it demands highly qualified sales personnel who have an excellent understanding of their potential customers. They must have the training and experience to adjust their selling methods to the needs and concerns of each individual prospect. Also, this approach requires a great deal of time for the salesperson to become familiar with the prospect. Consequently, it is an expensive method, and it should be used when the value of the potential sales Justifies the expense. 4) Consultative Problem Solving Problem-solving selling is an extension of need satisfaction selling.
Under the problem-solving method, however, the salesperson goes one step further to help the prospect identify several alternative solutions, analyses their advantages and sedateness, and select the one best solution. The sales person completely deemphasizes the product offering, and concentrates on providing, expert advice to the prospect much like a true business consultant. The primary objective is to form long-term relationships with customers in which the sales representative is seen as a trusted source of technical information and advice.
As with the need-satisfaction approach, the problem-solution method requires extremely competent, well-trained, and experienced sales representatives. It also requires that the salesperson spend a great deal of time with each prospect. Consequently, it is a very expensive selling method. 5) Depth Selling Depth selling involves the salesperson to employs a skillful mix of several sales presentation methods. This customized mix approach combines the best features of several sales presentation. However, this will required salesperson with exceptional skill and experience to execute this approach. ) Team Selling Team selling refers to a group of individuals from different company’s department working towards a common sales goal. Team selling enable the company to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, better time management and higher integration of accounts. The pitfall of this approach includes: non-sales people may create confusion with the customer, there are multiple agendas from various departments and conflicting corporate objectives. Wall’s sales department is organized into 3 business units.
The first business unit assembles and distributes computers to institutions . The second business unit distributes computer accessories to retailers and the third business unit sells English Language software testing program to institutions. Consultative problem solving presentation strategy will be appropriated for the first cuisines unit. This business unit is WALL main core business and have high budget and time for customers in this business unit. WALL needs to understands and solve the problems of these customers.
Furthermore, WALL needs to forge a trustful, consultative relationship with the customers. In this way, WALL can keep away the competitors from their customers. Once a long run trusting relationship is established, WALL can also introduce their computer accessories and English software to this pool of customers. For the second business unit, WALL can implement need satisfaction strategy. As WALL has a wide range of computer accessories that distributes to different retailers, it is important for WALL to understand what each retailers needs.
From there, WALL can advise the retailers which products or promotions are suitable for them. Consultative problem solving presentation strategy will be suitable for the third business unit. Like the first business unit, much focus is on the customer. As this is a new business unit, WALL should spend time to understand the needs of the customers so they can understand the market better and keep them ahead from the competitors. Question 3 (c) Sales training takes human inputs and develops them into successful productive members of a marketing team.
Sales training development process is the process of designing and implementing a sales training program that begins with analyzing needs, setting objectives, developing program content, determining delivery, preparing, motivating, reinforcing and evaluating. 1) Conduct a Training Needs Assessment Managers should review trainees’ background and experience to identify the gaps between their qualifications and the Job requirement. Managers then can customize the training program base on the development of each salesperson. Determine training objectives The next step is to set the training objectives. A good training program should focus on the performance objective rather than learning objectives. In this way, salespeople are able to achieve successful results from training. 3) Determine training programmer content There are two types of training programmer a) Initial sales training programmer – designed for newly hired salespeople, it is comprehensive and usually last three to six months. B) Continuing sales training programmer – designed for experienced salespeople, these programmer are shorter,