Summary Overview Marketing managers must decide how much and what kind of personal selling is appropriate for each marketing mix. The Importance and Role of Personal Selling Personal Selling Requires Strategy Decisions . As part of their marketing strategy, marketing managers must decide: (1) how many salespeople they need, (2) what kind of salespeople they need, (3) what kind of sales presentation to use, (4) how to select and train salespeople, and (5) how to supervise and motivate them. Personal Selling is Important . The ability to sell products and services is important to all companies and absolutely critical to some. Salespeople must be able to meet both customer needs and company expectations. It’s also economically important: 1 of 10 people employed in North America are employed in sales. Selling is Helping . Salespeople don’t just sell -- they help customers make good buying decisions. In working to meet customer needs and matching them with appropriate products, salespeople build lasting relationships with customers. Salespeople ARE the Company . To many customers, the salesperson IS the company. How that person behaves is all the customer will ever know about the company. Discussion Note: This is very true in the financial services industry. Salespeople Provide Feedback . The perceptive salesperson provides feedback to the company on what customers think, feel, and want. Salespeople Can be Strategy Planners . Because they know their territory and their market better than anyone else, salespeople make strategy decisions everyday about how to manipulate promotional mix elements to fit the needs of their customers..
Summary Overview Marketing managers recognize that effective personal selling involves successful completion of a number of activities and the coordination of three basic sales tasks: order-getting, order-taking, and supporting. In some cases, a single salesperson will do all three tasks. In other cases, particularly in large companies that depend heavily on personal selling, the tasks are divided among a number of sales professionals. And this can lead to team selling--when different sales reps work together on a specific account. Basic Sales Tasks Order-Getting . Order-getting means seeking possible buyers with a well-organized sales presentation designed to sell a good, service, or idea. Order getters are concerned with establishing effective relationships with new customers and developing new business. Order getters focus on results -- not style. As the primary source of product information for the potential customer, order getters must be experts about every aspect of their products. Order-Taking . Order-taking is the routine completion of sales made regularly to target customers. Order takers sell to regular customers, completing sales transactions and maintaining relationships. Order takers, especially in light of information technology and computerized links between buyers and sellers, need to be highly trained, competent individuals. Order-taking activities can make the difference between keeping or losing a customer. Supporting . Supporting salespeople help the order-oriented salespeople but they don’t try to get orders themselves. There are two types: Missionary Salespeople. These are supporting salespeople who work for producers by calling on their middlemen and customers. They create goodwill and provide training and information. Technical Specialists. These people provide technical know-how in support of order-oriented salespeople.
Summary Overview The sales force manager must organize the sales force so that all necessary tasks are performed well. Different target markets need different selling tasks -- they differ in support and information needs -- and so managers often have more than one sales force “mix” when the company serves many different target markets. Concepts and Issues in Sales Force Structure Major Accounts Sales Force . When the company has one or more very large accounts, it is often the case that a separate sales force is set up to serve them. This lets the sales force give the account their full attention and focus. Telemarketing . Some firms have a telemarketing sales force who works by telephone to contact, prospect, and service accounts. Telemarketing is quick and inexpensive and can provide a way to serve customers who would otherwise be too expensive for the company to support. Sales Territory . A sales territory is a geographic area that is the responsibility of one salesperson or several working together. Managers must weigh distance, number of customers, and the complexity of account service in setting up sales territories. They must also consider the potential profitability -- too small a territory might hurt sales force morale if the chances of making a good living are hindered by the lack of prospects. Sales Force Size . Deciding how many salespeople to use is a crucially important task for the sales force manager. Too many is expensive to the company and not very profitable to the individual salesperson. Too few means heavy workloads that almost always compromise service, sales, and overall profits. For this reason, accurate assessment of the right workload per salesperson for a particular industry, product line, or customer need is very important. And setting the sales quota --the specific sales or profit objective a salesperson is expected to achieve is also very important.
Notes Many of today’s sales reps rely on an array of software and hardware that was hardly imaginable even a decade ago. The information-technology explosion has put new software for spreadsheet analysis, electronic presentations, time management, sales forecasting, customer contact, and shelf-space management at the salesperson’s fingertips. Still new but already commonplace hardware includes everything from cellular phones, fax machines, laptop computers, and pagers to personalized videoconferencing systems. In many situations these technologies are dramatically changing the ability of sales reps to meet the needs of their customers while achieving the objectives of their jobs. However, the availability of these technologies does not change the basic nature of the sales tasks that need to be accomplished. What they do change is the way--and how well--the job is done. Yet, this is not simply a matter of implementation that is best left to individual sales reps. A key reason is that many of these tools may be necessary just to compete effectively. Of course, if a firm expects salespeople to be able to use these technologies that requirement needs to be included in selecting and training people for the job.
Summary Overview Sound selection of good, well-qualified salespeople is one of the most important jobs the sales manager ever undertakes. Progressive companies invest time and resources into developing and updating a pool of good job candidates. Motivating salespeople is also important and requires careful assessment of the needs of the company and the individual when setting compensation. Selecting and Training Job Description . A job description is a written statement of what a salesperson is expected to do. By providing clear guidelines about what selling tasks the job involves, the job description becomes an effective tool for recruiting candidates whose qualifications are a good match for the job. Training . No one is really a “born” salesperson. Everyone, even those with a seemingly natural ability, needs training. Sales is a highly-skilled profession and training is required to learn how to sell, how to learn about a customer’s needs, how to get organized, how to understand and promote the product line, and how to constantly update this knowledge with new information as the business, products, and situation change. Compensation To recruit and keep good salespeople, a firm must design an attractive compensation package that also motivates salespeople to become top performers. The key is to match what people want to do and what interests them with the needs of the company. Two areas are important: Level of Compensation . How much a person does and/or can make must be at least comparable to competitors’ compensation. Method of Payment . Salespeople are typically compensated by either straight salary, straight commission (a percentage of sales) or some combination. Salary provides the most security, commission the most incentive. Combination plans are most common.
Summary Overview The key steps in the personal selling process are shown on the slide. Each step involves its own set of skills. But it is also important to think of the process as a whole. Steps in the Personal Selling Process Prospecting . Prospecting focuses on identifying new customers. But at this same level in the process, the salesperson needs to assess the needs of established customers and set priorities. Without clear priorities, the salesperson will undoubtedly make inefficient use of his or her time. Also, because of multiple buying influence, a salesperson may have to do some hard detective work to find the real purchase decision makers. Select Target Customer . Selecting target customers involves identifying factors for success -- what the customer needs, what the company offers, and how well the salesperson can find a good match. Because some potential customers are more attractive to the company than others, a company often develops a grading scheme to rank potential customers. Plan Sales Presentation . The sales presentation is the salesperson's effort to make a sale or address a customer's problem. Before making the presentation, the salesperson should learn as much about the client as possible, even who makes the purchase decisions and the key criteria they use. Better information allows the salesperson to custom-design a presentation to match specific customer needs. Make Sales Presentation . Salespeople usually choose among one or more approaches when making the sales presentation. These approaches are covered on the following slide. Close Sale . Presentations should end with a close -- here the salesperson asks for the customer’s business. The best salespeople learn how to close effectively. Follow-up . Whether the presentation ends in a sale or a request for more information, the salesperson should take care to contact the customer again soon after the call.
Summary Overview A marketing manager usually chooses between two contrasting sales presentation approaches, or selects a third approach that combines the two. Approaches to Sales Presentations Prepared Approach . This approach uses a memorized presentation that is not adapted to each individual customer. It is often used when the prospective sale is low in value, only a short presentation is possible, or the salesperson is not yet very skilled. This “canned” approach has the virtue of standardizing the presentation but suffers from the weakness of being rigid and treating all customers alike. Teaching Tip: Communication courses in public speaking typically require students to make speeches, sometimes to deliver a memorized speech. These classes can teach students how to make a “canned” presentation sound natural and conversational. You might suggest such courses to students considering sales as a career. Consultative Selling Approach . This approach involves developing a good understanding of the individual customer’s needs before trying to close the sale. After making general opening comments, the salesperson asks the customer questions and listens carefully to the answers to identify unique customer needs. This is a problem-solving orientation and the salesperson acts as a “consultant” to help the customer solve his or her needs. Selling Formula Approach . This approach starts out with a rehearsed presentation, perhaps from memory or extemporaneously from an outline, but moves toward more customer interaction, questioning, and participation during the course of the presentation. Discussion Note: The financial services industry is in various stages of adopting a consultative selling approach to replace its traditional selling formula approach. Ask students to comment on the difference between an insurance sale of a product versus using a financial plan to identify insurance needs.
Summary Overview The AIDA model - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - helps keep the salesperson focused on moving the customer through different levels of product awareness, acceptance, and purchase. In one form or another, the AIDA model is at the heart of most sale presentations. Notes The time a sales rep spends on each of the AIDA steps might vary depending on the situation and the selling approach being used. But it is still necessary to begin a presentation by getting the prospect’s attention, and hopefully, to move the customer to action through a close.
Chapter 15: Personal Selling
Strategic Planning for Personal Selling 15-2 Sales Promotion Advertising Personal Selling Target Market Price Promotion Place Product Personal selling techniques Compensation and motivation approach Selection and training procedure Number and kind of salespersons needed Exhibit 15-1
Salesforce Structure 15-4 Major Accounts Telemarketing Sales Territory Sales Force Size Large Customers Quick, Inexpensive Geographic Area Work Load Focus: Focus: Focus: Focus :
Information Technology and Sales New software and hardware provide a competitive advantage for salespeople in many industries. For example, financial planners can use sophisticated software to analyze the needs of clients in six keys areas of financial planning, customizing their recommendations for each clients’ unique situation. 15-5
Selecting, Training, and Motivating 15-6 Key Components Job Description Level of Compensation Method of Payment Training
Steps in the Personal Selling Process Evaluate needs of established customers 15-7 Exhibit 15-3 Prospect for new customer Set effort priorities Select target customer Preplan sales call and presentation(s) Make sales presentation Close sale Follow up to establish Follow up to maintain Feedback
Types of Presentation Approaches 15-8 Consultative Selling Approach Selling Formula Approach Prepared Approach Three Presentation Approaches
The AIDA Model 15-9 Attention Interest Desire Action