Direct marketing is an interactive marketing system that uses one or more media to effect a measurable response or transaction at any location.
The benefits of direct marketing:
For customers: home shopping can be fun, convenient, and hassle-free. It saves time and customers can do comparative shopping
For sellers: direct marketers can have the profiles of customers so that they can customize and personalized messages. In the long run, direct marketers can build a continuous relationship with each customer.
The public and ethical issues in direct marketing (weakness in using direct marketing): irritation, unfairness, deception and fraud, invasion of privacy
Sales personnel serve as a company’s link to its customers.
Designing the sales force requires decisions regarding:
Objectives: include targeting, communicating, selling, servicing, information gathering and allocating
Strategy: choosing the most effective mix of selling approaches either a direct sales force (sales using telephone and receive visits from buyers and field sales) or contractual sales force (reps receive commission)
Sales force structures: entails dividing territories by geography/territories, product structure (based on product lines to customers in many location), or market (based on profiles of industries using the product lines)
Size: estimates how large the sales force needs to be involves. Suppose there are 1000 A accounts and 2000 B accounts. A accounts require 36 calls a year, and B accounts require 12 calls a year. Thus, a company needs 60,000 sales calls a year. Suppose the average rep can make 1000 calls a year, the company would need 60 full-time sales representatives
Compensation: what types of salaries, commissions, bonuses, expense accounts in determining total compensation
Once the company has established the design of sales force, it has to manage the sales force
There are five steps involved:
Recruiting and selecting sales representatives (based on sales performance, personality, and skills)
Training the representatives in sales techniques and in the company’s products, policies, and customer satisfaction orientation
Supervising the sales force (how much time reps should spend prospecting for new accounts) and helping reps to use their time efficiently (use “phone power”, simplify record keeping, using the computer)
Motivating the sales force and balancing quotas, monetary rewards, and supplementary motivators