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  • 1. Lead Generation, Business Development and Channel Management for Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd. In Partial Fulfillment of Summer Project Submitted by: Ref No.: PGDM RMM Shubhankar Otta KHR2009PGDMRMF039 2009-2011 Company Guide :- Faculty Guide :- Mrs. Swati Palande Prof. Sangeeta Trott Business Development Manager ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd.
  • 2. Acknowledgement I would like to extend sincere thanks to Ms. Swati Palande, Business Development Manager, my Company Guide, for her timely advice and encouragement. I would like to express my gratitude to the Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd for giving me this opportunity to work and learn in the organization. This project would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of everyone there. Sincere gratitude is extended to my faculty guide, Prof. Sangeeta Trott for your time, ideas, and assistance with the project. Thank you also to Mr. Nawaf Parkar, Director, Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd. and Mr. Piyush Sharma, Director, Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd. for their kind support and advice throughout the period of my internship. A special thanks is extended to Reetu, Baksh and fellow interns at Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd. and the staff at ITM for their assistance. Last but not the least I’d like to thank God for giving me enough strength to complete this project successfully. 2
  • 3. Table of Contents Sl.No. Topic Page no. 1. Executive Summary 4 2. Introduction 6 3. Company Profile 7 4. Product Bag 12 5. Objectives 15 6. The Process 16 7. Lead Generation 21 8. Follow Up 22 9. Sales Converted 23 10. Results 25 11. Dealer Management 26 12. Branding 28 13. Suggestions 29 14. Summary 30 15. Reference 31 3
  • 4. 1. Executive Summary Grass Blades Pvt. Ltd. deals in various kinds of lawnmowers (both electric and petrol), lawn tractors and power tools like hedge trimmers, chainsaws, brush cutters, etc. Apart from the lawn care equipments the company has the entire range of golf course maintenance products along with electric cart vehicles. The company also deals with an all spare parts company R&RTM. The company’s entire range of products targets aptly the Indian customers as they are the cheapest in the market in most of the products. Apart from this, the company also is the exclusive dealer for the luxury electric cart vehicle maker Garia, which is produced at the automotive factory of the luxury carmaker Porsche. This also grabs the eyeballs of all those luxury hungry top notch corporate golfers who can use this for their private purpose. I have been fortunate enough and the only one to get the role of generating leads in three different locations of India i.e. Bangalore, Orissa (Cuttack & Bhubaneswar) and Chennai. The first month was in Bangalore. I have been provided with a database of prospective clients or customers as raw data. First I have to make a cold call and try to fix an appointment with the client. If that is done, the next step was to visit the client and tell him about the product bag that the company deals with. Although the company deals with multi-brand multi-product items, but I was specifically asked to concentrate on Stiga products as we are the exclusive dealer for Stiga in the country. The work profile also included to gauge the client’s mindset and to map the account size of the client i.e. nothing but the amount the client is willing to spend on this head. Initially we were told to only generate the leads for the company, but later on we were allowed to close the deal for the company if any. We were also asked to do the follow up with the client either via email or by calling based on the need of the client. We also have to find prospective dealers for the company in select cities. We have to follow a proper ‘dealer qualification technique’ to select the dealer which includes the estimated amount of business a dealer can make annually or quarterly. At the end of the day we have to send an email with the ‘DSR-Daily Sales Report’ to the directors of the company. Weekly our performance was assessed and suggestions were given to be implemented in the future weeks. It was truly a life time experience for me because it feels great when the leads get converted and when especially you convert those leads without having any prior sales experience. 4
  • 5. Total Sales achieved by me in 3 regions:-Rs 10 lacs, Total lead generated:-Rs 20 lacs, Total Incentive received: Rs 10000 5
  • 6. 2. Introduction Grass Blades, a young and vibrant Indian Company, primarily focuses on building a market outfit which provides turf solutions on value proposition to its customers rather than selling on specifications. The company is headquartered in Navi Mumbai and has its warehouse and primary service centre in Navi Mumbai. The company came into existence because of the vision of Mr. Nawaf Parkar and Mr. Piyush Sharma. They have been associated with this industry for a very long period and aptly understand the changing dynamics, technical knowhow and strategies associated with the industry. Mr. Nawaf Parkar (B.Tech. Aerospace Engg., IIT Bombay) spearheads the Technical team while Mr. Piyush Sharma (B.E. Electrical Engg.) is in charge of the Sales team. My assignment in the role of an intern was to understand the available clientele, and to identify new ones. In the process, my primary objective was to generate leads which in the long run can be converted in to customers. Since Grass Blades is a multi-product, multi-brand company, the positioning of the company was a little difficult for the target customers to perceive. Hence our assignment also included generating awareness about the brand “Grass Blades” and the varied product bag. The sales strategy of Grass Blades is constituted into- Direct and Channel selling. Channel selling is done through dealers in various parts of the country. One of my objectives was to identify dealers in select cities and towns and to manage existing dealers. 6
  • 7. 3. Company Profile INTRODUCTION Grass Blades is a young and vibrant Indian company with a primary focus of building a marketing outfit which provides turf solutions on value proposition to its customers rather than selling on specifications. Having a diverse product profile suiting various segments, Grass Blades is positioned to supply quality turf care and horticultural equipments all over India. We offer our customers the latest available models providing the best value for their budget. Our products are sourced from reputed suppliers selected from UK, USA and Far East Countries. All our partners are international players of repute. We have a dealer channel connecting South and West of India. SEGMENT & SOLUTION Golf Courses In India there are around 250 odd courses and the turf maintenance machinery market is ruled by international big ticket players. Hence, maintaining golf course becomes very expensive practice. There is a need to reduce it. Grass Blades positions itself here. We provide latest available models of golf maintenance equipments and merchandising products, to international, medium and low budget courses for best value through direct marketing and retail channels. Horticulture The horticulture scenario of the country is rapidly changing. The production and productivity of horticultural crops have increased manifold. Research system in horticulture is now geared to provide necessary technological support to the expanding horticultural industry. Automation is the key for development in this field. We help farmers with our horticultural range by promoting value addition for easy and fast farming. 7
  • 8. Landscape Landscaping enhances property values & visibility. Well-maintained landscapes in business areas send a "We Care" message to the customers, lower perceived job stress and improve worker productivity. Landscapes are found in hotels, hospitals, institutes & parks. Maintaining budgets for this varies from place to place. Quality in budget landscape maintenance equipments adds up to our product profile. Electric Vehicles In recent years, increased concerns over the environmental impact of gasoline cars has brought about renewed interest in electric carts, which are perceived to be more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run and maintain. The cornerstone of our business is the environment, so we do everything we can to protect it at our facilities and in the field. These cars are essentially for “In Campus Use” and are used by corporate, institutes having large campus area for internal movement. This also includes their CSR in terms of reduction of air pollution. Grass Blades has battery operated golf carts and shuttle vehicles for this cause… Product Bag Low cost turf maintenance equipment: Reel Mowers, Aerators, Scarifiers, Dethatchers, Gang Mowers, Rollers, Top dressers & Spreaders Push Mowers: Electric, Gasoline & Manual mowers Lawn Tractors: Regular & Zero Turn Battery operated electric cars & shuttle vehicles Power tools: Chainsaws, Hedge trimmers, Brush cutters Others: Leaf blowers, snow blowers, Power tools, Wood Chippers, Driving Range equipments. 8
  • 9. Target Markets  Forests, Parks, Gardens, Farms, etc.  Corporate Parks, SEZ, Industries, Plants, Schools, Institutes, etc.  Golf Courses, Football Grounds, Other Sports Grounds, etc.  Hotels, Resorts, Farmhouses, Clubhouses, etc.  Government – Railways, Defense, Development Authorities, etc. Associated Brands  Reel Mowers, Edger –  Spreader, Sprayer –  Sod Cutters, Dethatchers, Seeders –  Lawn Mowers/ Tractors –  Turf Maintenance Equipment –  Leaf Vacuum –  Electric Vehicles - 9
  • 10. Competitors  Turf Maintenance Equipment- Ransomes Jacobsen, Toro.  Lawn Mowers/ Tractors/Power Tools- Ratnagiri Impex (Oleomac), Murray, Stihl, Rover.  Electric Vehicle- Club Car, E-Z-Go, Yamaha, Maini. Modes of Selling  Direct Selling At a basic level it may be defined as marketing and selling products, direct to consumers away from a fixed retail location. Sales are typically made through party plan, one to one demonstrations, and other personal contact arrangements. The intention is to market products like Turf Maintenance Equipment, Golf Carts, Electric Vehicles, and Utility Vehicles through the company representatives. The market for these products is scattered and niche. Hence, it is the duty of the concerned regional Sales Head to pinpoint golf courses and other segments to market and sell these products. The company aims to achieve a direct contact with the customer and establish a long term relationship.  Channel Selling: The selling of products through another party where we are not in direct contact with the customer is called channel selling. Grass Blades has appointed dealers in different cities of the country to sell the Horticultural & Agricultural Equipment, Landscape & Turf Equipment. An agreement is made between the company and the dealer on the basis of which business is established. If an order originates from an area where dealer is present, the order is rerouted through the dealer. The company aims to achieve volume sales through the dealer network. Currently the products under STIGATM brand are sold in the market through dealers. 10
  • 11. Pricing:  Dealer Network Price (DNP): It is the price at which the company sells its products to dealers. The STIGATM brand products are available at ex-stock with the company. The dealer chooses to stock them at bulk or order as per requirement.  Suggested Listed Price (SLP): This is price suggested by the company for the product. Generally it is arrived at after a 20-30% markup on the DNP. For direct marketing of product the company quotes SLP to the customer.  Maximum Retail Price (MRP): The MRP is usually a 20% markup on the SLP. The company or dealer cannot sell a product at a price above this mark. Instate sales attract Maharashtra Value Added Tax (MVAT) and out of state sales attract Central Sales Tax (CST). Also, transportation and Octroi is applicable as per norms. Distribution: Grass Blades sources its products from US, Europe and the Far East. Currently only the STIGATM range of products is kept ex-stock. All the other products are sourced on order with the lead time varying from 30 days to 60 days. The logistics support for import is provided by a freight forwarding company appointed by Grass Blades. For inbound logistics Grass Blades has tied up with numerous freight forwarders such as TNT and GATI. The company has a logistics team in place that keeps a track of all the orders. The important thing is to fulfill the commitment given on lead time. 11
  • 12. 4. Product Bag 1. Paladin Mower Honda 4hp engine Width of Cut: 21” or 24” Mowing Head: 11 blade with front grooved roller HOC: 1.6-11mm” Increments, Grass Catcher Optional Accessories: Groomer, Verticutter, Transport Carrier Kit 2. Reel Mower Honda 4hp engine Width of Cut: 20” or 27” Mowing Head: Fixed head with roller HOC: 9-30mm Optional Accessories: Grass Catcher, Sulky attachment with roller, speed reducer kit 3. National Mower 8400 16 HP Briggs & Stratton® “Vanguard” engine Width of Cut: 84” Cutting Units: Three 30” Power Driven Full Floating Heads HOC: 5/8” to 2¼” With Easy to Use Dial-A-Height System Optional Accessories: Rear Roller Scrapers, Anti-Scalp Front Rollers and Vertical Mowing System Attachment 12
  • 13. 4. Turf PM 3084 27 HP Kawasaki or Kohler engine Fuel Capacity: 28 liters Width of Cut: 84” Cutting Units: Three 30” Floating 7- bladed hydraulic head HOC: 1/2” to 2 ½” 5. ESTATE ROYAL 18.5hp Briggs & Stratton Intek engine Hydrostatic Transmission 40” Cutting width, Two collecting/mulching blades 320 litres grass box capacity, 7 litres fuel capacity Cutting height interval 7 pos from 25mm to 90mm 6. AMP RIDER 4hp Traction Motor and 2 1.7hp DC Spindle Motors 75 minutes of continuous cutting time 34" Cutting Width; 1.5" - 4.5" cutting heights No gas refills, No oil changes, No gas fumes, 50% less noise Recharges overnight (16 hours) 7. WIDE AREA WALK 1034 10.5 hp Briggs & Stratton® I/C Engine Variable On-The-Fly System for Forward & Reverse Drive 34" Twin Spindle Cutting Width, 1.5" - 3.5" cutting heights Passive parking brake system Operator zone key electric start and throttle control 13
  • 14. 8. Turbo 53 S Briggs & Stratton Engine 675 series XVS Ready Start Cutting width: 51 cm Cutting height interval: 6 positions from 25 to 90 mm Textile/Plastic 60 litres grass box capacity Collecting, Mulching, Rear discharge 9. Collector 46 EL Briggs & Stratton Engine 500 series XMH Cutting width: 44 cm Cutting height interval: 5 positions from 30 to 67 mm Plastic 55 litres grass box capacity Collecting or Mulching system 10. Brush Cutters SB 51 DS and SB 43 DS Displacement: 47.1cc or 42.7cc Power: 2 kW/2.72hp or 1.4kW/1.9hp Bike Handle, Easy Start Tap & Go Nylon Head, 4 Teeth Blade Weight: 8.8kg or 8.65kg 11. Ex-Car Electric Golf and Shuttle Cart 2 to 14 seater passenger capacity USA Trojan Batteries, USA Curtis Controllers, USA ADC Motor, USA Carlisle Tyres Italian Graziano transaxle 14
  • 15. 5. Objectives  To create awareness of the brand “Grass Blades” and the brands associated with it  To generate leads that are viable and have potential to be converted into customers  To map the account size of these leads  To close sales if leads generated are converted into customers  To trace prospective dealers in select cities for STIGATM 15
  • 16. 6. The Process Pre-Sale Prospecting Pre-approach Approach to preparation before interview the customers Follow up Closing the Handling customer Sales action sale objections presentation 1. Pre Sale preparation: In this stage, I have prepared myself with adequate knowledge about the product I will sell, the company I will represent, the market in which I will sell, competitor knowledge, the client details and various selling techniques to be applied. The company had arranged a 3 day training program for all the interns. In these 3 days we were trained on the products, competitors, market and the selling techniques to be followed for the various segments like Golf-courses, Hotels and Resorts, Institutes, Real-estate and Construction Companies, Factories and plants, Government and Municipal bodies. 2. Prospecting: The process of identifying potential customers who have a need for the products and services offered by the company, the ability to pay for it, and the adequate authority to buy it is called prospecting. I was provided with a raw database of Chennai, Bangalore and Orissa during the training period along with their contact details. My primary task was to identify the decision maker for e.g., curator of a stadium, purchase manager of a firm, Executive engineer for a Government body, etc. I identified the prospects by making cold calls and introducing the company and the product bag through emails. After this process , a meeting is usually set up on the same day or a day convenient to the prospect. 16
  • 17. 3. Pre-approach before interview: Before I approach the customers with the interview it is necessary to develop a strategy by collecting customer data and combining them with the product attributes as a fit for satisfying the individual and organizational needs. Some important attributes like turnover of the company, existing and impending projects, past expenditure and annual budget allocation if available are essential components for any approach. Strategies were developed by combining these data along with the product attributes in order to generate leads Before approaching the customer a FAB analysis is done. FAB stands for features, advantages and benefits of the product to be presented to the prospect. Also a differential advantage analysis with the competitor’s product is done which basically addresses the issue of why our product should be preferred. 4. Approach to the customers: When the prospect is classified and the selling strategy is developed to satisfy the customer needs, a contact is established by me with the potential customer and efforts are made to influence them for a favorable decision. It was essential from my point of view to treat this stage with utmost precision since this step defines the initial interest of the prospect. I maintained the minute etiquettes such as formal dressing, punctuality, exchanging visiting cards, gestures, etc during my approach. Some commonly occurring mistakes that needed checking were:  Disregarding the concept of first impression  Forgetting the goal of obtaining the order  Selling the company’s image than the products  Lack of responses to needs and objections of customers  Overcomplicating with technicality and managerial jargons  Relying on product literature for product information  Talking and arguing instead of listening  Brushing off questions and objections  Failing to ask for the order 17
  • 18. 5. Sales presentation: There is a two-way communication between the salesperson and the prospect during a sales presentation. Here I presented the company’s products and services before the prospect and tried to create and modify their interest into sales realization. While giving sales presentation I have always tried to link the features and attributes of the product with the customer needs so that the gap or conflict and level of customer objection can be reduced in the subsequent stages. If the customer agrees with the opening idea, I have always tried for a possible closure. When the customer looks for more information and probes further I have tried to deliver additional benefits and if the customer is indifferent I have probed him more for further information. At times when the customer has some doubts regarding the product performance and delivery of the brand promise I have arranged for a product demonstration. During the course of my internship I have pitched to various industries. The product bag differs from industry to industry and hence the presentation has to be different each time. Also in some instances the technicalities involved was very high. For instance whenever I have visited a golf course, my technical knowledge about the product was tested. And, one of the most important factors that used to affect the presentation was the question on after sales services. One of the ways in which I tackled this problem was by assuring the prospect a service incentive for the purchase. Service incentive involved fortnightly or monthly complementary visits by the service technicians during the warranty period. Generally, the presentation is done with the help of Power Point. A brief specification and image of the product is presented before the customer. The presentation is accompanied with a physical portfolio of the product bag. 18
  • 19. 6. Handling Customer Objections: Customers make objections after or during the presentation. These objections are many times excuses for not buying. Objections normally pause the sales process because the customer either has not fully understood the product and its benefits, or is not fully in agreement with the salesperson. During a typical presentation, the customer is concerned about various problems that he may face after the purchase. The most important question is on after sales service. Since, all our products involve machinery and moving parts it is imperative to service the product periodically. The customer generally cites example of past experiences with other companies as objection. The objection cannot be handled with an assurance of better performance from our side. To handle this objection, a service incentive is offered or reference of already existing customer is given. The following points should be taken into consideration while negotiating the objections:  Start with highest expectations  Avoid conceding first  Be sure the customer understands the value of a concession  Make concession in small amounts  Admit mistakes and make corrections willingly  Be prepared to withdraw a concession  Avoid split the difference strategy  Do not advertise willingness to concede 7. Closing the Sale: Closing the sale is the goal in any selling process for a salesperson, which comes after the objections are handled effectively, and the customer is satisfied with the presentation and is ready to place an order. Before closing the sale, the customer interest can be judged if they ask for a quotation of the product. The quotation consists of the product details briefly, the unit and total price, tax and transportation charges and payment modes and terms. Once the customer receives the quotation he responds back by raising a Purchase Order (PO). As soon as the PO reaches us the order is logged. When the payment is made in partial or full, the Logistics department issues a delivery order. The invoice for the product is dispatched with the product to the customer’s address. The warranty for the product also starts on the date mentioned in the invoice. 19
  • 20. 8. After Sales Action: A B2B sale is generally not a onetime affair. Any business organization wishes to continue its relationship with the customer for as long as possible. Similarly, Grass Blades maintains the relationship with its customers by responding sincerely to their complaints and problems, 20
  • 21. 7. Lead Generation When you have 50 potential prospects,25 qualified prospects, 17 interviews and you achieve 7 sale, then it is called a successful prospecting. However, lead generation comes into picture during the phase from a qualified prospect to a sale converted. A lead generated may or may not convert to a sale, but a “generated lead” always has the best chance to get converted into a possible sale. So in order to get a sale you have to have a lead generated but not vice versa. Lead generation is a marketing term that refers to the creation or generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business' products or services. So, as the definition says, it is not always important to have a sale, but as long as the consumer is taking interest and making enquiry there is definitely an existing need and you can always fulfill that need. Because, even a simple lead generated can lead to a bigger sale in due course of time if it is well attended to. During my course of internship, I came across with many such leads which converted into a sale or are still in the process of probing. For e.g. during my stay in Cuttack, Orissa I made a visit to the famous Barabati Stadium in the starting days of my stint there. They had a requirement for a lawn tractor. As a routine work, I also did the same sales presentation there. Their reactions were positive but they didn’t place the order immediately. Now, comes the role of the Sales executive to take inference from their reactions and to decide whether it qualifies them as a lead or not. I judged them as a healthy lead and as all other cricket stadiums need approval of the Barabati stadium to do a purchase of machine I kept following up with the lead. Finally after one month of enquiry, demonstration and negotiation they raised a purchase order for the highest value machine available in our product bag. During my stay in Bangalore, I visited Sports Authority of India and did the presentation. The first half an hour of our discussion went in the customer’s dissatisfaction with the service rendered by the current supplier. I listened to him patiently and tried to take him into confidence by citing the advantages of our company’s service and not speaking a word against the competitor’s product. I think this is where my classroom study came handy and it worked. The prospect assured me of an order but as it was a government organization it took time. The back end here at the headquarters did follow up properly and the SAI is going to release the purchase order in September 1st week. 21
  • 22. 8. Follow Up After a lead is generated it’s very necessary to do the follow up for successfully converting it into a sale. For that to happen, we need to keep in touch with the lead at a suitable time according to his or her convenient time which can be done in 3 different ways: 1) By calling the prospect with the help of the number mentioned on the visiting card which is usually collected during the prospect’s interview. 2) By e-mail, if mentioned in the visiting card. 3) By personally visiting if you think the prospect is too interested or the prospect is not responding because he is too busy Some prospects don’t like to get calls directly because of their busy schedule. They rather like the communication via e-mail. I have taken care of these things minutely and I made sure to give calls and e-mails not so frequently. There is a thin line of difference while deciding on the frequency of calls to be made or not to be made. Because reminding the prospect of your existence in the market is also equally important. These things get fine tuned by my experience on field gradually. Personal visits also become a part of the lead follow up when the prospect is usually busy. In Bangalore, I made 4 visits, at times during night also, after I dropped my catalogue there just to explain the product technicality to the director of Lal Bagh Botanical gardens which comes under the agricultural department of the state directly. One more interesting thing I noticed about the lead follow up is using reference when available to take the prospect into confidence and the lead conversion becomes much easier. In Orissa, I met with Mr. A.N. Dhar, chief horticulturist of Bhubaneswar Development Authority. After finishing the presentation, I gave him the reference of Mr. Sutu Ghosh, who is the curator of Barabati Stadium, Cuttack and one of our esteemed clients in Orissa, while citing example of where our products are already being used. To my good fortune, both of them were classmates and Mr. Dhar got a positive feedback from Mr. Ghosh about our product. He immediately placed an order of Rs 5,00,000. So relationship building is an important factor in business as they will help you in making more business. 22
  • 23. 9. Sales Converted In Sales, finally what matters at the end of the day is the amount revenue you are generating or the amount of business you are bringing to the company. These are a few sales guidelines which everyone needs to follow during a sales closure. 1. Create an Opportunity to Reconnect: Whatever your business, ensure that you get more than just one opportunity to showcase your knowledge, skills or products. This follow-up meeting is a great opportunity for reinforcing your target client's recognition and recall of your company and an excellent way of enhancing your credibility. 2. Find a Common Ground: Do not rush your customers into making a purchase. After all, customer loyalty and repeat sales are much more valuable than immediate profit. Instead of hustling your customers, try to find a common ground with them. Find a common interest or hobby to discuss. This will give your customers the chance to get to know you and to stop thinking of you as someone who's merely after their money. By using trust and character as the foundation of your marketing strategies, you can increase your conversion rates, gain bigger sales and create long-term business relationships. 3. Aligning Goals: Get to know your prospect's goals as well as his concerns and perceptions about your product and industry. This will help you improve your business to better serve your clients; it will also help you work out a more effective sales pitch and find a unique selling point on which you can focus. 4. Keep in Touch: Even if a sale falls through, you shouldn't cross your prospect off your marketing list. Keep in touch by sending him useful and interesting information via email; you can use an auto-responder program to automate this. This will help you earn your prospect's recognition. You will also be easier to recall when your prospect needs a product or service in your industry. I’d like to share a closure experience which I had during the three months internship. The first sale of your life is always very interesting and motivating is what I have always heard. I experienced it after one and half months of serious field work, consistency and most importantly perseverance. Though the sales amount is not very eye catching but it lead to many big orders in the later phase of the training program. I went to the famous Ravenshaw University of Orissa. I went to the administration office and spoke to the administration office about my purpose of visit. He immediately guided me to the sports officer of the University. When I had a word with him he asked me to come after half an hour. After one hour of my wait I finally managed to spoke to him. The story started with 23
  • 24. the same old service complaints and spare parts supply worries. I patiently listened to the prospect. I was continuously probed about each and every product for about 30 minutes before which I was quite clearly told that they don’t have any requirement then. But I managed to somehow successfully answer all their queries. But during the probing I managed to somehow gauge that they are willing for the electric lawn mower. Just before finishing the meeting, I enquired the officer by telling “The electric lawn mower is on demand in the entire market as it is priced very low”. I struck gold. He immediately asked me the price and within 10 minutes after speaking to the director, he placed an order. As at that point of time, we didn’t have any dealer in Orissa I have to deliver it at the doorstep of the customer, had to show the demo and had to collect the check too. He also gave me two references out of which one became our customer. 24
  • 25. 10. Results Customer’s Name Place Product Sold Amount Ravenshaw University Cuttack 1 STIGA Collector 46 Rs 15,000 EL (Electric LawnMower) KIIT University Bhubaneswar 1 STIGA Collector 46 Rs 15,000 EL (Electric LawnMower) Barabati Stadium Cuttack 1 STIGA Estate Royal Rs 2,75,000 (Lawn tractor) Indian Plant Feeds Bhubaneswar 1 STIGA Collector Rs 22,500 46EL and 1 STIGA Collector 35 EL (Electric LawnMower) Sarada Mines Belpahar,Orissa 1 STIGA Estate Royal Rs 2,75,000 (lawn tractor) KIIT University Bhubaneswar 1 STIGA Estate Royal Rs 2,75,000 (lawn tractor) Sutu Ghosh (Dealer) Bhubaneswar 3 STIGA Collector 46 Rs 45,000 EL (Electric LawnMower) 4 STIGA Collector 35 Rs 30,000 EL (Electric LawnMower) 1 STIGA turbo 53 S BW petrol lawn mower Rs 40,000 2 STIGA SB 51 Brsushcutters Rs 68,000 1 manual STIGA freeclip Rs 4,200 Fermier Engineers Pvt Chennai 1 STIGA Collector 46 Rs 15,000 Ltd EL (Electric LawnMower) Kone Elevators Chennai 1 STIGA Collector 35 Rs 7,500 EL (Electric LawnMower) Total Rs 10,87,200 25
  • 26. 11. Branding A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. A legally protected brand name is called a trademark. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity - it affects the personality of a product, company or service. There is always a slight confusion in the customer’s mind when the name of the product and company is different. Grass Blades deals in a number of products of reputed brand name namely STIGATM, AriensTM, Tru CutTM, GravelyTM, etc. Even though Grass Blades is the sole distributors of these products in India the challenge is to brand Grass Blades in such a way all problems related to lawn and turf maintenance products is answered at one doorstep-Grass Blades. The positioning of the company states “to give quality solutions that are cost effective and world class at the same time”. The color associated with the company’s logo itself speaks for the business they are in. Also the creativity in the logo characterizes the uniqueness and attention to detail. Any brand starts with a product. To make a mark as a well known and appreciated brand, the product has to be accepted first. There are certain industry specific parameters that determine the quality of a product based on technical composition. Let us now take the example of STIGATM and do an FAB analysis to understand the importance of product in branding. Stiga Products FAB Analysis: Features: 1. Product range includes electric lawn mowers, petrol lawn mowers and lawn tractors. 2. Power tools like hedge trimmers, brush cutters and chainsaws also there in the product bag. 3. Many varieties in petrol and electric lawn mowers like petrol self propelled and push lawn mowers. 26
  • 27. Advantages: 1. Dealer operated network at most of the major cities in India. 2. Price of the products best in the industry till now in comparison with International brands 3. Least delivery period compared to others 4. Company promoters are ex-Jacobsen employees. Benefits : 1. Best Service to the customer as all the dealers are experienced and ex-Oleomac and Honda dealers 2. They get the best quality machine at the lowest possible price with an International repute 3. Customers stay in direct touch with Company’s sales and Service guys, so they feel more safe when they need service 27
  • 28. 12. Dealer Management Grass Blades is the sole distributor of STIGATM products for the Indian Sub-Continent. They have appointed dealers in major cities such as Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Calcutta, Goa, Bhubhaneshwar, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Indore, and Coimbatore as channel partners. The dealers are sold products on DNP. On the grass root level, it becomes important to understand the dynamics of the local market where one intends to market and sell a product. How do we connect with these customers, understand their needs and service them with promptness, is something that Grass Blades had to introspect. The answer is someone who understands the area, already doing business there and is willing to stock up the products for sales. These are some of the basic requirements that the company demanded from the prospective dealers. As discussed earlier, with STIGA TM the company intends to do sales based on volumes. With the appointment of dealers as channel partners in select cities the company aspires to fulfill recurring orders because a Point of Sale (POS) is created. Part of the internship program was also to tap prospective dealers at select cities. One such City was Cuttack, Orissa. And I managed to tap one such dealer in Cuttack who has ordered for more than the amount ordered by any other dealer in any other part of India. I was a bit lucky though. All this started when I went to the most prospective client anyone would love to have, Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. I managed to impress the treasurer and the administration officer of the stadium during the presentation. Barabati Stadium not only is itself a big prospect but also it has the power to approve all other Cricketing Stadiums in Orissa. After 3 weeks of continuous follow up, I again got a call from the stadium. This time he was the curator of the Stadium. He grilled me about the price and the service conditions. He also enquired me about the dealers in Orissa. When he came to know that we are interested in finding potential dealers in that region he also shown his interest in becoming a dealer. After a proper dealer qualification procedure which includes gauging his spending capacity, his contacts, service facility and his business interests he was appointed as a dealer of the company in that region. As he was already in the landscaping business he managed to bag many big orders along with the Barabati order in a very short span through his contacts in entire Orissa. Barabati order qualified us as a known player in the market and helped us to bag many small orders too from other corporate offices like Infosys, etc. 28
  • 29. 13. Suggestions 1. The back end office should do effective follow up. Initially the job assigned to us was only of lead generation. While generating leads I have been constantly asked by the prospects to provide them with a product price list. I have asked the back end to provide the prospects with the same but there was either no response or was responded very late. This may lead to lose some very prospective customers in future. 2. Stiga products should be distributed through a dealer operated network only It was noticed during the training period that products like lawnmowers, tractors and brushcutters have high demand. And those who need it come asking for it. Dealers who are well known for their service receive maximum orders for these products. We need to tap these dealers in every region of the country and should distribute our products through them, as they have their own set of fixed customers which will come to them only. Dealers should be qualified very carefully based on their level of interest in dealing with our products 3. Customer base at Mumbai needs to be stronger. Mumbai, being the head office of the company, needs to back it up with sales. Opearations in Mumbai started from October 2009, but sales figures in Mumbai are not so pleasing. Nor the dealers operating in this region are producing interesting results. A proper experienced sales team should be appointed for better results. 4. A separate sales team for marketing Fiora Cars and Garia golf Carts needs to be appointed. These are products that need a certain level of expertise to present and generally the clientele is corporate honchos. Hence, a dedicated sales team is required for this section. 29
  • 30. 14. Summary This company and industry was new to my knowledge. The industry is still largely unorganized and it is companies like Grass Blades who are trying to bring some organized structure in place. When a certain industry becomes organized it is easy for the consumer, because now someone is accountable and cannot just sell and leave. ‘ Being a Startup company, I was involved right from the strategy phase to implementation phase for many activities. This experience has given me new perspective on business management. The company has an open door policy and nowhere during the course of my internship did I have a feeling of not belonging there rather I felt as a part of that organization and it increased my zeal and determination to perform better and deliver. Majority of the consumers of turf/lawn maintenance equipments and power tools are unaware of the presence of branded products available in the market at rates which fit their budget. This communication was one of the objectives I tried to convey to the prospects during my internship. Similarly, the generation of leads which formed a formidable database for the company was my primary objective. Also, I was involved in the process of dealer tapping for some major cities in Maharashtra. Sales is not everybody’s cup of tea. However, if someone is passionate, patient and dedicated to it then there is no limit to which one can elevate to. 30
  • 31. 15. References Panda, T. K., & Sahadev, S. (2009). Sales and Distribution Management. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. www. grassblades.net www.stiga.com 31

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