Ethics & Sales Managers Essay, Research Paper
Ethics and Sales Managers.
Sales managers play very important roles in developing and creating a sales force and a sales strategy that is based and focused on ethical concerns. Slaes managers have the ability to influence the ethical atmosphere of a company or organization during the selection and strategy developing process. Most likely they will be involved directly when the hiring process begins. They will also be accountable for training of the new team of sales representatives. It will be within a mangers job description to develop and implement a code of ethics. He or she will have to teach it during the training period and enforce from there on.
When managers are making decision that concerns ethical issues, there are various factors determining the outcome of the decision. ” Personal moral philosophy” is one of the factors. This idea is based primarily upon some ethical theories relating to deontology, teleology, and ethical skepticism. : Within this framework, individual’s moral philosophies can be parsimoniously represented by the extent to which they are relativistic and idealistic. Although empirical studies have examined moral philosophy and it’s impact on the ethical decision making of marketers to date, there has not been a large-scale national study of sales managers’ moral philosophies. The perception exisits that those in sales and sales management have lower ethical standards than those in other business occupations” (Bass; Barnett and Brown, 1998).
For years, public perception towards sales persons has been wined down to having low ethical standards. This negative perception creates a problem for the sales profession. Well-qualified people hesitate when initiating a career in this area with the reputation it carries. This is why it is is somewhat difficult to develop an effective sales mechanism where it would satisfy every party involved.
Some reasons for this low perception for sales people are sales visibility, intense competitive pressures, reward systems, and the boundary- spanning role of the sales function. It is possible that the sales profession is envisioned poorly ethically wise, not for the profession itself but for the self-selection process of an individual with weak ethical philosophy to enter themselves into that career. It means that some individuals with different ethical philosophy and standard could enter the sales profession since certain types of behaviors are not seen as unethical by these people.
There is no evidence however that there is anything considerably different about sales professionals or about their ethical standards. To date, however, there is some evidence that sales managers differ from others in the terms of moral philosophy. In one study, Dubinsky and Gwin (1981) fount that salespeople were less sensitive to ethical problems than their buyers. Singhapakdi and Vitell (1992), conversely, discovered no significant differences between those in sales and other marketer on perceptions of ethical problems. One difference was that those in the sales profession where most likely to rate self-interest above the interests of others. Henthorne, Robin, and Reidenbach (1992) found that sales managers were less critical of unethical behavior than other managers”.
Ethical Situations in Sales.
Sales managers face ethical situations with not just their company they work for but also with the sales force itself and the customers. One situation that is very common in this business where ethical decisions are to be made is with regards to the sales force. Companies will many times assign certain areas to sales representatives so that they can “build a territory into a profitable territory for sales”. When representatives that work hard and put a lot of time and effort into the realization of the territory to become profitable and starts having high earnings, an executive might decide to split the territory. Management may also take over the territory saying it is a very important territory for sales representative to be handling.
When sales managers change jobs there are many ethical implications that are of a concern. A manager may want to persuade employees that worked for him to go work for him at the new job. Sometimes, the manager may have knowledge that is critical to the success of a sale in that particular market and therefore jeopardize the market share of the company that he or she worked for.
When it comes to customer sales, sales representatives may not educate the customer to its full so that they can make an informed decision on the product they are going to purchase. Unethical sales personnel may oversell products for their own personal commission benefit. It is important to avoid gift giving that is unethical or in bad taste. There are some guidelines that can be followed to avoid these mistakes. A gift should never be given before a customer does business with the firm. Gift should not be given to customer’s spouses. The value of the gifts should be kept confidential to avoid the appearance of undue influence on future purchase decisions. Some good ways of maintaining relations with customers are through entertainment. But the money spent on it has to be spent wisely.