Sales Management Essay Research Paper Question 1a1a1

Sales Management Essay, Research Paper Question 1a1a.1 The definition and the role of personal face-to-face selling. According to Fill (1999) personal selling can be defined as:?An

Sales Management Essay, Research Paper

Question 1a1a.1 The definition and the

role of personal face-to-face selling. According to Fill (1999)

personal selling can be defined as:?An

interpersonal communication which involves face to face activities undertaken by

individuals, often representing an organisation, in order to inform, persuade

or remind am individual or group to take appropriate action, as required

by the sponsors representative.?It implies a life two-way

interactive dialogue between buyer and seller.?

The quote from Fill, suggests that personal selling may well ultimately

be about making a sale, but that is not its only function.? It can contribute considerably to the organisation

both before and after a sale has been made.?

Personal face-to-face selling is about finding information, persuading

customers through two-way communication. In terms of customer

management ?personal selling is a crucial element in ensuring customers past

purchase satisfaction, and in building profitable long term buyer seller

relationships built on trust and understanding.?? (Miller & Heinemarn 1991) ??????????????????????????????? Personal face-to-face

selling is important in the life assurance industry.? If for example you do not like a TV advertisement you can turn it

off, if an envelope looks like a mailshot, you can put it in the bin

unopened.? But if a sales representative

was on your doorstep, it is a little more difficult to switch off.? A person has a much greater chance of

engaging your initial attention, than an advertisement does. Life assurance can be very

complicating to perspective clients, and they may have questions, which the

sales rep can answer, or respond to situation sales rep may find themselves in

to prevent themselves from being shut off completely.Advertising can be targeted

within broad parameters, but even then there will be many wasted contacts, and

each of those wasted contacts will cost the company selling life assurance

money. Therefore utilising sales

reps will allow the company to weed out inappropriate contacts earlier on and

concentrate its efforts on those who offer a real prospect of making a

sale.? Thus the personal selling effort

can begin properly with persistence until satisfactory answers are received. Various means of life

assurance advertising cannot tell the impact it will be having on the

perspective clients whether they understand it, or whether they think it is

relevant to them.? Therefore personal

face-to-face interaction will help overcome these problems.? The representative will make sure the client

understands, and industry jargon or facts and figures, and go over it again and

again from different angle.? The

representative can also see if something has caught the attention of the

client, such as product developments linking life assurance with unit trusts or

mortgages for example pension plans, investment bonds, health insurance, and

endowment policies.? The sales rep

therefore will be able to tailor the message to emphasise that feature or

benefit. Due to the sales rep selling

life assurance and the perspective client being face to face, the sales rep can

create a unique approach that matches the moods and needs of each perspective

client. Personal face to face

selling also helps implement customer relationships management areas, an the

creation of long term mutually beneficial buyer ? seller relationships is

recognised an extremely important to the health and profitability of the life

assurance industry.? The life assurance

market is huge and there are a combination of financial institutions offering a

diversified product range, as well independent financial advisors, direct sales

forces appointed reps, banks selling life assurance products, the therefore

market is very competitive.? Sales reps

at this point are the public face of the organisation, and their ability to

carry out the organisations message professionally and confidently can affect

judgement of that organisation and what it stands for.? The sales force has a crucial role to play

in both creating, maintain and developing personal relationships with

clients.? This will aid the life

assurance company information gathering as it will become easier, as the sales

rep will be able to find out more about the client purchasing philosophy by

having a friendly chat over a drink, than any formal inquiry or survey. Personal face-to-face

selling is affected by various direct marketing techniques such as

telemarketing and Internet marketing.?

Telemarketing can be defined as a planned and controlled activity that

creates and exploits a direct relationship between the customer and seller,

using the telephone.? Telemarketing can

either be inbound or where the potential customer to call the organisation,

which is used not only for direct response advertising but also for customer

care lines, competitions and other sales promotions. Or outbound telemarketing,

where the organisation contacts the potential customer. 1a.2 Telemarketing Personal face to face

selling is expensive as it is extremely labour intensive, and costs include,

travel, accommodation and other expenses, that is why in the life assurance

industry organisations have to be sure what the sales force is for, and what it

is actually doing cannot be achieved by any other means.? As telemarketing is not simply about high

pressure selling, but telemarketing is providing a whole range of marketing

tasks such as: ●generating leads ●screen leads before

follow up ●arrange appointments

for sales reps ●direct sales ●encourage cross up

selling ●dealer support ●account servicing ●market research ●Test marketing and

brand developmentOn an operational level

telemarketing improves customer service, to build trust, empathising with the

customer and understanding and being able to communicate with confidence the

product benefits relevant to the listener.?

Telemarketing does provide

the services that a sales rep does, selling face to face, as long as the call

centre staff are well trained, and the basis for using this method is that

selling by telephone will reduce the cost of providing life assurance products,

and research from data monitor (European Business Teleculture 98) found that

many people do accept these calls and in some cases actually enjoy them.? MORI however conducted research and found

that 75% of respondents preferred face-to-face contact with sales agents.? Personal selling face to

face however helps builds relationships between the buyer and seller, and

because there is a high turnover of staff in telemarketing relationship

building becomes more difficult, with clients in the life assurance industry. 1a.3 Internet Marketing The potential audience for

Internet usage is very high and more and more homes and businesses are

connected to the Internet.? The Internet

has revolutionised the way in which transactions are done, and has reduced

transaction costs for life assurance companies, when sales reps formed a major

part of the selling process.? The

internet is also available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, which gives life

assurance companies flexibility in terms of getting the men across to potential

clients.? Therefore the Internet

improves the service information and advice given to customers.? There has been a reduction in the number of

sales reps in the life assurance industry, due to internet marketing providing

the following benefits: – ●relatively

inexpensive to create compared to high costs associated with sales reps. ●equal access

opportunities ●quick and easy to

refresh and update, therefore saving time and money with training ●open all hours with

no constant support staff required ●can provide cost

efficiencies e.g. collecting information via the web reduces staff for other

activities. ●global reach ●the Internet can act

as an aid to the selling process rather than a replacement.Using telemarketing and

Internet marketing can provide a sales manager with sustainable competitive

advantage. Question 1b1b.1The life assurance industry

is perceived to be ridden with con people, as a report by the securities and

investments board (SIB) suggests that 1.5million people may have been wrongly

advised to opt out of company pensions. This reflects badly on sales management

and sales people involved in the life assurance industry, as motivation of

selling in the industry is perceived as being commission based advisers who

offer unsound advice for the purpose of making a sale.? Due to the public unease

with regards to the financial services the Personal Investment Authority (PIA)

was set up in 1994 to regulate all types of investment business conducted

within the private sector. The services offered by PIA

ensured that investors received appropriate investment advice from a firm

regulated by the PIA.? The PIA also

ensured that members operate to the highest professional standards including

life assurance and, provides a mechanism for redress (PIA Ombudsman) if members

provide poor investment advice.Taking into consideration

the negative of the sales person it is important that the selling techniques

and sales approaches are improved in the assurance industry, to win back

customer confidence. 1b.2 Selling services The selling approach of life

assurance will depend upon the customer needs, and because life assurance in an

intangible service, the task of selling life assurance is more difficult than

selling services.? Therefore the

providers of the services must be highly trained in sales techniques and sales

negotiation.? Also attention should be

paid to image building, so that the life assurance company is seen as stable

reliable institutions with a friendly and no-intimidating attitude, therefore

creating an atmosphere of trust between the buyer and seller, thus implementing

a customer benefit approach. For the customer benefit

sales approach to be successful it is important that the company selling life

assurance has a customer based structure, which is designed to reflect the

needs of the different types of customers.?

The reason for implementing this strategy is due to the fact that

financial institution selling life assurance are now full financial

institutions, offering a range of services.?

This approach has an attractive logic on the sales representative can

develop detailed industry knowledge and form long-term personal relationships

with the customer.? The customer based

sales approach ensures a better match between the support and expertise needed

by the customer and the skills of the sales rep selling life assurance. Research by Pards (1997)

suggests that the customer based approach from the customers perspective found

that, due to developing a relationship between the buyer and seller, meant the

seller?s attention being focussed on the customer, which gave real added

value.? This make the selling of life

assurance a more augmented product, as more is on offer than the service

itself. 1b.3 ?Relationship selling Selling techniques in the

life assurance industry can be improved substantially by developing

relationships with customers, so that a relationship is based on trust, where

the life assurance company having full regard of customers need this will

enable customer retention, as life is about acquisition and retention. The relationship with the

customer is the most important asset a company has, therefore the sales manager

must understand what happens when the sales rep meets the client.? This will allow the sales rep to identify the

relevant stages in consumer behaviour and adapt to the most appropriate selling

approach.? By implementing this tactic

it will perceive the life assurance company as having similar values as the

customer, allowing the relationship to develop further. As mentioned earlier, that

research from Pardo suggested a customer-based approach, as it gave the selling

approach a value added dimension.? To

take research from Pards even further, so as to enhance the customer benefit

approach and relationship selling, by companies offering life assurance to

implement follow up and account management, as the relationship with the

customer stills needs to be cultivated and managed.? In order to maintain the relationship, the sales rep or even a

customer care manager will ensure that the client is regularly sent new product

information.Personal contacts maintains

relationship with customers, and as clients will be passing over confidential

information for assessment, this will be made easier an there will be a history

of experience, trust and respect which has been built through personal

contacts. Question 2No matter how good the life

assurance is or other promotional elements are, the sales rep has to show the

customer the benefits of dealing with the life assurance company that is why

the management of the sales force is very important.Sales management will

provide an essential link between the organisations strategic marketing plans

and the achievement of sales objectives by the sales reps. Therefore it is

essential that the sales manager ensures that the selling effort fits with the

overall tasks specified in the marketing plans and strategy. 2.1 Sales planning and strategy The sales plan will outline

the objectives of the selling effort and details of how the plan should be

implemented.? The plan will arise from

the marketing objectives set for the life assurance products and market share

etc.The sales plan will

interrelated by three factors (i) sales objectives (ii) sales organisation and

(iii) sales coverage and deployment. 2.1.1 Sales objective A general sales objective is

the sales target to be achieved by the sales force as a whole, and a more

specific objective will be for individuals within the sales force. Sales objectives are

essential to measure progression and motivation of the sales force selling life

assurance.? The general sales objectives

will be a quantitative measure, i.e. to gain 30% of life assurance industry

market share by 2002.? This is to avoid

the dangers of chasing low profit or to lesson the temptation to reduce margins

to generate more sales volume. The life assurance sales rep

as an individual will be given sales quotes, i.e. ?x number of life

assurance polices to be sold in a year.? However, due to the negative

image of the industry, performance targets in terms of follow up sales calls,

call frequency should be implemented, to develop relationship with the client. 2.1.2 The sales organisation

The sales organisation of

the company selling life assurance will already be created, therefore the sales

manager will have to organise the sales force in terms of a customer benefit

approach, as described in question 1b. By developing relationships with

customers so it becomes easier to sell other financial products and services to

them. 2.1.3 Sales coverage and

deploymentThe life assurance market is

very large, therefore the sales force should be sufficient to cope with the

market.? A number of factors need to be

considered her, such as calling frequency required for each customer, the sales

representatives time division between administration, selling and repeat calls.

Taking these factors into

consideration, the size and deployment of the sales force will not be fixed,

but varied according to opportunities. 2.2 TelemarketingThe

growth of telemarketing along with increasingly cost per personal sales calls

have made companies selling life assurance policies think more carefully about

when, where and how to employ the sales team.Therefore

calls centres will be created and a system, which is used by Abbey National

Direct which recognises the telephone number from which an inbound call

originates, and can route the call to the staff member who dealt with that

customer the last time they called.This

will allow personal relationships to develop with the customer and the life

assurance seller as well as providing consistency. As the one to one

relationship develops it becomes easier for the staff member to sell other

financial products to that customer i.e. PEPs and Equity Plans.Outbound

calls will also be made, as a care call, or to take any corrective action,

which will aid the life assurance policy holder to be loyal.Depending

upon the distribution channels used for selling the life assurance polices,

call centres can be within the company or specialist call centre can be hired

to handle outbound telemarketing.? A

company called ADS Telemarketing provides a range of services including data

enhancement, mailing follow up, customer reactivation, lead generation,

appointment selling, market research and brand development. 2.3 Methods of distributionDue

to the vast range and complexity of product channel combinations, there are six

main types of channels used for selling life assurance products:1)

The independent

financial advisor. (IFA?s) 2)

Direct sales forces. 3)


representatives 4)

Bancassurance 5)

Mail and advertising 6)


the purpose of selling life assurance three main distribution channels should

be implemented.●Bancassurance ●Mail

and Advertising ●TelephoneReasons

for not using distribution channels 1, is that there has been accusations that

IFA?s sold policies on the basis of most lucrative commission.Reasons

for not using distribution channel 2, is that their loyalty changes depending

which company they work for. There is also the danger of high-pressure sales.Reason

for not using distribution channel 3, is because Bancassurance is preferable,

as they sell only life assurance products, which will be the company I am the

sales manager of.Mail

and Advertising reflect the importance of marketing, as the life assurance

industry faces growing competition for people?s savings from other financial

institutions. Marketing will also help in cleaning the tarnished image of the

life assurance industry. 2.4 Direct MarketingDirect

marketing has grown to be the significant element of the communication mix, as

it will add on extra dimension to elements of the promotional mix.My

purpose for using direct marketing will be used as a direct response mechanism,

as we will engage in a number of TV and print advertisements. This strategy

will be used as a means of attracting and retaining customers.Our

direct marketing activities will consists of direct mail, telemarketing,

Internet marketing and direct response mechanism.The

biggest benefit of using direct marketing is to build an on-going relationship

with an individual customer, so that the customers trust and confidence grows

with my company. We will also capitalise on this by analysing the customer

needs and purchasing habits in order to tailor future offerings to fit that

customer profile.Direct

marketing will also enable to create loyal customers, as we have entered into a

dialogue with them, and have their needs and wants met through tailoring

offerings, which will make it hard for competitors to poach them. Direct

mail will allow us to communicate at length and in depth with our customers


Internet will make easier for us to locate our target segment, and also it will

be cost effective for us to build direct responses mechanisms, as a higher

proportion of the audience reached will be interested, then a relatively high

response rate can be expected.2.4.1 Sales costsCommunication

is becoming very expensive, therefore direct response advertising, followed by

direct mail activity will prompt the customer into action, which will be cost

effective for us.2.5 No

matter how good the life assurance is, or other promotional elements, the

representatives will have to show the customer the benefits of dealing with our

life assurance company. That is why management of the sales force is very

important, which is part of the sales plan involving recruiting, training,

management, motivation and compensation of my sales force. 2.5.1 RecruitmentIt

is important to begin recruitment by developing a profile of the type of person

we are looking, which will lead to a list of ideal skills characteristics of

the representative to be recruited. Job Analysis The

job will involve selling, as well as concentrating highly on customer

relationship management. The applicant should therefore be able to perform

sales tasks in line with company policies. ManpowerAfter

the job analysis, manpower planning is important, in order to achieve the

organisations objectives. The life assurance market is huge, therefore staff

will be required, to perform personal selling activities, telemarketing and

Internet marketing activities. The most commonly used formula to asses the size

of sales force is described below as an example.The Inputs C

= number of customers F

= average frequency of calls per customer year L

= average number of calls per representative day N

= average number of selling days per representative per year The

Calculations Stage

1 T = C x F = total number of calls per year Stage

2 D = T / L = total number of selling days required per year Stage

3 S = D / N = number of sales representatives required Source:Russel, F. A (1997) Textbook of salesmanshipIt

will not be necessary for new recruits to have experience as they will be

trained in our own methods, as experienced sales reps may come with bad habits

and other organisation weaknesses. Source of Sales recruitsRecruits

will be mainly from educational establishments. Reason being that a

relationship is developed between the company and the new recruit, which will

help enhance the relationship of the sales rep and the customer. SelectionThe

selection process will be designed to draw out evidence of the ability that the

candidate can perform the specified tasks.?

In view of making the right choice, in addition to normal interviews and

reference procedures psychological tests to access the personality of the

candidate as the job entails a lot of customer interaction.2.6 TrainingThe

recruitment process only provides the raw material, therefore training will be

given for better sales performance. Training will not only be for new recruits,

but for existing staff, even well established staff for skills refinement and

upgrading.? For

new recruits training will given in knowledge of life assurance products, so

they understand what they are selling.Selling

skills are also important, therefore depending on where the recruits are based

i.e. call centre, on the road, appropriate training will given to improve

standards in the selling of life assurance products, in a customer benefit

approach. 2.6.1 Competency testing for sales people.All

people involved in selling life assurance products must take an independent

test to assess their level of knowledge of the life assurance industry and its

products and services.Anyone

who actively engages, advices or assists in completing a proposal for a member

of the public has to pass the course.?

This includes sales staff of life assurance companies who give advice.The

only exemptions apply to holders of certain equivalent or higher qualifications

(eg.A.C.I.I) or sellers of ?limited? products ranges.2.6.2 RegistrationAnyone

who sells a life assurance product is included in a central Registry of Life

Assurance Sales people. The objective of the register is to protect the

customer by establishing and maintaining sales standards and to improve the

standing of those who sell life assurance.The

included on the register are: Sales staff employed by the life assurance

company Anyone assisting or advising the public. The

register includes information on the name, address, and date of birth of each

salesman as well as his or her status, qualifications, details of current

employment. Each

salesperson is also assigned an individual registration number which is carried

with him/her from one employer to another. Every proposal form filled out by the

salesperson will quote the number. 2.7 ManagementHaving

a mixture of telemarketing, and having a team of sales reps visiting the

customers will accomplish the management of the sales force. The telemarketing

will be more focused on building relationships.Territory

management will be configured and sales reps will be assigned to certain

territories. Potential customers will receive direct mail, which will require a

response from them to matters further.Territory

management will allow us to strengthen our customer relationships as 9/10

repeats sales occur due to good relationships. It will also help in evaluating

the sales force and co-ordinating selling with other functions.The

sales reps time will be structured to maximise productive time and minimise

wasted time i.e. maximising customer contact time, which will allow the company

to maximise sales and profit potential of each territory.2.8 MotivationAny

sales effort requires motivated sales people, as the motivated seller will sell


recruits joining the sales force will be sufficiently rewarded for their

achievements so that are not easily poached by the competition. Besides

financially based motivation factors other methods will be used.Team

activities will take place to create a sense of belonging to a team can be

important.? Bringing the representatives

back to HQ for regular team meetings, seminars and briefing will help foster

team spirit. This will allow an opportunity for the team to share the views and

experiences. Training programmes will also play a part in reaching employees

that they are valued. Representatives

whether on the road or in the call centres will be involved in managerial

activities, such as developing their own sales plan, an it will give the sales

rep a greater sense of control over their own working as well as there is an

open an co-operative management.Mechanisms

for regular feedback will also be devised through a direct data link, which

will make them feel they are offering more than just selling expertise.I

as the sales manager will create healthy rivalry between sales rep, through

sales contests, items that are seen as valuable and achievable. Contest will

not be focused on sales figures, but on a range of important activities, such

increased penetration of existing accounts.2.9 CompensationsThe

compensations method to be employed will be straight salary compensation plan,

as it is more appropriate on our aim is to encourage the representation to

spend time developing relationships with the customers.? However bonuses will be awarded similar as a

profit sharing scheme. This is to find an appropriate balance between income

and incentives.Fringe

benefits will include free medical insurance, a generous expense account, paid

holidays and sickness leave, to keep the staff happy.2.9 Performance EvaluationMonitoring

and controlling an individuals selling activity is vital therefore there will

be a systematic means of gathering account information on a weekly basis from

the sales rep. From a strategic point of view, this will help is assessing the

general impact of marketing policies at account level.Performance

will be measured in qualitative and quantitative terms, which will allow me to

find explanations for a particularly good or bad performance, which will

indicate the need on training or motivation. Section B Sales Force

automation Because the cost of

maintaining a direct sales force is high, sales force productivity is an

important issue for sales managers.? In

many industrial organisations, sales force costs are the largest single

marketing expense item.? A typical sales

rep will have a car, mobile phone, expense account and bonus scheme, but there

are limits to the number of customers that can be met in any particular

day.? Many organizations complain that: ·

Sales force

effectiveness is difficult to measure; ·

Potential business

leads slip through the net; ·

Vital customer

information remains hidden on scraps of paper or in the sales representative?s

head; ·

If a sales

representative leaves the company, important customer information also leaves; ·

Sales representative

are always busy but the sales results are often mediocre; ·

Bonus schemes fail to

encourage sales teams to greater efforts.In response, companies

have looked at various methods of automating the sales force (SFA) to improve

productivity and increase sales.? The

technologies and tools that companies use to automate their sales forces vary

significantly, it is like creating a virtual office in the car.The Yankee Group, a

consultancy company, has identified three separate generations of SFA tools: ·

Generation 1: personal

information and contact management.? The

first generation of SFA tools, products such as ACT!, Goldmine and Maximzer,

was designed to help sales representatives to manage contacts and time and

increase their selling effectiveness.?

Such powerful time- and contact-management tools had not existed

previously and were accepted quickly and enthusiastically. ·

Generation 2: networked

contact management.? The second

generation of tools was essentially networked versions of the first, connecting

the contact-tracking database and personal productivity tools of the sales

force with the corporate network, contact and prospect database.? Sales representatives were equipped with

laptop computers that they synchronised or ?replicated? with the corporate

network each day. ·

Generation 3:

technology-enabled selling.? The third

generation of SFA has its primary focus on making the sales force effective

where it matters most: in front of the customer.? The new generation of tools allows sales representatives to

configure products, prepare proposals, give illustrations and quotes, and track

orders, using their laptops.The benefits of SFA can be

significant. ?HP foods, for example,

which sells a variety of food products through shops and supermarkets, replaced

its traditional sales force of 100 representatives with 12 business development

executives equipped with mobile phones and computers, thus making significant

cost savings without compromising service quality.? The business case for automating the sales force does not have to

stop with the sales representatives.? If

it is extended further into the organisation, the benefits are far more wide

reaching.? Campbell?s Soup, for example,

invested $30mn in SFA for some 1000 sales representatives, sales

administration, marketing, operations and IT employees in the USA and

Canada.? The New Jersey-based company,

with customers including supermarket chains, other grocery retailers and food

service vendors such as KFC and McDonald?s, targeted savings of more than $18mn

annually through shorter order-cycle times, more accurate invoicing and better

control of funds used for product promotions.?

Campbell?s efforts cut across a wide range of functions; distribution,

pricing, invoicing, settlement and accounting.SALES MANAGEMENT BS535-3 FROM: FAYAZ PATEL TO? : JOHN WARD