Impact of Sales Persons on the Corporate Growth Potentials of a Company

 Impact of Sales Persons on the Corporate Growth Potentials of a Company

Any marketing organization system usually consists of two  sets of dynamic forces within which a firm or company must operate.  The forces are the internal and external environmental  elements.  The internal forces are called the “controllable variables” which comprises the P’s, the products, price, place  and promotion.

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Ikeyi A.A (1993) carried out a research on salesmanship, he  made use of a sample of 300 customers, which were made up of students, apprentices, Businessmen etc.  From the sample, the researcher found out that the complaints by customers was centered  on the plant cation of 7up bottling company.

Promotion which is one of the promo tools consist of advertising, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling.  These controllable variables mentioned above constitutes of a marketing strategies with which to operate in the external uncontrollable environment.

The researcher further highlighted that the external uncontrollable variable consists of competition, general economic conditions, and social norms resection, or the desired response.  Personal selling from this therefore, could be seen as an important issue in the company’s internal marketing variables.  Any combination of other internal variables, not properly blended and if sales force is not adequately recognized or is neglected, sales would be scarcely achieved.

The sales force  can been seen as an indispensable persuasive communication instrument  of an organization.

Okeke C.I (1993) says that the sales force in modern marketing is nationally concerned with selling function or current sales but it is also concerned with laying the function for future sales through the performance of information  gathering function.

From all these indications, the sales force therefore links the organization and their communication act, by passing information from the organization to the customers to the organization to the customer and bring back the reports of the customers to the organization.

John Willms Hurst (1981) has it that “when all the theorists and planners have had their  moment and the production, finance and labour problems have been solved, then someone, somewhere has to go  out and knock on someone’s door and sell.  Advertising and related forms of promotion can often communicate  with customers for more cheaply but personal selling still has “more important role, which is mainly for two reasons.

Personal selling can deal with the whole of selling process, from making initial contact with a customer to  closing the deal and taking the money.

The person to person situation is far  more flexible than other forms of promotion.  An advertisement can only deliver a standard message to the average customer but a trained salesman can establish each customers individual needs and frequently can help to shape the  product to fit these needs.  At worst, those attributes of an existing product that fit in with the customer’s requirements particularly and thus score heavily over alternative, impersonal and methods of persuasive contact.

William (1984) stated that the goal of all marketing efforts is to increase  profitable sales by  for the major promotional method used to reach this  goal.

He further pointed out certain relative merits.  That personal saving has  the advantage of being more flexible in operation.  Sales people can tailor their sale presentation to fit the needs and  behavior of individual  customers.  Also sales saves people can see the customer’s reaction to a particular sales approach  and then make the  necessary adjustment  on the spot.

A second merit of personal selling is that, it permits a  minimum for wasted effort.  In advertising,  much  of the cost is developed to sending the message to people who are in no way  real prospects.  In personal selling, a company has an  opportunity to pinpoint its target market for more effectively than  with any other promotional device.

Martins (1997) in his  research analyzed that the most potent  medium  for selling in any field of merchandising is personal selling.  In direct personal contact with the prospect, the seller has the opportunity to answer, the seller has the opportunity to answer objectives, to meet problems, to follow through to the completion of a sale and get  the signed order, all in one transaction.

He defined personal selling as “very spoken sales message or demonstration by the merchandiser or any of his representative directed to the purchaser or prospective purchaser.

In his write up, he pinpointed that any go out and knock on someone’s door and sell.   Advertising and related forms of promotion can of ten communicate with customers for more cheaply but personal selling  still has a more important role, which is mainly for two reasons.

Personal  selling can deal  with the whole of selling process, from  making  initial  contact with a customer to closing the deal  and taking the money.

The person to person situation is for more  flexible  than other forms of promotion.  An  advertisement can only deliver a standard  message to the average customer but a trained salesman can establish each customers individual  needs and frequently can help  to shape the product to fit these needs.  At worst, those attributes  of an existing product that fit in with the customer’s requirements particularly and thus score heavily over alternative, impersonal and methods of persuasive contact.

William (1984) stated that the goal of all marketing efforts is to increase  profitable sales by for the major  promotional method used to reach  in this goal.

He further pointed out certain relative merits. That personal selling has the advantage of being more flexible in operation.  Sales people can tailor their  sales presentations to fit the needs and behaviour of individual customers.  Also sales people can see the  customers reaction to a particular sales approach and then make the necessary adjustments on the spot.

A second merit of personal selling is that, it permits a minimum for wasted effort.  In advertising, much of the cost is devoted to  sending the  message to people who are  in no way real prospects.

In personal selling, a company has in opportunity to pinpoint it’s target market far more  effectively than with any other promotional  device.

Martins  (1997)  in his research  analyzed that the most  potent medium for selling in any field of merchandising  is personal  selling.  In direct personal contact with the prospect, the seller has the opportunity to answer objectives, to  meet problems, to follow through to the completion of a sale and get the signed order, all in one transaction.

He defined personal selling as “very spoken sales message or demonstration by the merchandiser or nay of his representative directed to the purchaser or prospective purchaser.

In his  write  up, he pinpointed that  any salesperson to handle a selling program must posses the following attributes :-

Intelligence – This does not mean formal education.  It means the ability to think, to make decision and to act.

Selling requires, probably the value of a prospective place of business and the ability to think fast enough  to produce the reasons and agreements to  close sales.

Knowledge – This doesn’t means general information, but means technical knowledge of the business, the product or the services that are to be sold.

Ability to plan – Because every sales program needs the quality  of continuity, the administrator of such a program have the ability to lay out a careful patterned program and stick to it.

Public  Relation Sense – It is not as intangible as it sounds, but means merely the ability to get along with people, in in-born enjoyment of association with people and above all a generally pleasant disposition.

Horse Sense –  Many people who have  are such complete extroverts that  they do not have the ability to say ‘N” business that will not show a definite profit, or which comes at a time when  you do not need it, as it is to promote  business in general, many people are so “sales mined”  that they are blind to other aspects of good operation.

Phillip Kotler (1993) described personal selling as “the most effective tool at certain stages of the buying process, particularly in building up buyer’s preferences, conviction and action”.  The reason, Kotler enumerated is that personal selling when compared with  advertising has  three distinctive  qualities:-

Personal  confrontation – Personal selling involves an immediate and interactive relationship between two or more persons.  Each party is able to observe each other’s needs and  characteristics at close hand and make immediate adjutants.

Cultivation – Personal selling permits all kinds of relationships to spring up ranging from a matter of fact selling relationship to a deep personal friendship.

Response – Personal selling makes the buyer feel under some obligation for having listened to the sale talk or using up the sales representations time, the buyer has a greater need to attend and respond even if the response is a polite “thank you”.

Kotler P. (1993) has  observed  that sales personal  serve as the company’s personal link to the customers.

The sales representative is the company to many of it’d customers and in turn brings back to the company mush needed intelligence about the customers.

Therefore, the  company needs to give it’s deepest thought to  issues in sales force design, namely developing sales force objectives, strategy, structure, size and  compensation.

Okon (1993) in his analysis says “every product or service marketed, no matter how  technical or non technical, is on the final analysis, dependent for it’s success on the ability of the salesman when confronting a prospective buyer.

Her further pointed  out the fact that under present day  highly competitive conditions, few companies can offer services or products embracing so many advantages that can be marketed without the  aid of efficient salesmen.

Nonyelum G. Nwokoye (1991) analyzed that personal selling is selling don e through person to person contact and a key marketing tool.  It was further analyzed that personal selling is an ubiquitous economic activity.  In developing  economy it normally accounts for the second  highest numbers of workers after farming.

In Nigeria,  there  are hundreds of thousand of traders, shop keepers and hawkers, though some of them are  in it because of limited alternative job opportunities.  Most of these people are self employed, so that a very small fraction are engaged in selling as a paid employment.  The reverse is the case in industrialized countries where the majority of sales people are paid employees, yet selling  accounts for a relatively high percentage of th working population there.

It was further specified that the basic task on selling are three fold:

  1. To locate  prospective buyers
  2. 2.                 To convert prospective  buyers into customers.
  3. 3.                 To maintain customer satisfaction so that repeat sales can be  made over a period of time.

 

Charles D. Schewe (1987) stated that “personal swelling is

related  not only to the selling of goods and services but also to the selling of ideas, activities  and even feelings.

The selling process is simply a way of dealing with people, and thus it is as valuable, as it is in organizational marketing.  Selling is the process of assisting and/or persuading a prospective customer to n buy a goods or  service or to act favourably.

There are further analysis that a sales person can be viewed as the marketing manager  for an entire territory.

But rather than being a mere peddler of products, a salesperson wears many hats.  The core job of the salesperson is to locate prospective customer and convert them into buyers, following up the transaction to ensure that complete satisfaction has been provided, hence marketing  reassured.

Pride and Ferrel (1985) has it that “personal selling is a process of informing  customers and persuading them to purchase products through personal communication in an exchange situation”.  Personal selling gives marketers the greatest freedom to adjust a message to  satisfy customers information needs in comparism with other promotion methods, personal selling is most precise through it marketers can focus on the most promising sales prospects.  Other promotional mix ingredients are aimed at groups pf people, some of whom many not be prospective customers, although personal selling is the most expensive ingredient in promotion mix.

Howerd (1992) analyzed that sales manager should make a periodic assessment of the performance of each of the salesmen under his control.  He should  arrange to visit each member of his sales team in order to asses-

  1. His personal attitude to his job
  2. The degree  of efficiency with he organizes his work.
  3. His effectiveness in face to face interviews with customers.

The following is a suggested check-list of the main factors to be considered in assessing  a salesman’s performance.

Time keeping – Here the sales manager should assess if the salesmen close work to a schedule and is he is punctual  in keeping his appointments.

Personal Appearance – Is he well groomed.  Does he dress in a manner appropriate for his  work.  Does he keep his car in a satisfactory condition.

Enthusiasm – Does he exhibit sufficient interest in his own and the company’s progress, is  he enthusiastic about the work he is doing.

Human Relations –  Does he appear to get on with other people, such as customers, receptionists as well as other members of  the company’s staff.

Loyalty – Is he loyal in his relation with his colleagues? Is he honest in his dealings with his superiors?

Co-operation – Does he co-operate with other members of the  company: sales office staff, technical and accounts personnel.

Receptiveness – Is the receptive to new idea  and new selling techniques.  When he was an opposing viewpoint is the constrictive in his criticism.

Self Expression –  Is he capable of expressing himself clearly? Does he speak and write in a coherent, logical manner.

Uba U.I (1998) in his research  work outlined a number of knowledge that a salesperson should posses:-

  1. Market Knowledge – Does he have or posses adequate knowledge of the customers and potential customers of his territory? Does he know the class of merchandise and pattern of business of his individual customers.
  2. Knowledge of competition – Does he have an adequate knowledge of the products of competitors, their marketing pollicies and the customers on his territory to whom they are selling.
  3. Product knowledge – Is  his knowledge of the company’s products adequate to enable him to sell effectively? Does he  understand the process employed by his customers.

John Ikeyi (1994) in his research work, outlined a number of sales skills that a salesperson is expected to have, they include:-

  1. Introduction to new customers – Does  he adopt a satisfactory approach to potential clients? Are the methods he uses currently adjusted to suit  varying customer situations.
  2. Use of question – Does he probe for information with persistence? Are his questions formulated intelligently.
  3. Establishment of customer  Requirements –   How effective is he establishing and assessing customer requirements.
  4. Persuasiveness – Are the arguments which he  advances to promote sales sufficiently persuasive? Is he able to overcome customers objectives effectively.
  5. Closing sales – Is he sufficiently strong in the closing of his sales? Does he give up too easily? Does he push too hard?
  6. Selling the range –  Does he concentrate on too narrow a range of the company products.

According to Howard Elvy (1994) “Good communications within the sales force are essential to the maintenance of salesman’s moral and to ensure that the company’s management are kept fully informed of the markets reaction to it’s policies and the acceptability of it’s  products”.  Considering this “the sales manager is to  prescribe the methods by which his team of salesmen shall report upon their sales.  An efficient reporting system will make a valuable contribution to the  efficiency and effectiveness of the whole sales effort.

To this effect, the salesmen reports are stated below:-

Differences in product range and market served will  affect the choice of reporting method.

The salesperson’s reports goes as follows:

  1. To inform the sales manager of the particular accounts upon whom the salesman has called, the date of his visit and the person he has interviewed.
  2. To indicate the degree of success achieved by the call by means of the value of orders booked.
  3. To bring to the attention of the management any deficiencies in the company’s and product quality by the detailing of complaints.
  4. To inform the sales manger and the accounts manager of any changes in the customer’s situation which may affect his credit-worthiness.
  5. To  indicate the current level of the customers business activity.
  6. To report upon new developments which could result in an expansion or contraction of the level of the customer business with the company.
  7. To report the customer’s reaction to the general state of the market.
  8. To report the activities of competitors

Considering the above, sales force communication should flow  in both directions.  Information from management to the men in the field is quite as important to the smooth and efficient running of the sales department as are the report of the salesmen.

Undeagha A.O and Okete C.I (1993) highlighted that “personal selling unlike advertising, involves persons to person contact or group contact.

In all, it involves a  two  -Wily communication process where it may be face to face or voice as  in telephone conversation all for the purpose of making sales.  Such oral conversation can be very expensive though very effective.  The sales people can tailor their message to suite each customer/prospect and can reverse it on the spot feed back is instantaneous”.

Personal selling tends itself to all procedural process which  includes the preparation, prospecting, pre-approach, approach, presentation, objective handling, close of the sale and post sale service (Stanton 1981),  as quoted in A.O Udeagha and C.I Okeke (1993).

Therefore from the above analysis, it can be found that personal selling can deal with the whole of the process from making initial contact with a customer to closing the deal and taking the money.

 —————-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————–—-

  This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic

IMPACT OF SALES PERSONS ON THE CORPORATE GROWTH POTENTIALS OF A COMPANY

(A CASE STUDY OF SEVEN-UP  BOTTLING COMPANY PLC, ENUGU)

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Impact of Sales Persons on the Corporate Growth Potentials of a Company

 

 

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