Sales Planning and Operations

Introduction

In this task we will do a business report on organisation on the selling process and multi channel selling methods to create a multi channel selling environment. The formal business I have chosen is Konica Minolta.

Konica Minolta South Africa Is owned by the Bidvest group. Konica Minolta stands in the fore front of business solutions providers as the importer and distributor of an awarded range of digital devices, printers, fax machines and business solutions.

Personal Selling

Personal selling can be described as a formal, paid for, personal presentation of aspects of a company to a group or individual. (Robert 1)

Personal selling refers to the presentation of services or the goods before a customer are convinced to buy the product. Personal selling helps increasing the organisations sales and is there for very important.

The personal selling process

Prospecting starts of the selling process by searching for and identifying potential customers for a particular services or product. A qualified prospect is someone who wants or need to have the product, which have enough money to buy the product and is the decision maker.

In the Pre approach stage the sales person must gather information and decide how to approach the prospect. He can gather the necessary information to determine the buyer's needs by personal observation or the buyer account can be explored.

The approach step involves the meeting between the buyer and the salesperson, where the sales person must attain the potential buyer attention, stimulate interest and to build a foundation for the sales presentation.

The need identification step is the step in which the salesperson confirms that the prospect/buyer has money, authority and a desire to purchase.

In the presentation step the salesperson begins converting a prospect into the buyer by creating a desire for the product or service. The salesperson describes the product or services to the buyer and how it would meet the needs of the customer. The seller only focuses on the features the buyer needs. Describing how a feature satisfied the need will be a benefit.

Handling objections is the step when the buyer offers not to buy the product or service. No matter the reason behind the objection the salesperson must acknowledge and convert the objection. The salesperson must probe for the reason behind it, and stimulate further discussion on the objection.

Closing step is where the salesperson obtains a sale of a product or service and creates a customer. When the salesperson asks for an appointment, permission to make a presentation or some sort of commitment is a form of closing the deal.

Follow up/implementation is the final step of the selling process. The salespersons job is to make sure that the customers are pleased with the product or services they received. The salesperson will have the responsibility to make sure that the customer knows how the product or services work. And a regularly follow up to ensure that the customer is still satisfied with the product needs to be done to.

Multi channel selling environment

Salespersons have to take an active role in the supply chain. Selling in a multi-channel selling environment means that sales people and sales managers have to integrate their activities with the other channels through which the organisation sells. Customers want to buy through the channel that is the most convenient and get best service in the most convenient way.

When an organisation is selling in a multi channel environment, it is using a number of methods or channels to accomplish the selling function.

Some of the methods that organisations can use to accomplish the selling function:

  • Internet
  • Call centres
  • Direct mail
  • Sales people
  • Retail stores
  • Distributors

Actions to sell a product

An organisation must first make consumers aware of their product by placing ads in magazines and on internet. Organisation will need to advertise their products if they want their products to sell.

An organisation may also partner with another business to sell each other's products or services.

Promotion events can also be organised to make an organisations product more aware to the consumers. The organisation could tell the potential customers about the benefits or feature about the product or service.

Samples of the product can be given to the consumers for free to make them aware of the products features and to try it for them self.

The organisation can also offer seminars and use it to sell products for example to organise a cooking class if the organisation makes food products.

An organisation needs to advertise their products to make the consumers aware of the product features to successfully sell their products.

Task 2

Introduction

In the following Task we will review the determinants of buyer behaviour and customer relationship management for Konica Minolta.

Buyer behaviour

Consumers make different types of purchasing decisions every day in their lives. Firstly the consumer must determine their purchase priorities and how much money to be allocated for each product or service. Secondly the consumer must consider where to purchase. The level of the decision process may vary from routine to depending on past experiences and also importance of the product category such as a new vehicle or a new home. Consumers tend to engaged in a specific process when making a purchase decision.

The stages of the decision making process implies that consumers pass sequentially through all of the five stages in purchasing a product. Consumers may be able to skip or reverse stages for example when a consumer buys their regularly brand of cold drink they go directly from need for a cold drink to the purchase decision. The buying decision process include psychological and culture factors.

Problem recognition

The buyer decision process begins when a need or a problem occurs. For Konica Minolta when a customer keeps repairing his printer he will then consider to buy a new printer. Because consumers may not always recognise that a problem or need is present, Konica Minolta may use strategies such sales promotion, advertising and sales personal to stimulate consumer awareness of needs or their problem.

Information search

The consumer use internal memory for scanning relevant information on the product or store he we wish to chose and also use external information from variety sources. A more intensive external information search can be derived from several sources such as personal, commercial, public, and experiential sources.

  • Personal sources- Friend and family
  • Commercial sources- Advertising and sales people
  • Public sources- Mass media
  • Experiential sources- Product usage and inspection

The degree of influence on the decision making process of these sources vary depending on the product category and the buyers characteristics. Methods of reducing uncertainty and the risk would be applied depending on the situation. Some buyers will purchase well known brands because they rely on the brands reputation. Buyers that are new to the market may want explore their options and try avoiding risky products or services. Therefore the focus is on low risk and well known brands.

Evaluation of alternatives

When the information has been gathered the consumer must evaluate the sources by creating an evaluation criterion. Consumer motives affect the weighting of alternatives. Product buying motives will include how easy it is for the product to be installed or to make repairs. Emotional motives include emulation, pleasure or prestige. Patronage buying motives will be the reliability of Konica Minolta and their personal attention by their sales people. Each product featured performances would be evaluated and weighted to the importance to the buyer.

Purchase decision

The consumer selects a product from a set of products. A variety of factors may then interfere between the purchase intent and the purchase choice, factors like the attitudes of others and unanticipated factors. Personal influences of friends or family might be important for the consumer who lacks confidence in their ability to evaluate the value of the product. The purchase act includes deciding where to buy, agreeing o the terms of the sale, paying for the product or service and taking delivery.

Post purchase behaviour

After the consumer has made the purchase, the pleasure or displeasure with the product will influence succeeding behaviour. The purchase of a computer may lead to the purchase of a printer. Konica Minolta will be satisfied if the consumer comes back to buy the printer after the consumer bought a computer from Konica Minolta. Dissatisfaction may occur when future purchase behaviour may result in brand switching and negative communication about Konica Minolta with Friends and family. Providing reassuring information that supports the original decision can reduce disagreement.(Ronald 45)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of identifying and grouping customers in order to develop an appropriated relationship strategy so that an organisation can acquire, retain and grow the business. The key to a successful business is to keep the customers satisfied by developing a deeper understanding of their buyers needs and to produce products or services that they need or want. (tanner 96)

The purpose of CRM is to provide a single technology platform for tracking and managing the sales process. CRM offers the opportunity for assigning and managing elements of the sales process to different parties while successfully keeping track of all customers' interaction. CRM can change the sales job content. (David 11)

The sales force will have access to all interactions that have occurred between the business and their customers. They can see contact information and gather information on their customer's interactions with the business service, finance and customer care. The sales professionals can additionally connect the sales with marketing campaigns and advertising. (Robert 101)

Konica Minolta uses the Customer Relationship Management to support the sales, marketing and service department. The sales processes are monitored continuously and are improving a lot. The CRM solution helps Konica Minolta to grow bigger.

Task 3

Introduction

In the following task we will determine the sales force of Konica Minolta and we will decide on a relevant organisational structure.

Size of the sales force

A decision needs to be made to determine how many sales people are needed to serve the potential customers and existing customers. As markets grow the business may slowly add salespersons to serve new customers. Sales managers must assess current sales force and must determine if sales force are too large or too small. Two methods to determine the sales force is the breakdown method and work load method. (tanner138)

The break down method is simple and easy to work out. Sales managers need to divide the forecasted sales for the year with the average sales per sales person. Sales managers know that the sales forecast are often inflated and that not all the sales persons are able to do same sale. The break down method can be useful to determine the size of the sales force as long as that the limitations are taken into consideration.

Konica Minolta will use the break down method because it's simple and easy to use. Konica Minolta forecast that their sales for next year will be R 1.7 million and that the average sales for a salesperson per year will be R465000.

Forecasted sales / Average sales per person

1,700, 000 / 465000 = 3.66 sales persons

The total sales persons that are needed for Konica Minolta to serve their customers and potential customers are 3.66 sales people.

Organisational structure

Sales force structures can be simple as a generalist salesperson who sells all products manufactured by a firm in a discrete geographical area to a specialised sales persons who works with a team of experts to sell certain products to specific markets. There are 4 types of sales organisational structures.

  • Geographical sales structure
  • Product sales structure
  • Market- or Customer based structure
  • Combination sales structure

An organisation that employs a Geographical sales structure depends on physical boundaries to organise its sales force with customer accounts

In a product sales structure an organisation organise its sales activities around related product lines or manufacturing divisions.

Organisations that make use of a market sales structure assign representatives to customers based on their markets (telecommunications, computer, automotives) or by how the product being sold was used, for instance by individual consumers or by business too business.

An organisation utilise a combination sales structure when its sales force is organised based on a mixture of products, markets and geographical factors.

Konica Minolta will be using a Product sales structure. By specialising their product line, the sales force can become expert in the areas of their products. Konica Minolta will be able to be aware based on customer feedback. Konica Minolta can assign a single sales person to sell three different product lines. Which will result in increase customer service levels and increase in sales.

Task 4

Introduction

In this task we will analyse and write a job description for the position of a sales consultant for our business Konica Minolta. The task will also include a suitable recruitment, selection, compensation and reward system for the business Konica Minolta. It's required to appoint five extra sales staff for new expansion plans.

The Job description

According to Scarborough, Wilson and Ziimmerer (2006, p675) a job description is a written statement of duty, errands, reporting relations, operational circumstances and resources and equipment that are use to do the job. (Norman 675)

Preparing a job description is one of the most important parts of the hiring process because it's used as a blueprint for the job. Without this job description, managers tend to hire the person with experience that they like the most. (Scarborough et al, 2006, 675)

Primary Objective: To grow the business by

  • Meeting and exceeding annual sales and hire budgets
  • Developing and maintaining strong customer relationship Responsibilities:
  • Develop and maintain a customer database
  • Source and develop customer referral
  • Arrange sales plans
  • Expand and keep up sales and promotional resources
  • Make calls to potential and existing customers
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Negotiate with customers
  • Develop and make presentations of the business products and services
  • Expand sales proposal
  • Preserve sales activities and the accounts
  • Monitor competition, market circumstances and product progress
  • Participate in the sales proceedings
  • Education, skills and experience:

  • Presentation skills
  • Sales positioning and process experience
  • Working knowledge of financial planning and analysis standards
  • Ability to handle customers
  • Good communication (oral and written) and time management skills
  • Ability to carry out to plan and reveal dependability
  • Knowledge of computer applications
  • Knowledge of customer service principles
  • Experience in sales
  • Proven ability to achieve sales targets
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Key competencies:

  • Planning and organising
  • Persuasiveness
  • Adaptability
  • Goal driven

Compensation system

Compensation is a systematic approach to providing monetary value to the employees in exchange for the work they did or performed. Compensation may achieve several purposes assisting in recruitment, job performance and job satisfaction.(The Hr guide).

Our business Konica Minolta will give a basic salary of R15000 - R20000 per month to our sales consultants and will have commission per unit of sales they have done. Sales bonuses will be given over a period of time depending on the sales consultant's sales performance.

Reward System

A reward system consists of financial rewards and non financial rewards. Financial rewards will include basic salary, pay incentives and employee benefits. Non financial rewards are intrinsic rewards and the praise, recognition, time off and other rewards that are given by management of employees. (Armstrong 2005, p4).

We will reward sales staff with financial and non financial rewards to motivate them to perform well in their work. Rewards will be given out fair to sustain a motivated workforce. Rewards will be given according to the sales consultants work performance and their commitment to Konica Minolta. The financial rewards for sales consultants will be their basic salary and commission per unit they sell and if they perform well over a period of time they will receive a bonus for their hard work. The non financial rewards will include an employee of the month competition. The sales consultant that have been the most selected as the employee of the month for a year will received paid vacation by Konica Minolta.

Recruitment and selection

Acording to Tanner Honeycutt Erffmeyer (2007, p166) recruitment is a process an organisation use to find and hire the best candidates that qualified for open sales positions in the organisation. The recruitment process is based on accurate information based on the planning stage. A sales manager must determine the appropriate number of applicants that are needed to apply for the open position. Sales managers use the following formula to determine the number of applicants needed.

Konica Minolta have 5 open positions and let's assume 10% who apply for the position are offered the sales position. 80% of them accept the offer.

We will be recruiting 5 of the 40 applicants that have applied for the open position. We will recruit 4 applicants externally and 1 applicant internally someone how have work for the business for a while and have perform well. This would also motivate the current employees work harder to get a promotion. For external applicants sales managers will first look at referrals from other organisations. There will also be advertisements placed in the newspapers and on line for the open position as sales consultant.

Once the pool of applicants have been identified for the sale positions it's important to follow an important interview process. The purpose of the selection process is for the sales manager to gain information about the pool of candidates and to access their qualification levels to determine the best candidate for the position that are open. There are five important stages in the selection process (Tanner et al, 2007.p170).

  1. Application forms
  2. Testing the candidates
  3. Personal interview
  4. Background verification
  5. If necessary- Physical exam

We will let all applicants that have applied for the position fill in an application form to gather information about their background, education and work experiences. All applicants must also send in their resumes during the interview process. Then after all forms are handed in, applicants will be tested with intelligence test and ability tests. These test will be use to determine the applicants strengths and weaknesses and information that applicants have acquired. The next stage will be to personally interview the potential applicants. The job candidate will appear in front of the business sales managers and a set of questions will be asked to the applicant. The sales managers will then do background verification on the potential candidates to look at their past performances and education to verify the information with the candidates' application forms. Once all applicants have completed the interview process, the sales managers will then select the top five applicants for the five open sales consultant positions. If the top five applicants are still interest in the position, the sales managers will then describe the responsibilities of the job position and offer them the job.

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