Introduction To Sales Planning
Sales and operation planning can be described as a process in which management regularly achieves and review the projections for demand and supply to increase the sales and profits of organization. Sales development and operations planning play a crucial role in the success of any business (Jacobs, Chase and Chase, 2010). Effective sales plan is always linked with the strategic business planning of organization. This report is based on a case scenario. This report will help to understand the role of personal selling within overall marketing strategy along with the principles of selling process to a product or service. Moreover, this report also describes the roles and objective of sales management by planning the sales activity for products or services.
1.1 Personal selling at Enviro Cars Ltd. with other promotional activities
Sales promotion plays an essential role in supporting other promotional activities at Enviro Cars Ltd. Personal selling is one of the effective methods of Promotional Activities. In personal selling, sales person uses personalized approach and tailored solutions to meet the customer’s requirement (Kaplan and Norton, 2008). Due to economic recession, sales of Enviro Cars Ltd. are falling down. To overcome this situation, the firm is reinforcing the idea of Environment friendly and economic appealing cars. Enviro Cars Ltd. can promote the sales of these economic cars by using various sales promotion activities such as advertisement, sales promotion, personal selling, public relation and publicity of the cars.
As compared to other promotional activities, personal selling makes a positive impact on consumer's mind because it is a two way form of communication. In this, sales person can adjust the situations as per the feedback of customers. Personal selling provides sales person the opportunity to establish effective business to business relationship with customers. Personal selling in Enviro Cars Ltd. is a part of promotion mix that supports advertising, sales promotion and public relation (Feng, D’Amours and Beauregard, 2010). The firm encourages personal selling along with other promotional activities because it is the process of communication with potential buyer face to face with the purpose of selling cars which can increase the sales and profitability of organization.
1.2 Buyer behavior and decision-making process in different situations
Buyers in Enviro cars ltd. are referred as the end users of their cars. Thereby, the quality of product affects the buyer’s behavior and decision-making process. Purchase decisions of customers may vary depending on the situations. As per the case scenario, Enviro Cars ltd. is facing the situation of economic recession. Because of this; sales of new and second hand cars have been decreased (Milliken, 2008). Thereby, to increase the sales and profitability, firm is launching economic and environment friendly cars. The idea of environment friendly and low priced car can be helpful in improving the business. There may be many factors that affect the buyer behavior and decision-making. It totally depends on their knowledge about the product. Some customers take immediate decisions while some customers believe in collecting information and research before making any decision about the purchase.
The level of involvement of customers in decision-making process also affects the buyer behavior. For instance, in low involvement situation, buyer’s behavior depends on its family and peer members. In this situation, buyer prefers to have recommendation from his family and peer members before making any purchase decision.
1.3 Role of sales team in the overall marketing strategy
Sales and marketing team has significant influence on the profitability of Enviro Cars ltd. In order to improve the sales and profitability of organization, the marketing division needs to identify the customer’s requirement. The role of sales team in overall marketing strategy is as follows:
Research and analyze: In overall marketing strategy, sales team is responsible for the research and for analyzing the business in the market. The sales team has to research and analyze the customer’s demand in market for their product. By research and analysis, they can identify the potential customer segment for successful implementation of marketing strategy (Krajewski, Ritzman and Malhotra, 2007).
Marketing plan: Once the sales team analyzes the overall market and consumer requirements, each team member is responsible for implementing the marketing plan in their responsibility area. Marketing plan includes the promotional activities and price of the product.
Sales Promotion: After making a marketing plan, sales team is responsible for promoting their company’s product. In promotional activities, sales team decides the promotional mean such as television advertisement, newspaper advertisement, brochures and social media, etc. to increase the product’s awareness.
Outcome: An effective sales team balances the conflicting demand, its sales and marketing environment to achieve a common objective. Each team member has the responsibility to achieve sales target which results in the increased sale of organization (Oliva and Watson, 2011). Thereby, Enviro Cars Ltd. promotes the team work for improving overall sales of the organization.
2.1 Sales strategies aligned with corporate objectives
Sales strategies can be aligned with the corporate objectives in Plastic Products ltd. As per the case scenario, it is identified that Plastic Products ltd. has the corporate objective of expanding sales and company outlets in various parts of the country. In order to achieve these corporate objectives, firm has following sales strategies:
Direct Sales Strategy: Direct sales strategy is a sales technique which is used most of the times to achieve the corporate objectives. Direct sales means by going straight to the customers for selling the products. Direct sales is also known as B2C (Business to consumer) approach. By using the direct sales strategy, Plastic Products Ltd. can establish direct contact with the potential customers and increase the sales and profitability of organization (Grimson and Pyke, 2007). Direct sales strategy can be helpful in reducing the overhead costs of retailers, dealers and distributors.
Indirect Sales Strategy: However, indirect sales strategy also allows the firm to increase the sales rapidly without hiring large sales team. According to this strategy, selling is done by third party such as partners, dealers, distributors and retailers rather than sales executives of company (Whisenant, 2006). Indirect sales strategy can be defined as the selling through resellers. Since, corporate objective of Plastic Product ltd. is to enhance the sales and company outlets the indirect sales strategy, it can be helpful in achieving this strategy.
3.2 Importance of recruitment and selection procedures
Recruitment and selection process plays a significant role in Plastic Products Ltd. Since, the firm wants to increase the sales and expand the business; they would need efficient workforce to achieve this corporate objective (Jacobs, Chase and Chase, 2010). With the help of recruitment and selection procedures, firm can have flexible, loyal, confident, knowledgeable and dependable sales representatives who can prove to be helpful for achieving the goals and objectives of organization.
Developing the job description and person specification: Job description is an important procedure in recruitment and selection of employees at Plastic Products ltd. Job description clearly defines the responsibilities and qualification that is required to perform a job.
Sources of recruitment: As per the case scenario, firm wants to recruit the candidates who have experience of supply, production and properties of plastic industry. Thereby, sources of recruitment can be social media, job fairs, newspaper advertisement and placement agencies.
Interview preparation and techniques: Interview is the most essential step of selecting a candidate. Interview provides the opportunity to learn more about the applicant and to validate the information which is provided by them during interview (Krajewski, Ritzman and Malhotra, 2007). Plastic products ltd. can use panel interview and virtual interview to select the experienced and efficient sales executive.
Selection and appointment: While selecting a candidate, the organization overviews the candidate’s qualification which he/she has demonstrated during the interview process, employment history and background check. Once the interview process is completed, management discusses the interviewees.
2.3 Evaluating the role of motivation, remuneration and training
Motivation plays a significant role in Plastic Products ltd as it helps to establish desired behavior in employees and move them towards achieving the organizational goals and objectives. Moreover, motivation of sales team and sales representatives is important because this will encourage them for hard working. However, economical condition of the firm also depends on the achievements of sales target (Wallace, 2015). There are so many motivational theories which are used to motivate the team. Some of them are like:
- Hertzberg hygiene factors and motivators theory
- Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory
- McClelland achievement and acquired needs theory
Despite of these motivational theories, remuneration and training can be also used as the motivating tools. Employees can be motivated for their effective team work and on the achievement of the targets. To motivate the employees to work hard, firm can reward them by providing financial and non financial incentives. Financial incentives include cash rewards such as increased salary and commission based remuneration. However, non financial rewards are providing them training and development on specific subject for their continuous career growth (Berry, Whybark and Jacobs, 2005).
These factors are highly beneficial in order to motivate the sales team at Plastic Products Ltd.
2.4 Sales activities in order to control sales outputs
In order to improvise the sales, Plastic Products ltd. can organize the sales promotion activities such as sales meeting, brand promotion activities, conferences and seminars in which they can discuss their sales plans for the year/month, new trends in the industry, customer’s demand and supply, upcoming sales events by the organization and describing the success of their sales activities which are carried out by them. These meetings provide the opportunity to all team members to share the ideas and suggestions to improve the sales strategies (Chen-Ritzo, Ervolina and et.al., 2010). These activities also provide open platform to sales team to participate in the strategic decisions to understand the ways by which they can reach at new customers and introduce their range of products.
Effective sales activity should be well designed and planned
However, sometimes, management has to govern these activities in the organization to evaluate the success of their sales team. Thereby, the information collected during these activities is analyzed to make the improvements. Sales activities help organization in analyzing the sales team's performance level, achievement of target and return on investment. By these activities, the organization can identify the weaknesses of sales and decide the improvements in action to control the sales output to match the requirement (Oliva and Watson, 2011).
2.5 Effectiveness of sales management by the use of database
With the positive approach of information technology in business environment, whole processes of handling data became automated. In previous time, sales management and data recording was done manually on books. People used to spend so many hours to analyze and collecting information from the data (Grimson and Pyke, 2007). But now, with the use of computerized management systems, data handling has become easy to access which also help in instant decision making.
To manage the sales data, it is stored, recorded and analyzed to make the sales process efficient. The computerized data help in finding customer’s information, identifies new customers and records the individual sales person’s achievement in sales. This database also helps in preparing the performance criteria for every sales person as well as in forecasting future sales and creating budget.
4.1 Opportunities for selling into new emerging market
Introduction of Currys products into the markets of emerging economies such as China will bring lucrative results to company. It will be beneficial in widening the following areas:
Market Expansion: Offering the products to the wider section of demographics, profession and geographical areas, it leads to the expansion of market. Introducing the products in superstores, high street stores and smaller stores help in covering the wider stream. It broadens the reach of company and increases the bottom line of customers as well.
Market share: Market share refers to company's percentage hold in the respective market. By selling the products in the technologically growing economy, China will increase the market in a significant manner (Krajewski, Ritzman and Malhotra, 2007).
Revenue Generation: Maximizing the market would benefit Currys Digital brand in increasing the revenue generation exponentially. Transition in market, market penetration and market development increases the sales.
Brand Awareness: Launching the products in such a large scale will create brand awareness across the boundaries.
4.2 Opportunities for using Exhibitions/Trade fairs
Exhibitions/Trade fairs proved to be of great utility to introduce the new or existing products in a new market. It gives the opportunity to cover the wider stream of customers under one roof. Such events help the organization in following ways:
China is the country with having large number of customers that have diverse preferences. So, to target such a large customer base, Exhibitions/Trade fairs are the good platforms to capture the attraction of more number of buyers.
- Trade Conjunctions and agreement: To launch and penetrate into the market of China, it requires collaboration with the local retailers and supermarket owners. For the same purpose, these events increase the contracts and helps in building the business relationships (Whisenant, 2006).
- To demonstrate the products: The exhibitions play a vital role in demonstrating services and utilities of the products that are intended to be launched in the market.
- Customer Feedback: It enables company to seek to the prompt feedback from their customers. Establishing in a new market brings many challenges. One such challenge is to know the customer's choice of targeted market.
- Networking: In networking, many potential buyers, sellers and suppliers gather at one place. Trade fairs prove to be very beneficial to widen the networking to establish.
- Innovation and ideas: Many specialists and experts gather at exhibitions. It will be beneficial on the grounds of exploring new ideas and technological advancement for Currys digital company.
4.3 Sales plan for the product category
Sales plan refers to the strategic layout of organization to increase the sales with setting out the targets and identifying the ways and tactics to meet the goals in the existing market or the new target market.
Sales plan is formulated for television (LED) to be launched in China's market.
- The targeted market is China's emerging economy which holds the considerable market share for LEDs. To establish its significant place in the share, Currys sales target for the market is to generate revenue of 100000 Pounds in initial 6 months (Gupta and Kohli, 2006.).
- To get aware of the technical knowhow of market, the thorough research is made to assess the capabilities and to analyze the market situation. It enables to know the industrial development in the particular place, identifies the competitors and companies are selling similar products and realizing the customer base as well.
- By using the tool of PESTLE and SWOT analysis, Currys identified the strengths, weakness, opportunities and other attributes.
- By considering the above assessment reports, marketing strategy is formed. The product is introduced in the market by promoting on virtual platform, electronic and print media. To enlarge the customer base, it will be launched in exhibitions and trade fairs (Kaplan and Norton, 2008).
- The market is divided into four zones and the zonal representatives are appointed to execute the operational plans. Top to down salespeople and the human resource personnel are placed.
- Effective implementation of the plan and strategy is made to meet the targets and sales objectives within scheduled time.
Sales planning and operations is a merged business management process by which leadership/sales teams focuses on achieving the organizational goals by planning and implementing the strategies. Hence, it has been concluded in this report that sales planning and operations is important in achieving the organizational goals and objectives.
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