Sales Plan Strategy of the Product

The Product

The product in which the sales effort will be directed will involve the sale of pure bottled drinking water.

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The Consultative Personal Selling Process

For every business to succeed, it must carry out proper and accurate prospecting. Prospecting enables a business to increase its customer base. Finding prospects is a tricky issue. A business can use various ways of finding prospects. The sales manager will require identifying and listing all the firms that compete with the product. Each of those competitors can be a potential customer. To attract the customers, the manager must solicit referrals in offering discounts and other enticement to potential customers. The sales force should look beyond their niche through creative thinking of other markets that may require the product.

The sales people should be able to appeal to a wide range of customers through constant appeal of opportunities related to the current business. By going global, the business increases its sales through caring of the potential customers all over. The sales force should do good activities through informing the prospects of charity by reaching out to the society and caring of the environment. To enlarge the customer base, the sales manager must undertake creative advertisements through special promotions and use of different Medias to reach the customers. Once the prospective customer agrees to make a purchase, the sales person should close the sale.

This can be done through allowing the customer commit himself through issuing of his contact for easy communication. The sales person may use the silence technique to encourage response from the buyer. Watch out for the emotions as the prospective buyer talks. Always close the sales when the customer is in a happy mood. The sales person should not allow the prospective customer excuse by use of ‘beback’ (Wilson 118-123).

Developing and Managing the Sales Force

Sales forecast

For effective sales forecasting, the manager should develop a customer summary and determine the trends in the industry. The assumptions of customers in the target market are very important in this case. Since 20% of the customers account for 80% of the sales according to the rule of thumb, the manager should develop a summary of the principle market. The size and location of target market is set by the sales force.

Characteristics of the target area can be determined by statistics. The manager should estimate the number of house holds and their spending by use of the family expenditure survey. Forecasting of sales can also be done through listing and outlining the competitors selling in the targeted trading area. All the annual sales should be determined on monthly basis. The management is charged with the responsibility of doing this. The managers use the average monthly sales of businesses similar to their own to estimate the expected sales. The manager should find out how well the business competitors satisfy the needs of the existing customers in the target market.

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Through the information gathered, the manager should be able to forecast and plan for the niche to fill. This will also determine the location, convenience and the price to charge. Through the research results, the manager should be able to forecast the demographic changes of the customers and the economic growth of the customers in that particular area (Putsis 248-256).

Establishment of territories

The sales force should be ready for changes in order to develop the territories. The start point is by establishing the competitors’ ways of attracting the customers. The strengths and weaknesses of the products and services offered by competitors are of great importance. The manager should get the market background information about the prospective customers. The sales force should introduce themselves to the customers and build relationships in the new territory. To sustain the territory, the manager should carry out follow-up and build relationships with potential prospects. The manager should add leads in order to the sales territory in order to grow. This is done by the sales person being constantly in the marketing mind set.

Developing a sales budget and quotas

The sales manager has to develop a sales budget and quotas so that the sales personnel know the mandate of their jobs. The budget quotas assist the sales force to be more conscious of the objectives of the business. The budget quota can be developed by estimation of the various types of the expected expenses, and this should be followed by establishing the gross margin of the net profit from the quotas. The quotas should be differentiated by the activities involved.

The budget quotas help to control the gross margin and the realizable net profit. This helps the sales force to control how they allocate their efforts and time in their daily sales activities. The last step in developing the sales quota involves the use of combination quotas. These are used to control the way selling and non-selling activities perform so as to overcome the problem of using different measurement units in gauging different aspects of performance ( Dent 98-101).

Recruitment and hiring of a sales force

Recruiting and hiring of a good sales force is sometimes trick and tedious, the manger have to perform a number of activities before acquiring the best person to recruit. The first process is to conduct a test to measure the mental aptitudes of the potential employee. This measures the mental ability of the prospective employee. This should be followed by evaluation of the personality dimensions. This will enable the manager to estimate the potential employee’s emotional development and hence his person’s sense of urgency. Once the mental development of the candidate is within the required limits the prospective employees should be given an assessment followed y the interview. The report of the interview should be processed and assessed. Only the best candidate should be employed.

Gauging performance

The performance of the sales persons should be constantly evaluated to enhance their performance. This can be done through use of several ratios that can assist the sales manager identify the problems. The results of the ratios can determine progress by comparing the numbers between different months. The ratios are; the total sales compensation over the gross sales for a particular employee or department. This gives the percentage direct selling costs.

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The second ratio is the gross sales over the total hours worked by the sales people. This gives the sales amount per hour. The number of sales per sales person can be obtained by dividing the number of sales by the number of full time equivalent sales people. The average sales dollars per transaction can be obtained by dividing the gross sales by the number of sales transactions. All these ratios can gauge the performance of the sales force (Selden 59-63).

Compensate and motivate the sales people

The manager should come up with a realistic program that will be used to reward the sales people depending on their performance. Those who greatly contribute to the revenue are rewarded. The sales persons should be give a good basic salary and commission depending on the amount of sales. A good package with a good commission base will motivate the sales people to pursue prospective customers. Competitive benefits should be offered to the sales persons as a way of appreciating their efforts. This motivates them a lot and makes them feel their efforts are being acknowledged. These benefits include sick leave, health insurance, a good retirement package, and paid vacation and leave.

The sales people should be provided with the right training to enhance their professional growth through seminars, tradeshows and capacity building exercises. The managers should set realizable objectives and goals. The sales force feels rewarded when they achieve the targeted goals. If goals are too high to be achieved they lower their morale. The manager should maintain an open-door policy and increase the contact between the management and the sales force so that they can air their views and contribute to the management of the sales.

Controlling expenses

Expenses can be controlled by cutting on expenditure through reduction of unproductive employees and inventory. It can also be done through use of less expensive furniture, and reduction of excessive bonuses. Sales people should be encouraged to contribute cost cutting ideas and recognize their contribution even if their ideas are unworkable. Some variable expenses should be avoided if possible.

Leadership model intended to be employed

I would employ the functional leadership model. The model will assist the manager to perceive leadership as a set of behaviours that would assist the sales force to achieve the target goals. The model will assist the manager to combine the sales force as a team directed for a specific purpose. Through this model the sales person will work as a team, address their problems together and work in harmony. The model emphasizes on the way the sales force is led and not on who is leading the team (Rumbauskas 58-69)

Works Cited

Dent, Julian. “Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market” New Jersey: Kogan Page, 2008. Print.

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Putsis, William, ‘Basic Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach’, Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.

Rumbauskas, Frank., Never Cold Call Again. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 192. 2006.

Selden, Paul, Sales Process Engineering: An Emerging Quality Application“. N.Y: Quality Progress, 1998. Print.

Wilson, Richard, ‘A Blueprint for Designing Marketing Channels’. 2008. Web.

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