Sales Job Ebooks Catalog
Today's customers expect salespeople to have deep product knowledge, offer ideas to improve customer operations, and be efficient and reliable. These demands have required companies to make a much higher investment in training their sales reps. Companies use training to help sales reps (1) Know and identify with the company (2) learn about the company's products (3) know customers' and competitors' characteristics (4) make effective sales presentations and (5) understand sales procedures and responsibilities. Training time varies with the complexity of the selling task and the type of person recruited into the sales organization. The median training period is 28 weeks in industrial-products companies, 12 in service companies, and 4 in consumer-products companies. At IBM, new reps receive extensive initial training and may spend 15 percent of their time each year in additional training.
Some ambitious sales representatives are self-starters who will put forth their best effort without any special coaching. The majority of reps, however, require more encouragement and special incentives. This is especially true of field selling, which can be frustrating because reps usually work alone, keep irregular hours, are often Studying sales rep motivation, Churchill, Ford, and Walker developed a model indicating that the higher the salesperson's motivation, the greater his or her effort.22 Greater effort will lead to greater performance, greater performance will lead to greater rewards, greater rewards will lead to greater satisfaction, and greater satisfaction will reinforce motivation. The model thus implies that sales managers must be able to convince salespeople that (1) They can sell more by working harder or by being trained to work smarter, and (2) the rewards for better performance are worth the extra effort. According to this research, the most-valued reward was pay,...
New salespeople need more than a territory, compensation and training they need superuixiim. Through supervision, the company directs and motivates the sales force to do a better job. * Directing Salespeople To what extent should sales management be involved in helping salespeople manage their territories It depends on everything from the company's size to the experience of its sales force. Consequently, companies vary widely in how closely they supervise their salespeople. Furthermore, what works for one company may not work for another.** DEVELOPING CUSTOMKK TARGETS AND CALL NORMS. Many companies help their salespeople in identifying customer targets and setting call norms. They classify customers based on sales volume, profit and growth potential, and set call norms accordingly. Thus salespeople may call weekly on accounts with large sales or potential, but only infrequently on small accounts, Beyond account size and potential, call norms may also depend on other factors such as...
The strategy for personal selling is known as the sales strategy. An effective sales strategy provides a plan for where and how members of a sales force will spend their time, especially their time interacting with customers. The sales strategy described here is the strategy that the manager of a team of sales representatives develops and uses. Note that there are similar sales strategies for national or regional sales managers, or for the sales representatives themselves. Each of those strategies would have the same components but at a different level of aggregation. For example, the sales strategy for the national sales manager would show the allocation of the selling time of the entire sales force across all products and services. The sales strategy for the individual sales representative would show the allocation of their selling time across the products and services that they are responsible to sell.
What if you could command a small army of sales people to spread out across the land to sell your products for you - and better still, what if this small army would not cost you a single penny to build All they do is bring you money and business. Getting others to sell for you - on a commission basis - is one of the most powerful selling strategies I can think of. Take out an ad seeking sales people. Tell them what their potential earning is on your product, what their commission is and how much they can make per year. The more they sell for you, the more they make. Screen your applicants well. You want only the best people representing your company. Most of your applicants won't make the cut, but one good seller will have the value of 100 poor sellers. Provide excellent training. Infect your sellers with the energy and spirit of your company. Make their commission generous, and offer special incentives for reaching high sales goals. There's no reason why you shouldn't take out an ad...
You can employ salespeople yourself or hire them on a freelance basis. As a rule, freelancers will only sell yours or a limited number of non-competitive products. However, be warned it's a rare salesperson who sells anything that cannot sell itself. They like the security of a successful company. If pressed about their lack of sales, they invariably plead a lack of advertising or a shortage of quality leads. Be highly selective about who they approach. Salespeople are not missionaries. They are motivated by money. You are still responsible for training and backup. Salespeople are usually remunerated on commission only or commission + basic salary. Given a choice, the better ones will go for commission only. They will only stay any length of time while the rewards stay interesting. The most effective salespeople often turn out to be the firm's principals.
Sales managers are often the best salespeople on the team. However, the best sales managers are simply the best at managing salespeople, and that is very much a matter of applying the experience of other sales companies in a systematic way. Like marshalling an army, the key to success lies in preparation. Make sure your salespeople know everything about the product that any prospect might sensibly ask. Don't just tell them or show them. Make sure they can tell and show you. Training isn't like being at school. It is or ought to be much more fun. Give quizzes, and give little prizes for projects such as who has the best rundown on competition. Get the salespeople to teach each other. Build up team spirit by encouraging everyone to support each other and recognize each other's achievements. Something is always changing so training is a continuous process, and there are invariably points you will want to follow up on, such as after-sales service. Most firms find it is enormously helpful...
Many companies used to send their new salespeople into the field almost immediately after hiring them. They would be given samples, order books and general instructions. Training programmes were luxuries. To many companies, a training programme translated into considerable expense for instructors, materials, space and salary for a person who was not yet selling, and a loss of sales opportunities because the person was not in the field. Today's new salespeople, however, may spend anything from a few weeks to many months in training. Training programmes have several goals. Salespeople need to know and identify with the company, so most companies spend the first part of the training programme describing the company's history and objectives, its organizations, its financial structure and facilities, and its chief products and markets. Because salespeople also need to know the company's products, sales trainees are shown how products are produced and how they work. Salespeople also need to...
Or other dry compilation of vital statistics. Most sales professionals don't expect to generate much business just from sending out brochures they realize that marketing materials might pique the interest of their prospects, but written materials must be followed up by a sales call. On its own, a resume cannot land you a new position rather, it is designed to generate interviews, which are opportunities for you to sell your product yourself in person. Part 3 explores putting your resume to work and using your sales skills to advance your career. Right now, let's focus on creating a resume that interests readers by appealing to their underlying motive how you can help them.
Personally, I learnt a long time ago that passion was one, if not the, key factor for business success. I once held two jobs. One, the day job, was as a sales manager for a large life insurance company. The other, evenings and weekends, as a jingle writer - writing the music, and sometimes the lyrics, for TV and radio ads. I wrote some good stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed the creative outlet it gave me. I spent most of my day - in the day job - thinking about it. To say I was enthusiastic was an understatement - 'immersed' was the word. I found that I spent most of the money I made in the day job to supply and feed my hunger to be 'around' and 'recognized' in the music scene. I bought the latest recording equipment, keyboards, effects and lots of other stuff.
I'm looking for a business-to-business sales position that involves a lot of consultative sales and gives me the opportunity to build relationships with my customers. I don't want a quick in-and-out sales job where I'm only worried about making quota this week. Ideally I'd like to sell to small, emerging companies so that I can grow with them. For stability, I'd also like to have a few solid Fortune 500-type accounts, and I prefer to have a defined geographic territory that involves limited overnight travel. Starting the job with an established account base would be nice, but I'm willing to prospect, provided that some leads are generated through the company's telemarketing and trade-show activities. I can sell both products and services and would prefer a fairly large product service line so that I'm not limited to one solution for customer problems I can look at their entire situation and recommend a variety of solutions to fit their needs and budget. I can work well independently,...
No Sales Experience Required - When I started my affiliate business, I had absolutely no sales experience. That wasn't a problem, however. The companies I affiliated with provided excellent marketing material. Using their sales copy, I was able to get my first affiliate site up in less than a day.
Business lagging indicators involve measuring defects, failures, and time. Lagging indicators can include functional performance measures such as Unit Manufacturing Cost (UMC), quality measures such as Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO), and time-based measures of reliability such as Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). Lagging indicators for marketing include market share and revenuecommon performance metrics. A powerful leading indicator is customer satisfaction before a sales transaction (such as satisfaction with an information meeting or advertising piece). Another leading indicator may be the distribution channel's satisfaction with a product (or samples), whereby the salespeople want to use it themselves. Leading indicators help you anticipate whether you will hit the target. Since leading indicators occur before the desired result, you can be proactive in correcting poor performance. Armed with this knowledge, marketing can examine initiatives from a different perspective....
Developing a USP is one way to stand out from the crowd, but are there more ways to get the job done Yes Again, think about the scenario. Three insurance agents on the street all sell similar products at more or less similar prices. So why should people buy from you, and not the guy down the street How do you position yourself as an expert in your field There are several ways. One great way to do it is to write a book and distribute it in your market area. Who will people trust more - the insurance agent who wrote a book on insurance, or the other guys who just sell insurance You can also make an agreement with a local newspaper to publish a weekly column which discusses the trends in your industry, which also helps prospects get the best deals in your industry. Again, you'll be perceived as the expert. Better yet, your
I'm writing to thank you for your loyalty as a patient and to tell you how much I value your business. Because of this I wanted to let you know about an excellent opportunity that may make your life (and dental bills) better. My friend of many years, Rob Jones, is an insurance broker specialising in medical insurance, and he currently promotes a sickness and accident policy which I think is an outstanding deal, and which will also provide you with a great deal of comfort and security in the event that you are unable to work due to illness or injury related reasons. You can bet that a letter like this is going to get a wave of business heading towards Rob Jones, insurance broker An endorsement that's sincere and compelling is simply going to get the job done.
When you attend conferences, listen to your competitors' speeches. If they participate in a trade show, visit their booth and talk to their sales reps. Check the newspapers for press releases and news stories. Can you obtain additional information from former employees, customers, suppliers, other competitors, or your employees Each of these has very different levels of reliability and you need to consider that fact. Remember that every bit of information will help.
The sales representative of a savoury snacks manufacturer was visiting ANUGA, a major trade fair for the food industry in Cologne. In conversation with a major distributor of grocery products in Germany he was told that there could be an opportunity for the export of his company's unique range of adult-oriented exotic snack products. During the course of the trade fair he explored this idea further with other distributors and retailers and the idea was greeted positively. On return to the UK, he filed his report and met with the international marketing manager. A pan-European research project was commissioned with the support of the DTI. Ten months later the first export orders for the snacks were processed. The company has now carved a profitable European niche for its products._ As this example illustrates, information picked up during the normal course of work by sales representatives, by attendance of executives at conferences and meetings, and by customer suggestions and...
The most common form of marketing organization consists of functional specialists (such as the sales manager and marketing research manager) who report to a marketing vice president, who coordinates their activities. The main advantage of a functional marketing organization is its administrative simplicity. However, this form loses effectiveness as products and markets increase. First, a functional organization often leads to inadequate planning for specific products and markets because products that are not favored by anyone are neglected. Second, each functional group competes
With experience the fear factor has somewhat abated. While only seven percent of our sample viewed the internet as a serious threat because of increasing channel conflicts, another 33 percent saw a minor threat. However it is more than an additional channel. When used creatively it enhances all the other channels call center employees with net-based CRM systems deliver better service, bricks-and-mortar stores using new location-based services are found by more customers, and sales people equipped with mobile devices have more information and tools available during their sales calls.
A company selling in a national market often organizes its sales force (and sometimes other functions, including marketing) along geographic lines. The national sales manager may supervise four regional sales managers, who each supervise six zone managers, who in turn supervise eight district sales managers, who supervise 10 sales people. Several companies are now adding area market specialists (regional or local marketing managers) to support the sales efforts in high-volume, distinctive markets. For example, McDonald's now spends about 50 percent of its advertising budget regionally, and Anheuser-Bush has subdivided its regional markets into ethnic and demographic segments, with different ad campaigns for each.
In both consumer and industrial markets, product and brand managers are responsible for product planning and strategy preparing annual marketing plans and sales forecasts working with advertising and merchandising agencies to create programs and campaigns stimulating support among sales reps and distributors ongoing research into product performance, customer and dealer attitudes, opportunities and threats and initiating product improvements to meet changing market needs.
When you buy a dishwasher, you want your purchase to reflect an informed decision. Once again, you tap your network for information. You consult knowledgeable friends, relatives, and colleagues read promotional material look at some Web sites and talk to salespeople. Armed with the facts, you pick the dishwasher you like best.
Many channel members resisted the internet at first, because of the perceived threat of disintermediation. Airlines took the lead by selling tickets directly to passengers. Automakers thought they had found a cost-effective way to go around their dealers. Proponents of disintermediation also forecast the demise of real estate agents when home buyers could search, negotiate and buy houses on the internet. This prospect attracted a swarm of start-ups to the home buying arena. It is instructive that most have failed - but a few are thriving because they help agents by serving as a lead generation vehicle. Realtor.com lists over 1.4 million homes for sale, and directs inquiries to a local agent who takes over the relationship building part of the sales cycle. Realtor.com also develops customized web sites for agents, and helps them sell related services such as mortgages. In this way the two channels complement each other 7 .
The browser types are usually looking for an app to pass the time. They may be looking for an action game or a puzzle or some other app for entertainment. Perhaps they are looking for an app to keep one of their kids occupied, but they're not sure which app. Most buyers will first start their search by looking at the What's Hot and New and Noteworthy categories, or they will look at the Top 100 lists for ideas. The other buyers come to the store looking for a specific solution to a problem. It could be a student looking for help with their homework or preparing for the SAT exam. It could be a businessman looking for an app to help him in his sales job or to better manage his finances. Or it could be a mom looking to get more organized with daily activities.
Not only should the outside and inside of your business look approachable, you and your employees must look approachable, too. Are you going to buy a car from a guy in a dirty (or even a clean) T-shirt What if you walk into an insurance broker's office and you confront a receptionist with green hair, and an insurance broker wearing a loud, flowered shirt If you're selling insurance to punk rockers, that might be okay, but how many punks are shopping for insurance these days
Can conduct the same analysis for each of your products and services, and summarize them all on the same chart. For example, if the real-estate agent were interested in expanding to services for commercial buyers involving, for example, office buildings or factory buildings, then those market segment opportunities could also be graphed on the same chart (Exhibit 10.3). That would provide an overview of all the market opportunities the realtor might pursue and information for allocating their resources. Rather than just locate a market segment on the segment selection chart, you can provide more information by making the circle bigger or smaller in proportion to the sales (or profits) you think that market segment represents over the next year or the next few years. Then you have an even more comprehensive picture of the choices available to you. For example, if the opportunities open to our realtor were those shown in
The vast majority of first-time sales people take one shot at a prospect and then give up to find another prospect to sell to until they are unsuccessful. When many beginners send out their first mailing of a sales letter and get poor results, they give up. Or they run an ad once and never try it again if it doesn't pull.
People buy on emotion and justify with logic. All great salespeople understand this. A phenomenon that was occurring at the time Brewtopia was considering its means to market was Big Brother and the rest of the reality television craze. It was entertaining and put the customer in the driving and decision-making seat.
Whatever you do, strike while the iron's hot If you wait too long, the afterglow will diminish. The entire sales and marketing game is built on creating a positive emotion, and you will lose your momentum if you wait too long. The best marketers and salespeople understand this dynamic and develop the emotional trappings to guarantee a fantastic experience and large sales averages. If a customer says to you, Boy, we sure had a great time with you and we just love or portraits, say, Great Can you put that in writing Then, do something to thank them for their time (you might, for instance, reward clients who fill out a survey with complimentary gift wallets, a free sandwich and soft drink at the local sandwich shop, or a complimentary session it's up to you). Testimonials are king. Make getting them your number one priority, then blow your horn and sing your praises to the entire world
In another example, Robert Axe, whose resume is sample 4-10, left off two very short-term sales jobs (before and after his position at Mahon Corporation). He was already concerned about looking like a job hopper, and eliminating those jobs helped lend some stability to his background. In each case the reason for the short tenure was beyond his control, and he didn't want to take up valuable space on his resume, or waste valuable interview time, on lengthy explanations.
First and most commonly used is geographic targeting, just like my friend in the carpet-cleaning business did. Most businesses that need their customers to come to their store or office or that need to schedule appointments and send salespeople out obviously need to restrict the geography of their marketing. They advertise only in the local newspaper or shopper, use coupon decks mailed to their own or adjacent zip codes, direct-mail to those same zips.
Applying Similarity Marketers recognize that people are more likely to be influenced by a message coming from someone with whom they feel a sense of similarity.18 If the communicator and receiver have similar needs, goals, interests, and lifestyles, the position advocated by the source is better understood and received. Similarity is used in various ways in marketing communications. Companies select salespeople whose characteristics match well with their customers'. A sales position for a particular region may be staffed by someone local who has background and interests in common with the customers. Global marketers often hire foreign nationals as salespeople so customers can relate more easily to them.
Strong levels of interest should create desire to own or use the product. The action stage in the AIDA model involves getting the customer to make a purchase commitment and closing the sale. To the marketer, this is the most important stage in the selling process, but it can also be the most difficult. Companies train their sales reps in closing techniques to help them complete the selling process.
Have rcsponsihility for buying materials and services around the world. Many companies are offering higher compensation in order to attract top talent in the buying area. This means that business marketers must also upgrade their salespeople to match the quality of today's business buyers.14 For the business marketer, this development means dealing with fewer, higher-level buyers. Instead of using regional sales forces to sell a large buyer's separate plants, the seller may use a national account sales force to service the buyer. For example, at Xerox, over 250 national account managers each handle one to five large national accounts with many scattered locations. The national account managers co-ordinate the efforts of an entire Xerox team - specialists, analysts, salespeople for individual products - to sell and service important national customers.1* National account selling is challenging and demands both a highlevel sales force and sophisticated marketing effort. PURCHASING...
The use of source power applies more in situations involving personal communication and influence. For example, in a personal selling situation, the sales rep may have some power over a buyer if the latter anticipates receiving special rewards or favors for complying with the salesperson. Some companies provide their sales reps with large expense accounts to spend on customers for this very purpose. Representatives of companies whose product demand exceeds supply are often in a position of power buyers may comply with their requests to ensure an adequate supply of the product. Sales reps must be very careful in their use of a power position, since abusing a power base to maximize short-term gains can damage long-term relationships with customers.
Themselves that have been driving the conversion to push e-mails. In fact, some employees have been buying their own handsets to make their jobs easier, to match their mobile roles, and to ensure they are instantly contactable wherever they are based. This is confirmed by Harout Bedrossian, Motorola's regional sales manager for the Middle East The funny thing is that we've also seen individuals within the enterprises who have shown demand and started adopting devices even though their own companies and management didn't show any interest in the device. They know about the brands and about the technology and when it enters the region, they don't wait for their companies. They just go out and buy the handsets.
Leading software companies such as Microsoft, Intuit, and Cadence, as well as successful hardware firms such as IBM, HP, Acer, and Legend, are using CRM programs also to manage, synchronize, and coordinate all customer contact points, such as sales representatives, but also call centers, the Web, field organization, and third parties like distributors.
Row consumers go about evaluating purchase alternatives depends on the individual consumer and the specifie buying situation. In some cases, consumers use careful calculations and logical thinking. At other times, the same consumers do little or no evaluating instead they buy on impulse and reiy on intuition. Sometimes consumers make buying decisions on their own sometimes they turn to friends, consumer guides or salespeople for buying advice.
E-commerce From attracting customers to stores and having salespeople call on offices to making virtually all products available on the Internet. Business-to-business purchasing is growing fast on the Internet, and personal selling can increasingly be conducted electronically.
Brand's benefits using print media with long copy. They must motivate store salespeople and the buyer's acquaintances to influence the final brand choice. Recognizing this problem, Dixons, the electrical retailers, is setting up the Link chain of stores dedicated to helping baffled buyers on to the information superhighway and multimedia.311
A personnel agency that specializes in providing interim salespeople to companies looking to augment their sales forces sent direct mail to dozens of partners of a large consulting firm. Each mailing arrived in a large, straw-filled box that contained a full-sized dartboard, a set of darts, and a personalized letter. One of the darts was lodged in the bull's-eye of the dartboard with a Post-it note attached promising that the agency would Hit your sales targets every time.
Understanding the impact of these characteristics can help a supplier target business buyers more effectively. Pittsburgh-based Cutler-Hammer, for example, sells circuit breakers, motor starters, and other electrical equipment to industrial manufacturers such as Ford Motor. As its product line grew larger and more complex, C-H developed pods of salespeople that focus on a particular geographical region, industry, or market concentration. Each individual brings a degree of expertise about a product or service that the other members of the team can take to the customer. This allows the salespeople to leverage the knowledge of co-workers to sell to increasingly sophisticated buying teams, instead of working in isolation.2
The heart of the internal records system is the order-to-payment cycle. Sales representatives, dealers, and customers dispatch orders to the firm. The sales department prepares invoices and transmits copies to various departments. Out-of-stock items are back ordered. Shipped items are accompanied by shipping and billing documents that are sent to various departments. Today's companies need to perform these steps quickly and accurately. Customers favor those firms that can promise timely delivery. Customers and sales representatives fax or e-mail their orders. Computerized warehouses fulfill these orders quickly. The billing department sends out invoices as quickly as possible. An increasing number of companies are using electronic data interchange (EDI) or intranets to improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of the order-to-payment cycle. Retail giant Wal-Mart tracks the stock levels of its products and its computers send automatic replenishment orders to its vendors.4 Marketing...
It has not been fashionable lately to talk about relationships in business. We're told that it has to be devoid of emotion. We must be cold, calculating and impersonal. Don't you believe it Relationships make the world go round. Business people are human and social as well as interested in economics and investments and salespeople need to appeal to both sides. Purchasers may claim to be motivated by intellect alone, but the professional salesperson knows that they run on both reason and emotion.l3
In point of fact, this type of live peer-to-peer buzz marketing and advertising has been going on for ages. It has been practised by organizations that are regularly held up as innovators in the fields of marketing and sales Amway, Tupperware, Herbalife, Ann Summers. These companies create brand ambassadors, even sales representatives, out of ordinary citizens and get them talking to their friends. The event or performance is usually a party of sorts with some snacks, drinks and a prepared motivational chat by the representative about the wonderful range of products on offer. It's not all that dissimilar to live performer-to-peer buzz marketing when it comes down to it, because the representative will be paid in some way shape or form for their 'performance'.While many people may object to the somewhat forceful style of marketing employed by these companies, far less object on moral or ethical grounds. They know what they're getting in to.
In 2008, the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) asked the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority (FSA) to tighten the rules governing Web sites that compare insurance products. BIBA's concern was that while its own members must adhere to very strict rules governing the sale of insurance policies, consumers were logging on to price comparison sites such as moneysuper-market.com and basing their purchasing decision solely on the price of the policy and not what the policy actually covers.
Companies use several specific techniques to forecast their sales. Table 8.8 lists some of these techniques.'1' All forecasts build on one of three information bases what people say, what people do, or what people have done. The first basis -what people say - involves surveying the opinions of buyers or those close to them, such as salespeople or outside experts. It includes three methods surveys of buyer intentions, composites of sales force opinions and expert opinion. Building a forecast on what peopfe do involves another method, that of putting the product into a test market to assess buyer response. The final basis 'what people have done involves analyzing records of past buying behaviour or using time-series analysis or statistical demand analysis. When buyer interviewing is impractical, the company may base its sales forecasts on information provided by the sales force. The company typically asks its salespeople to estimate sales by product for their individual territories. It...
Especially for a new small business, a trade show offers a unique opportunity. Typically, retailers, wholesalers, sales reps, industry press, importers, exporters and agents are all under one roof, and business is conducted in a myriad of ways. If you have a good product and display it well, one trade show can put your business on the map.
Marketing managers face a host of decisions in handling marketing tasks. These range from major decisions such as what product features to design into a new product, how many salespeople to hire, or how much to spend on advertising, to minor decisions such as the wording or color for new packaging.
Every one of the basketball players interviewed from Syracuse expressed the desire to be involved with Nike in some way after they graduate. One Syracuse player said he wants to be a Nike sales representative, another wants to be a Nike coach, and others have set their sites on the pros and want to wear Nike clothing when they are in the big leagues. The Syracuse athletes are fiercely loyal to the Nike brand and want this relationship to continue long after they leave Syracuse.
Marketing is a big challenge, but it's really only the first step in building a successful business. Once you you've gotten prospective customers interested in your business you need to translate that interest into purchases. That's where selling comes in. With solid sales skills, you'll be able to convert more phone calls and inquiries into customers and take your sales averages to levels you never dreamed of. (And, most importantly, you'll be that much closer to creating the quality of life you want for yourself and your family.) Without good sales skills, the best marketing and the best photography in the world will be a total and complete waste
Within the chosen industry, a company can further segment by customer size or geographic location. The company might set up separate systems fur dealing with larger or multiple-location customers. For example, Steelcase, a big producer of office furniture, first segments customers into ten industries, including hanking, insurance and electronics. Next, company salespeople work with independent Steelcase dealers to handle smaller, local or regional Steelcase customers in each segment. Many national, multiple-location customers, such as Shell or Philips, have special needs that may reaeh beyond the scope of individual dealers, So Steelcase uses national accounts managers to help its dealer networks handle its national accounts.
Compared with consumer purchases, a business purchase usually involves more buyers and a more professional purchasing effort. Often, business buying is done by trained purchasing agents, who spend their working lives learning how to buy well. The more complex the purchase, the more likely that several people will participate in the dec is ion-making process. Buying committees made up of technical experts and top management are common in the buying of primary goods. Therefore, business marketers must have well-trained salespeople to deal with well-trained buyers.
The company must design a marketing organization that can carry out marketing strategies and plans. If the company is very small, one person might do all of the research, selling, advertising, customer service, and other marketing work. As the company expands, a marketing department emerges to plan and carry out marketing activities. In large companies, this department contains many specialists. They have product and market managers, sales managers and salespeople, market researchers, advertising experts, and many other specialists. Modern marketing departments can be arranged in several ways. The most common form of marketing organization is the functional organization. Under this organization, different marketing activities are headed by a functional specialist a sales manager, advertising manager, marketing research manager, customer-service manager, or new-product manager. A company that sells across the country or internationally often uses a geographic organization. Its sales...
Selling objectives should be derived from overall marketing objectives and should be properly linked with promotional objectives. For example, if the marketing goal is to raise the current 35 percent market share in a product line to 40 percent, the sales manager may stipulate the objective to increase sales of specific products by different percentage points in various sales regions under his or her control. Strategic Matters. As a part of selling strategy, several strategic matters should be resolved. A decision must be made on whether greater emphasis should be put on maintaining existing accounts or on converting customers. Retention and conversion of customers are related to the time salespeople spend with them. Thus, before salespeople can make the best use of their efforts, they must know how much importance is to be attached to each of these two functions. The decision is influenced by such factors as the growth status of the industry, the company's strengths and...
Consumers buy from the firm that they believe offers the highest customer delivered value - the difference between total customer value and total customer cost (see Figure 11,1). For example, suppose that an Irish farmer wants to buy a tractor. lie can either buy the equipment from his usual supplier, Massey-Ferguson, or a cheaper east European product. The salespeople for the two companies carefully describe their respective offers to the farmer.
Information has no value until managers use it to make better marketing decisions. The information gathered needs distributing to the right marketing managers at the right time. Most companies have centralized marketing information systems that provide managers with regular performance reports, intelligence updates and reports on the results of studies. Managers need these routine reports tor making regular planning, implementation and control decisions. But marketing managers may also need non-routine information for special situations and on-the-spot decisions. For example, a sales manager having trouble with a large customer may want a summary of the account's sales and profitability over the past year. Or a retail store manager who has run out of a best-selling product
The most successful salespeople believe that an objection is simply the way clients identify their needs. An objection is a request to provide more information about why a client should buy from you. If a client says, Your price is too high, it may simply be a desire to get full value for the project. If a client says, There will be too much delay to start the project, the real issue might be a concern for completing it on time. If a client says, We've used that approach and it's been unsuccessful, it may be a desire to for reassurance that you will provide success. Your responses might be something like the following
Though worldwide market estimates vary significantly from one institute to another as shown in Table 7.1, clearly on-line B2B is bigger than B2C. Today it can be estimated that e-commerce represents 12 of revenues for telecom and technology companies. For instance, the Cisco Systems and the HP Internet sites allow prospective business customers to search for products and services, review the specifications of Cisco or HP machines, and contact sales representatives to place orders or even order directly through the Internet. Similarly, Oracle Corporation, the leading database software vendor, now distributes a new product over the Internet, as well as through physical channels. In the consumer business, Dell has implemented a direct order system through the Internet, a practice imitated by Apple Computer.
The principal way of extending the length of the organization's product line is by stretching it upwards or downwards. Trading up means adding a higher priced, prestige product to a line to attract a higher income market. One of the major difficulties encountered in attempting to stretch the product line upwards is that of credibility among customers. They may not believe that the firm is capable of producing products for the high end of the market. In addition the company's sales people may not be adequately trained and competitors are unlikely to remain passive they may counter-attack in the lower end of the market.
While conducting the work required for meeting sales and market share objectives, it is easy to get caught up in a sea of unexpected variation. Plans are made, and then suddenly everything changes. Teams can go off-plan fast. With Six Sigma, this means that assignable causes of variation (noise) cause the marketing and sales processes to go out of control. This is one reason why some marketing and sales professionals may choose to restrain their investment in developing detailed launch plansthey know how quickly their plan has to change. It is tempting to react to whatever comes along. Significant levels of planning might seem like a waste of time. More often than not, something triggers a change in the plan, so why bother planning Becoming good at reacting to change is not the end goal. Aim to focus on the vital few (the verified critical) parameters and proactive preventive plans to keep your operations on target to sustain growth.
As in other forms of advertising, ask those in related businesses or professions about their experience. Your direct competitors may not wish to tell you or give you helpful information, but you can check their Web sites and ask their ISPs how long they have been advertising and what format they have been using. Most media sales representatives sell by pointing to related businesses professions services using their medium, so you are not asking for forbidden knowledge. We really like the Blank Blanket Bundles site and we're thinking of doing something like that. Can you tell me how long they've been on and what formats they're using If you are not a direct competitor and sometimes even if you are you'll probably get the information.
Indeed, all the successful high-technology companies that sell to organizations or businesses do rely on a direct sales force. Most notably, in order to improve their relationship with their main customers and to compete more effectively, they have set up key account management structure and programs 14 . Instead of assigning one sales representative a geographic However, setting up a direct sales force does not translate automatically into extensive market coverage. Indeed, in many high-tech companies, one may estimate that roughly 20 of personnel work in sales, of whom 25 are salespeople spending about 25 of their time face-to-face with customers. That means that such companies spend a little bit more than 1 of their time dealing with customers, and this does not include the time spent at customer locations by maintenance people, which may represent up to 8 of company time. Though technology is adding complexity to the selling process 16 , basic sales principles can be applied, but...
A good example of a poor measure of sales-force performance influence on revenue is the number of sales professionals sent out to interact with customers. Sheer numbers of people is a gross measure that is easy to quantify, but it can't provide behavioral relationship data in the context of human interaction. Qualitative relationship dynamics data is just plain hard to gather, document, and communicate, but it is one parameter that is fundamental to sales. If you can get the data, it will show a fundamental cause-and-effect relationship.
Because high-tech products are very technical, salespeople must start working with potential customers early on in order to influence their technical decision. This is even a greater necessity for systems that are subjected to a bidding process. In this perspective, listening skills and the mastering of sales dialogue are of primary importance to be an effective sales representative 18 . Indeed, there are still some moments in a negotiation process where it may be important to play hardball, especially at the time of closing of the sale. However, most of the best sales reps do have a unique ability to ask the questions that get the sales, following the ageless Socratic method 19 permitting the customer to develop his viewpoint and to express its needs, wants, and expectations. They also know how to qualify the value of a customer or a project in order to spend their precious time on the project or the customer, which offers the maximum value. Indeed, the most efficient and successful...
If you've financed the purchase of a home, you know that realtors usually require prospective buyers to be prequalified or even preap-proved for a loan before showing them property. As one realtor says, It's standard for realtors to ask clients to obtain loan preapproval at the start of the relationship. I want to know that they are serious and that they are looking in the right price range before I invest my time and theirs in the search.
To introduce your marketing plan, provide a brief mission statement of your business. A mission statement is simple but clearly communicates your goals to your customers and potential customers. For example, Develop the best productivity app for pharmaceutical sales reps or Develop the most innovative air combat game ever created. Once you have a written mission statement, you can move on to determining your objectives sales, profit, pricing, and product.
Channel objectives vary with product characteristics. For instance, perishable products such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream require more direct channels, whereas bulkier products such as Owens Corning Fiber Glass insulation require channels that minimize the shipping distance and the amount of handling in the movement from producer to consumer. In contrast, nonstandardized products, such as custom-built machinery, typically are sold directly by company sales representatives.
Fairly obviously, the amount of knowledge and skill required varies with the complexity and price of the product. Selling a 20 videogame may involve little more than putting the customer in a mood to enjoy himself and turning on a screen for a few moments. With a 200,000 program that may keep a chain of hospitals or supermarkets stocked, the sale may go through a number of stages that could last years. The salesperson needs a matching intellect and staying power for the decision level of the product. He or she also needs to be equable and well mannered so that his or her presence is not an intrusion. Salespeople also need to like people and be socially adroit to pick up signals from a situation, to not put their foot in it, to dispel tensions, and to engineer agreement. This book is not about salesmanship. If you have never sold before, you would do well to visit your public library and pick out a couple of titles. Master salespeople have some wonderfully enlightening stories and what...
Management must decide who within the organization should set prices. Companies handle pricing in a variety of ways. In small companies, prices arc often set by top management rather than by the marketing or sales departments. In large companies, pricing is typically handled by divisional or product line managers. In industrial markets, salespeople may he allowed to negotiate with customers within certain price ranges. Even so, top management sets the pricing objectives and policies, and it often approves the prices proposed by lower-level management or salespeople. In industries in which pricing is a key factor (aerospace, railways, oil companies), companies will often have a pricing department to set the best prices or help others in setting them. This department reports to the marketing department or top management. Others who have an influence on pricing include sales managers, production managers, finance managers and accountants.
Unscrupulous salespeople occasionally have the idea that the client belongs to them and not the firm they work for. If you ever come across this attitude, remind the salespeople that if this were the case, they'd sign their own pay and commission checks. You should also be aware that it is a free world and legally, in most countries, there is nothing to stop salespeople from contacting past contacts. However, their contracts may be suitably worded to make it clear that they are not allowed to abuse their situation. You are paying them to work for you, not provide valuable information to your competitors. The other half of the job is to monitor sales and not lose touch with your customer base. Customers are usually pleased to get a call from a senior person, especially when he or she is merely checking that everything is going right with their purchase. Client information is a great way to be alerted to effective ways of selling products and working out further opportunities. Clever...
When people are aware they are being observed it is argued that they behave in different ways to how they would under normal circumstances where they are not being observed. In some cases this awareness will have little effect on their actions. However, there are many situations in which people change their activities if they know they are being watched. Salespeople in a clothing store may be especially polite to customers if they know their performance is being monitored.
Good salespeople generally exhibit many of the following characteristics Good salespeople are good company. They are buoyant, thoughtful, and sociable. Good salespeople know when to hold their tongues. They listen almost as much as they talk. This way, the prospect does nearly half the work and, in many instances, talks himself into the sale. Good salespeople sell the product you have rather than the product they would like to have. Good salespeople have a good track record. Good salespeople are organized, self-disciplined, and methodical. They can recall names, times, and appointments at will. Average ones resort to CRM systems. Good salespeople create opportunities. Good salespeople are able to sell a variety of products. They are definitely not one-trick performers. Good salespeople know their time is money. They prioritize, re-schedule, and prune by value and speed of sale. Good salespeople know a sale is only a sale when the money is in their employer's bank. One reason why it...
Now that the message has been designed, the communicator must select efficient communication channels to carry it. For example, pharmaceutical salespeople can rarely wrest more than 10 minutes' time from a busy physician. Because personal selling is expensive, the industry has added multiple channels ads in medical journals, direct mail (including audio and videotapes), sampling, telemarketing, Web sites, conferences and teleconferences, and more. All of these channels are used in the hope of building physician preference for particular branded drug products. In general, firms can use two types of communication channels personal and nonpersonal.
Good salespeople are extraordinarily smart and learn at a phenomenal rate. Carrots come no bigger than a vested self-interest, so it is hardly surprising that salesmanship attracts powerful personalities. What they are especially adept at is articulating their own remuneration, often with an eloquence you will hear from no other segment of your organization. For everybody's sake, it is vital that you avoid this cuckoo feeding frenzy. Your firm can afford to pay its salespeople what it can afford. If that is insufficient, you just have to get the business off the ground by some other means. If you can afford salespeople, it is essential to devise a fair incentive system that rewards the successful. Average salespeople on a fair base salary do little to justify their overhead. A good salesman will want a low basic and negotiate as high a commission rate as he can wrangle because he knows his capability. Unsuccessful salespeople live from mouth to hand. They often demand their...
Prioritizing prospects is second nature to good salespeople. They do it without thinking, but you are going to need the same self-discipline from everybody. There have to be some company measuring sticks. The potential volume of business is an obvious criterion. However, you may have a cash flow crisis looming and need to convert the easy orders as soon as possible. At the other extreme, a new product release might be on the horizon. The priority then is to build up leads before the launch and not to press for immediate sales. Controlling prospects can be done with the same finesse that you apply to the accelerator pedal in an automobile.
Firms with vestigial or non-existent sales teams often delegate selling to their dealers and distributors' salespeople. While this appears to sidestep the immediate problem, it comes at a cost. The most obvious is lack of overall control. Outside sales forces have their own profile of contacts, which may or may not dovetail with yours. They also take time to influence, encourage, and assess. For an outside team to be able to extend your operation, your communication strategy has to be thought through systemically so as much as possible is made easy. Remember, there are dozens of other manufacturers who are also vying for their time and attention. Never expect that because a dealer agrees to get his salespeople to sell your product, they will devote 100 percent of their time to this task. But how do you train the dealers One popular way is to hold an open day. Another is to visit individual salespeople. Unless you are the market leader, the chances of a dealer sending his staff to you...
The moment a prospect signs the sales order that makes him a customer, a bad salesperson will scamper faster than a rat down an aqueduct. Good salespeople hang around. Why Politeness, certainly, but a good salesperson is also making sure the customer stays and won't suddenly come to his senses and cancel the order. A good salesperson makes sure the customer feels good about his buying decision. A good salesperson will want his customer to continue to feel good, so he will want to repeat the process.
Increasingly the ability of the company to match performance with customer expectations depends on the ability of the sales force to orchestrate the company's response to customer needs. In such circumstances sales people must demonstrate trustworthiness and an ability to solve problems even if the solution does not include the company's products or services. The most important characteristics that customers seek in sales people are business and product knowledge, communications skills, a customer The consultative ability requires sales people to be willing to share their knowledge and understanding of the business and product environment so that organizations can better serve their customers. Usually it is necessary to share state-of-the-art information without pressing for a sale. The purpose is to keep the customer informed of business developments. The service thus provided becomes the key to future sales. Consultative sales people must be able to combine selling skills with...
The sales force may be structured according to territory, product or customer or a combination of these (Figure 11.9). The most common form of industrial sales organization is geographical. Here, each sales person sells all of the firm's products in a defined area. By reducing travel distance and time between customers, this method usually minimizes costs. Likewise, sales people know clearly the customers and prospects that fall within their area of responsibility. However, each sales person must be able to perform all of the selling tasks for all customers in that territory. A product-oriented sales organization is one in which each sales person specializes in relatively narrow components of the total product line and, hence, becomes more adept at communicating
Personal selling is a key element in promotion, one of the four Ps in the marketing mix. But not all sales representatives do exactly the same kind of selling. In business settings, McMurry has distinguished these six types of sales representatives, ranging from the least to the most creative types of selling 3 In general, salespeople perform one or more of the following tasks As this list suggests, the sales representative serves as the company's personal link to its customers and prospects while bringing back much-needed information about customers, markets, and competitors. Therefore, smart companies look carefully at the design of the sales force, including the development of sales force objectives, strategy, structure, size, and compensation (see Figure 5-15).
Suppose the company has 1,000 A accounts and 2,000 B accounts A accounts require 36 calls a year (36,000 calls yearly), and B accounts require 12 calls a year (totaling 24,000 calls). The company therefore needs a sales force that can make 60,000 sales calls a year. If the average rep can make 1,000 calls a year, the company would need 60,000 1,000, or 60 sales representatives. The compensation package is a critical element in attracting top-quality sales reps, starting with the level and components. The level of compensation must bear some relation to the going market price for the type of sales job and required abilities. If the market price for salespeople is well defined, the individual firm has little choice but to pay the going rate. However, the market price for salespeople is seldom well defined. Published data on industry sales force compensation levels are infrequent and generally lack sufficient detail. The company must next determine the four components of sales force...
In the early 1980s, the average salesperson made five calls a day by 1989, that number had dropped to just 4.2 sales calls a day.14 Today salespeople make even fewer in-person sales calls because they are using phone, fax, and e-mail to sell. In addition, more firms are using automated ordering systems to reduce reliance on sales calls. How many calls should a company make on a particular account each year Research shows that additional calls generally produce more sales, but companies still need to determine whether the increase in sales justifies the increase in sales costs. Some studies and experiences such as those of Amatil, discussed earlier suggest that sales reps may be spending too much time selling to smaller, less profitable accounts when they should be focusing more of their efforts on selling to larger, more profitable accounts.15 Therefore, in setting norms, management needs to weigh the cost of a customer sales call against the sales and profit payback for that account.
Knowing the high cost of sales calls, companies often specify how much time reps should spend prospecting for new accounts. Spector Freight, for instance, wants its sales representatives to spend 25 percent of their time prospecting and to stop calling on a prospect after three unsuccessful calls. Other companies set prospect and customer norms based on product sales, specifying, for example, that reps spend 80 percent of their time selling established products and 20 percent selling new products.
Companies use additional motivators to stimulate sales force effort. One motivator is the periodic sales meeting, a social occasion that also serves as an important tool for education, communication, and motivation. Many companies sponsor sales contests to spur the sales force to a special selling effort above what is normally expected. The contest should present a reasonable opportunity for enough salespeople to win. At IBM, about 70 percent of the sales force qualifies for the 100 percent Club the reward is a 3-day trip capped off by a recognition dinner and a special pin.
Management can obtain information about reps in several ways, including sales reports, personal observation, customer letters and complaints, customer surveys, and conversations with other sales representatives. Many companies require their representatives to develop an annual territory marketing plan in which they outline their program for developing new accounts and increasing business from existing accounts. This type of report casts sales reps into the role of market managers and profit centers. Sales managers study these plans, make suggestions, and use them to develop sales quotas. Sales reps write up completed activities on call reports and, in addition, submit expense reports, new-business reports, lost-business reports, and reports on local business and economic conditions. These reports provide raw data from which sales managers can extract key indicators of sales performance (1) average number of sales calls per rep per day, (2) average sales call time per contact, (3)...
Having determined its selection criteria, management proceeds to recruit the desired candidate. The human resources department looks for applicants by getting names from current salespeople, using employment agencies and placing classified ads. Recruiting will attract many applicants, from which the company must select the best. The selection procedure can vary from a single informal interview to lengthy testing and interviewing. Many companies give formal tests to sales applicants. Tests typically measure sales aptitude, analytical and organizational skills, personality traits and other characteristics.8 Companies generally take test results seriously. Gillette, for example, claims that tests have reduced turnover by 42 per cent and that tost scores have correlated well with the later performance of new salespeople. But test scores provide only one piece of information in a set that includes personal characteristics, references, past employment historv and interviewer reactions.
Salespeople the company's link to its customers perform one or more of these tasks prospecting, targeting, communicating, selling, servicing, information gathering, and allocating. Designing the sales force requires making decisions regarding objectives, strategy, structure, size, and compensation. Determining objectives and strategy requires defining the specific objectives the sales force will achieve and selecting the approaches and type of sales force that will be most effective. Choosing the sales force structure entails dividing territories by geography, product, or market (or some combination of these). Estimating how large the sales force needs to be involves estimating the total workload and how many sales hours (and hence, salespeople) will be needed. Compensating the sales force entails determining what types of salaries, commissions, bonuses, expense accounts, and benefits to give, and how much weight customer satisfaction should have in determining total compensation....
Within months, Tylenol returned to pharmacies and retail shelves, this time wrapped in triple-safety sealed packaging. To bring consumers back to the brand, the company circulated coupons to be applied to new purchases of Tylenol. It launched a new ad campaign, and more than 2,000 salespeople were enlisted to make presentations to members of the medical community to inspire support for the product reintroduction.
To communicate well, companies often hire advertising agencies to develop effective ads, sales promotion specialists to design sales-incentive programmes, direct-marketing specialists to develop databases and interact with customers and prospects by mail and telephone, and public relations firms to develop corporate images. They train their salespeople to be friendly, helpful and persuasive. For most companies, the question is not whether to communicate, but how much to spend and in what iMry.s.
The findings from the three case studies will be presented following the value in - value out theme of the four research questions, first from the seller's perspective (case 1) and then from the buyers' perspective (case 2 and case 3). In order to gain access to LKAB's extranet, contact was first taken with the vice president of public relations and quality (herein referred to as VP). Vlosky et al. (2000) used a similar strategy in B2B web site research, using e-mail to first establish contact with those in public relations and corporate communication positions in the selling organization. It was VP who presented and discussed all three levels of the I-E-I framework at LKAB, each level developed with certain stakeholders in mind The internet (public) level focused on the general public and mass media the extranet focused on certain customers and the intranet on employees at LKAB. From this initial contact with VP, the sales manager for the Nordic region (herein referred to as SM) was...
The dominant brand in a category is often appointed category captain by retailers in the belief that the manufacturer has the greatest resources and the will to exert them to drive sales across the category. The major objective for the category captain in that role is to make money for the retailers. That is having the means to learn everything about the category - sales volume, shelf-space allocations, placement, pricing, retailer costs. Retailer costs include the price paid for competitor products, information which may be obtained from third parties for the category captain's sales people. With such information the category captain is able to analyse the category data and create a management plan. The plan tells the retailer which products to move to eye level, for
The marketing manager's task is to identify opportunities and prepare marketing strategies and programs. Salespeople are responsible for implementing these programs. Marketers rely on marketing research, try to identify and understand market segments, spend time in planning, think long term, and aim to produce profits and gains in market share. Salespeople, in contrast, rely on street experience, try to understand each individual buyer, spend time in face-to-face selling, think short term, and try to meet their sales quotas. If there is too much friction between sales and marketing, the company president might place marketing activities back under the sales vice president, instruct the executive vice president to handle conflicts, or place the marketing vice president in charge of everything, including the sales force. This last solution is the basis of the modern marketing department, a department headed by a marketing and sales executive vice president with managers reporting from...
Many companies are now refocusing their structure on key processes rather than departments. Departmental organization is increasingly viewed as a barrier to the smooth performance of fundamental business processes such as new-product development, customer acquisition and retention, order fulfillment, and customer service. In the interest of achieving customer-related process outcomes, companies are now appointing process leaders who manage cross-disciplinary teams. Marketing and salespeople are consequently spending an increasing percentage of their time as process team members. As a result, marketing personnel may have a solid-line responsibility to their teams and a dotted-line responsibility to the marketing department. Each team sends periodic evaluations of the marketing member's performance to the marketing department. The marketing department is also responsible for training its marketing personnel, assigning them to new teams, and evaluating their overall performance (Figure...
Many companies are reorganizing along market lines and becoming market-centered organizations. Xerox has converted from geographic selling to selling by industry, as has IBM, which recently reorganized its 235,000 employees into 14 customer-focused divisions. Hewlett-Packard has set up a structure in which salespeople concentrate on businesses within individual industries.
The internet is more than an additional channel to reach customers. When used creatively, it enhances all the other channels. For example, call-centre employees with net-based customer relationship management systems deliver better service, bricks-and-mortar stores using location-based services are found by more customers, and sales people equipped with mobile devices have more information and tools available during their sales calls. Firms need to synchronise the various channels. Customers pick the channel that is most convenient or effective for the situation, and assume that the firm will recognize them at each step of the way. Companies should therefore ensure that when, for example, a customer places an order over the internet the call-centre records are updated, that inventory information is consistent across the channels and that they can return goods to the store. Firms should assess what target customers want from the channel system, then work back to assess how well the...
At the first step, the large majority of technology-driven companies assign the marketing responsibility to the sales manager. This is the case of numerous start-up firms that were created as a result of one successful In most cases, high-tech companies with a marketing department give its director the same status as a sales manager but under the responsibility of a sales director. However, this situation presents functional difficulties and will require continuous coordination efforts, as will be explained later. Some companies regard sales (and rightly so) as only one aspect of marketing a product. These companies hold their marketing manager responsible for sales and put him or her in charge of all customer relations. Marketers get really frustrated and very often leave the organization or accept that they have no actual clout from a strategic marketing perspective.
Online buying provides the same basic benefits to consumers as other forms of direct marketing. It is convenient customers don't have to battle with traffic, find a parking space, and walk through seemingly countless stores and aisles to find and examine products. They can compare brands, check out prices and order merchandise 24 hours a day from any location. Online buying is easy and private customers face fewer buying hassles and do not have to face salespeople or open themselves up to persuasion and emotional pitches.
On a professional level, I am excited about the opportunity, aggressiveness, and technical excellence so evident at X-ACT. Your need for a regional sales manager who can penetrate new business markets seems to closely match my background and proven areas of strength. Thank you for the leads you were good enough to pass along in our conversation last week. As I mentioned, my initial conversations and interviews with you sparked my interest in a career in office furniture sales. Since that time, I have done additional research and have been fortunate to make connections with other distributors. The result of all this research is great excitement about the industry and its opportunities, and a growing belief that I am extremely well suited to a sales career in this field.
Contests or special incentives are often targeted at the sales personnel of the wholesalers, distributors dealers, or retailers. These salespeople are an important link in the distribution chain because they are likely to be very familiar with the market, more frequently in touch with the customer (whether it be another reseller or the ultimate consumer), and more numerous than the manufacturer's own sales organization. Manufacturers often devise incentives or contests for these sales personnel. These programs may involve cash payments made directly to the retailer's or wholesaler's sales staff to encourage them to promote and sell a manufacturer's product. These payments are known as push money (pm) or spiffs. For example, an appliance manufacturer may pay a 25 spiff to retail sales personnel for selling a certain model or size. In sales contests, salespeople can win trips or valuable merchandise for meeting certain goals established by the manufacturer. As shown in Figure 16-6,...