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Integrated Marketing Communication: Personal Selling and Direct Marketing

中國經濟管理大學9个月前 (08-12)講座會議1481

Integrated Marketing Communication:

Personal Selling and Direct Marketing

 



Integrated Marketing Communication:

Personal Selling and Direct Marketing



Previewing the Concepts: Chapter Objectives


1. Discuss the role of a company’s salespeople in creating value for customers and building customer relationships.

2. Identify and explain the six major sales force management steps.

3. Discuss the personal selling process, distinguishing between transaction-oriented marketing and relationship marketing.

4. Define direct marketing and discuss its benefits to customers and competitors.

5. Identify and discuss the major forms of direct marketing.



JUST THE BASICS



Chapter Overview


This chapter continues the discussion of communication methods begun in Chapter 12. It focuses on personal selling and direct marketing. Personal selling is the interpersonal arm of marketing communications in which the sales force interacts with customers and prospects to make sales and build relationships. Direct marketing consists of direct connections with carefully targeted consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.


Selling is one of the oldest professions in the world.  Today, most salespeople are well-educated, well-trained professionals who work to build and maintain longer-term customer relationships. They listen to their customers, assess customer needs, and organize the company’s efforts to solve customer problems. The sales force serves as a critical link between a company and its customers.


A sales force can be organized such that it has a territorial structure. In this structure, each salesperson is assigned to an exclusive geographic area and sells the company’s full line of products or services to all customers in that territory. A product sales force structure is one in which the sales force sells along product lines. In a customer sales force structure, the sales force is organized along customer or industry lines. Many companies, particularly those that sell a wide variety of products to many types of customers over a broad geographic area, use a complex sales force structure that combines several types.


Personal selling consists of a seven-step process. The first is prospecting and qualifying, followed by the preapproach, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up. All of this should lead to long-term customer relationships.

Direct marketing consists of direct connections with carefully targeted individual consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships. Most companies still use direct marketing as a supplementary channel or medium for marketing their goods. However, for many companies today, direct marketing is more than that—it constitutes a new and complete model for doing business.


Effective direct marketing begins with a good customer database. This database is an organized collection of comprehensive data about individual customers or prospects, including geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data. The database can be used to locate good potential customers, tailor products and services to the special needs of targeted consumers, and maintain long-term customer relationships.


There are several forms of direct marketing, including telephone marketing, direct mail marketing, catalog marketing, direct response television marketing, and kiosk marketing. A very powerful approach for many companies is integrated direct marketing, which involves using carefully coordinated multiple-media, multiple-stage campaigns.


Direct marketers and their customers usually enjoy mutually rewarding relationships. Sometimes, however, a darker side emerges. The aggressive and sometimes shady tactics of a few direct marketers can bother or harm consumers, giving the entire industry a black eye. Direct marketers know that, left untended, such problems will lead to increasingly negative consumer attitudes, lower response rates, and calls for more restrictive state and federal legislation.



Chapter Outline


1. Introduction

a. A stereotype of a salesperson is one of a fast-talking, ever-smiling peddler who travels his territory foisting his wares on reluctant customers.

b. Today, most professional salespeople are well-educated, well-trained men and women who work to build long-term, value-producing relationships with their customers.

c. Lear Corporation is one of the largest, fastest-growing automotive suppliers in the world. It attributes its success to many factors, including its 145-person sales force.

d. Lear’s limited customer base, consisting of only a few dozen customers in all, allows Lear’s sales teams to get very close to their customers. Lear often locates its sales offices in customers’ plants.


2. Personal Selling

a. Sales forces are found not only in business organizations that sell products and services, but also in many other kinds of organizations.

1. Colleges use recruiters to attract new students.

2. Churches use membership committees to attract new members.

3. Hospitals and museums use fund-raisers to contact donors and raise money.

4. The U.S. Postal Service uses a sales force to sell Express Mail and other services to corporate customers.



Applying the Concept

Do student groups on campus have a sales force? How do they gain new members considering that one-quarter of them leave every year?



The Nature of Personal Selling

b. The people who do the selling go by many names: salespeople, sales representative, account executive, sales consultants, sales engineers, agents, district managers, marketing representatives, and account develop-ment reps are a few of the names.

c. The term salesperson covers a wide range of positions.

1. At one extreme, a salesperson might be largely an order taker, such as the department store salesperson standing behind the counter.

2. At the other extreme are order getters, whose positions demand the creative selling of products and services.



Use Key Term Salesperson here.



The Role of the Sales Force

d. Personal selling is the interpersonal arm of the promotion mix. It involves two-way, personal communication between salespeople and individual customers.

1. It can be more effective than advertising in more complex selling situations.

2. The sales force serves as a critical link between a company and its customers.

a. They represent the company to customers.

b. The salespeople also represent customers to the company, acting inside the firm as champions of customers’ interests and managing the buyer-seller relationship.

3. Salespeople need to be concerned with more than just producing sales—they should work with others in the company to produce customer satisfaction and company profit.



Use Key Term Sales Force Management here.

Use Chapter Objectives 1 here.

Use Discussing the Issues 1 here.

3. Managing the Sales Force

a. Sales force management is the analysis, planning, implementation, and control of sales force activities. The major sales force management decisions are shown in Figure 13-1.



Use Chapter Objectives 2 here.

Use Figure 13-1 here.



Designing Sales Force Strategy and Structure 

b. A company can divide sales responsibilities along any of several lines.

1. In the territorial sales force structure, each salesperson is assigned to an exclusive geographic area and sells the company’s full line of products or services to all customers in that territory.

a. This organization clearly defines each salesperson’s job and fixes accountability.

b. This sales method increases the salesperson’s desire to build local business relationships that improve selling effectiveness.

c. This type of organization is often supported by many levels of sales management positions.

2. In the product sales force structure, the sales force sells along product lines.

a. The product structure can lead to problems if a single large customer buys many different company products.

3. In a customer sales force structure, the sales force is organized along customer or industry lines.

a. Separate sales forces may be set up for different industries, for serving current customers versus finding new ones, and for major accounts versus regular accounts.

b. Organizing the sales force around customers can help a company to become more customer focused and build closer relationships with important customers.

4. A complex sales force structure is often used when a company sells a wide variety of products to many types of customers over a broad geographic area.

a. Salespeople can be specialized by customer and territory, by product and territory, by product and customers, or by territory, product, and customer.

b. No single structure is best for all companies and all situations.



 

Use Key Terms Territorial Sales Force Structure, Product Sales Force Structure, and Customer Sales Force Structure here.

Use Discussing the Issues 2 here.



c. Once the company has set its structure, it is ready to consider sales force size.

1. Many companies use some form of workload approach to set sales force size.

a. Using this approach, a company first groups accounts into different classes according to size, account status, or other factors that relate to the amount of effort required to maintain them.

b. The company then determines the number of salespeople needed to call on each class of accounts the desired number of times.



Applying the Concept

What components of a salesperson’s day go into calculating his or her workload? List the components and estimate the amount of time a salesperson located in New York City, who can walk or take the subway to each client, will spend doing each task.



d. Sales management must also decide who will be involved in the selling effort and how various sales and sales support people will work together.

1. The company may have an outside sales force, an inside sales force, or both.

a. Outside salespeople travel to call on customers.

b. Inside salespeople conduct business from their offices via telephone or visits from prospective buyers.

c. Inside salespeople include support people, sales assistants, and telemarketers.



Use Key Terms Outside Sales Force, Inside Sales Force here.

Use Marketing at Work 13-1 here.



2. Most companies are now using team selling to service large, complex accounts.

a. Teams might include experts from any area or level of the selling firm, including sales, marketing, technical and support services, R&D, engineering, operations, finance, and others.

b. The move to team selling mirrors similar changes in customers’ buying organizations.

c. Team selling does have some pitfalls. Selling teams can confuse or overwhelm customers who are used to working with only one salesperson. Salespeople who are used to having customers all to themselves may have trouble learning to work with and trust others on a team. Difficulties in evaluating individual contributions to the team selling effort can create some compensation issues.



Use Key Term Team Selling here.



Recruiting and Selecting Salespeople

e. At the heart of any successful sales force operation is the recruitment and selection of good salespeople.

f. According to the Gallup Management Consulting Group’s research, the best salespeople possess four key talents: intrinsic motivation, disciplined work style, the ability to close sales, and the ability to build relationships with customers.

g. When recruiting, companies should analyze the sales job itself and the characteristics of its most successful salespeople to identify the traits needed by a successful salesperson in their industry.

h. Recruiting will attract many applicants from whom the company must select the best.

i. The selection process can vary from a single informal interview to lengthy testing and interviewing.

1. Many companies give formal tests to sales applicants.

2. Tests typically measure sales aptitude, analytical and organiza-tional skills, personality traits, and other characteristics.



Use Application Questions 1 here.

Use Focus on Ethics here.



Training Salespeople

j. New salespeople may spend anywhere from a few weeks or months to a year or more in training.

k. The average initial training period is 4 months. Then, most companies provide continuing sales training via seminars, sales meetings, and the web throughout the salesperson’s career.

l. Training programs have several goals.

1. Salespeople need to know and identify with the company, so most training programs begin by describing the company’s history and objectives, its organization, its financial structure and facilities, and its chief products and markets.

2. Salespeople also need to know customers’ and competitors’ characteristics, so the training program teaches them about competitors’ strategies and about different types of customers and their needs, buying motives, and buying habits.

3. Because salespeople must know how to make effective presenta-tions, they are trained in the principles of selling.

4. Finally, salespeople need to understand field procedures and responsibilities.


Compensating Salespeople

m. Compensation is made up of several elements: a fixed amount, a variable amount, expenses, and fringe benefits.

1. The fixed amount, usually a salary, gives the salesperson some stable income.

2. The variable amount, which might be commissions or bonuses based on sales performance, rewards the salesperson for greater effort.

3. Expense allowances, which repay salespeople for job-related expenses, let salespeople undertake needed and desirable selling efforts.

4. Fringe benefits, such as paid vacations, sick leave, accident benefits, pensions, and life insurance, enhance job satisfaction.

n. Management must decide what mix of these compensation elements makes the most sense for each sales job.

1. Different combinations of fixed and variable compensation give rise to four basic types of compensation plans.

a. Straight salary.

b. Straight commission.

c. Salary plus bonus.

d. Salary plus commission.

2. Compensation should direct the sales force toward activities that are consistent with overall marketing objectives. Table 13-1 shows an illustration of a compensation plan.



Use Table 13-1 here.



Supervising Salespeople

o. Through supervision, the company directs and motivates the sales force to do a better job.

1. Companies vary in how closely they supervise their salespeople. They use various tools.

a. An annual call plan shows which customers and prospects to call on in which months and which activities to carry out.

b. A time-and-duty analysis could be performed. Figure 13-2 shows how salespeople spend their time.



Use Figure 13-2 here.



2. Many firms have adopted sales force automation systems, computerized sales force operations for more efficient order-entry transactions, improved customer service, and better salesperson decision-making support.

p. Sales managers must also motivate salespeople.

1. Management can boost sales force morale and performance through its organizational climate, sales quotas, and positive incentives.

a. Organizational climate describes the feeling that sales-people have about their opportunities, value, and rewards for good performance.

b. Many companies adopt sales quotas, which are standards stating the amount they should sell and how sales should be divided among the company’s products. Compensation is often related to how well salespeople meet their quotas.

c. Various positive incentives, such as sales meetings, sales contests, and honors, merchandise and cash awards, trips, and profit-sharing, are also used to motivate sales forces.



Use Key Term Sales Quotas here.

Use Under the Hood/Focus on Technology here.



Evaluating Salespeople

q. Management gets information about its salespeople in many ways.

1. Sales reports are weekly or monthly work plans and longer-term territory marketing plans.

2. Call reports are based on salespeople’s completed activities.

3. Expense reports show what salespeople will be partly or wholly repaid.

r. Formal evaluation forces management to develop and communicate clear standards for judging performance.



Use Speed Bump: Linking the Concepts here.

Use Application Questions 2 here.

4. The Personal Selling Process

a. The selling process consists of several steps that the salesperson must master. These steps focus on the goal of getting new customers and obtaining orders from them.



Use Key Term Selling Process here.



Steps in the Selling Process

b. Figure 13-3 shows the selling process consisting of seven steps.



Use Figure 13-3 here.



1. The first step is prospecting, which is identifying qualified potential customers.

a. Salespeople must often approach many prospects to get just a few sales.

b. Although the company supplies some leads, salespeople need skill in finding their own.

c. Salespeople also need to know how to qualify leads—identifying the good ones and screening out the poor ones.

d. Prospects can be qualified by looking at their financial ability, volume of business, special needs, location, and possibilities for growth.



Let’s Discuss This

How would you qualify a prospect for Mary Kay Cosmetics? For a new Dell laptop?



2. The preapproach step is where salespeople learn as much as possible about an organization and its buyers.

a. Salespeople can consult standard industry and online sources, acquaintances, and others to learn about a company.

b. Salespeople should set call objectives, which may be to qualify a prospect, to gather information, or to make an immediate sale.

3. The approach step is where salespeople meet and greet a buyer to get a relationship off to a good start.

a. This step involves salespeople’s appearance, opening lines, and the follow-up remarks.

4. During the presentation step of the selling process, salespeople tell the product “story” to a buyer, presenting customer benefits and showing how the product solves the customer’s problems.

a. The need-satisfaction approach calls for good listening and problem-solving skills.

b. The qualities that buyers dislike most in salespeople include being pushy, late, deceitful, and unprepared or disorganized.

c. The qualities buyers value most include empathy, good listening, honesty, dependability, thoroughness, and follow-through.

5. In handling objections, salespeople should use a positive approach, seek out hidden objections, ask the buyer to clarify any objections, take objections as opportunities to provide more information, and turn the objections into reasons for buying.

6. Closing is the process of getting the order.

a. Salespeople should know how to recognize closing signals from the buyer, including physical actions, comments, and questions.

b. Salespeople can use one of several closing techniques.

i. They can ask for the order.

ii. They can review points of agreement.

iii. They can offer to help write up the order.

iv. They can ask whether the buyer wants this model or that one.

v. They can note that the buyer will lose out if the order is not placed now.

7. The last step in the selling process is follow-up. This is necessary if salespeople want to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat business.



Use Key Terms Prospecting, Preappraoch, Approach, Presentation, Handling Objections, Closing, and Follow-Up here.

Use Discussing the Issues 3 here.

Use Application Questions 3 here.



Personal Selling and Customer Relationship Management

c. The principles of personal selling as just described are transaction- oriented; their aim is to help salespeople close a specific sale with a customer.

d. In many cases, companies want profitable long-term relationships with customers they can win and keep. 

e. The sales force usually plays an important role in building and managing profitable customer relationships.

f. Today’s large customers favor suppliers who can sell and deliver a coordinated set of products and services to many locations and who can work closely with customer teams to improve products and processes.



Use Chapter Objectives 3 here.



5. Direct Marketing

a. With the trend toward more narrowly targeted or one-to-one marketing, many companies are adopting direct marketing, either as a primary marketing approach or as a supplement to other approaches.

b. Direct marketing consists of direct connections with carefully targeted individual consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.



Use Key Term Direct Marketing here.

Use Chapter Objectives 4 here.



The New Direct-Marketing Model

c. Most companies still use direct marketing as a supplementary channel or medium for marketing their goods.

d. For many companies today, however, direct marketing is more than just a supplementary channel or medium.

1. Especially in its newest transformation—Internet marketing and e-commerce—direct marketing constitutes a new and complete model for doing business.

2. This new direct model is rapidly changing the way companies think about building relationships with customers.



Use Marketing at Work 13-2 here.



Benefits and Growth of Direct Marketing

e. For buyers, direct marketing is convenient, easy to use, and private.

1. Direct marketing gives buyers ready access to a wealth of products and information, both at home and around the globe.

2. Direct marketing is immediate and interactive—buyers can interact with sellers by phone or on the seller’s website to create exactly the configuration of information, products, or services they desire, and then order them on the spot.

f. For sellers, direct marketing is a powerful tool for building customer relationships.

1. Using database marketing, today’s marketers can target small groups or individual consumers, tailor offers to individual needs, and promote these offers through personalized communications.

2. Direct marketing can be timed to reach prospects at just the right moment.

3. Direct marketing gives access to buyers that the company could not reach through other channels.

4. Direct marketing offers a low-cost, efficient alternative for reaching their markets.

g. As a result of these advantages to both buyers and sellers, direct marketing has become the fastest-growing form of marketing.



Use Discussing the Issues 4 here.



Customer Databases and Direct Marketing

h. A customer database is an organized collection of comprehensive data about individual customers or prospects, including geographic, demo-graphic, psychographic, and behavioral data.

1. The database can be used to locate good potential customers, tailor products and services to the special needs of targeted consumers, and maintain long-term customer relationships.

2. A customer mailing list, in contrast, is simply a set of names, addresses, and telephone numbers.



Use Key Term Customer Database here.



i. Companies use their databases in many ways.

1. They can use a database to identify prospects and generate sales leads by advertising products or offers.

2. They can use a database to deepen customer loyalty.

3. Or they can use the database to profile customers based on previous purchasing and to decide which customers should receive particular offers.



Use Figure 13-4 here.

Use Chapter Objectives 5 here.




 

Forms of Direct Marketing

j. The major forms of direct marketing are shown in Figure 13-4.

1. Telephone marketing uses the telephone to sell directly to con-sumers and business customers.

a. It has become the major direct-marketing communication tool.

b. Telephone marketing now accounts for more than 39% of all direct-marketing media expenditures and 36% of direct-marketing sales.

c. Marketers use outbound telephone marketing to sell directly to consumers and businesses.

d. Inbound toll-free 800 numbers are used to receive orders from television and print ads, direct mail, or catalogs.

e. Properly designed and targeted telemarketing provides many benefits, including purchasing convenience and increased product and service information.

f. However, the recent explosion in unsolicited telephone marketing has annoyed many consumers.

i. When the FTC opened registration for its “Do Not Call List” in mid-2003, nearly 10 million consumers registered 13 million phone numbers in the first three days.

2. Direct-mail marketing involves sending an offer, announcement, reminder, or other item to a person at a particular address.

a. Using highly selective mailing lists, direct marketers send out millions of mail pieces each year.

b. Direct mail accounts for nearly 23% of all direct-marketing media expenditures and 31% of direct-marketing sales.

c. Direct mail is well suited to direct, one-to-one communi-cation. 

d. Direct mail permits high target-market selectivity, can be personalized, is flexible, and allows easy measurement of results.

e. Three new forms of mail delivery have become popular.

i. Fax mail: Marketers now routinely send fax mail announcing special offers, sales, and other events to prospects and customers with fax machines.

ii. Email: Many marketers now send sales announce-ments, offers, product information, and other mes-sages to email addresses.

iii. Voice mail: Some marketers have set up automated programs that exclusively target voice mailboxes and answering machines with prerecorded mes-sages.



Use Marketing at Work 13-3 here.



3. Catalog marketing has grown explosively during the past 25 years.

a. Annual catalog sales are expected to grow to more than $176 billion in 2008.

b. Ninety-seven percent of all catalog companies now present merchandise and take orders over the Internet.

i. Web-based catalogs present some challenges. They are passive and must be marketed. Attracting customers is much more difficult for a Web catalog than for a print catalog.

4. Direct-response television marketing takes one of two major forms.

a. Direct-response advertising is where direct marketers air television spots, often 60 or 120 seconds long, that persuasively describe a product and give customers a toll-free number for ordering.

b. Infomercials are 30-minute advertising programs for a single product.

i. For years, infomercials have been associated with somewhat questionable pitches.

ii. But major corporations have been using info-mercials to sell their wares.

c. With widespread distribution on cable and satellite television, the top three shopping networks combined now reach 248 million homes worldwide, selling more than $4 billion of goods each year.

5. Kiosks are information and ordering machines in stores, airports, and other locations.



Use Key Terms Telephone Marketing, Direct-Mail Marketing, Catalog Marketing, and Direct-Response Television Marketing here.

Use Marketing at Work 13-4 here.

Use Speed Bump: Linking the Concepts here.

Use Discussing the Issues 5 here.



Integrated Direct Marketing

k. Too often, a company’s individual direct-marketing efforts are not well integrated with one another or with elements of its marketing and promotion mixes.

l. Integrated direct marketing is a power approach that involves using coordinated multiple-media, multiple-stage campaigns.


Use Key Term Integrated Direct Marketing here.

Use Figure 13-5 here.



Public Policy and Ethical Issues in Direct Marketing

m. The aggressive and sometimes shady tactics of a few direct marketers can bother or harm consumers, giving the industry a black eye.

n. Direct-marketing excesses sometimes annoy or offend consumers.

1. Dinner-time or late-night phone calls are especially bothersome.

2. So-called heat merchants design mailers and write copy intended to mislead buyers.

3. Some direct marketers pretend to be conducting research surveys when they are actually asking leading questions to screen or persuade customers.

o. Invasion of privacy is perhaps the toughest public policy issue now confronting the direct-marketing industry.

1. It seems that almost every time consumers enter a sweepstakes, apply for a credit card, take out a magazine subscription, or order products by mail, telephone, or the Internet, their names are entered into some company’s already bulging database.

2. Although consumers often benefit from database marketing, many critics worry that marketers may know too much about consumers’ lives.

p. The direct marketing industry is addressing issues of ethics and public policy.

1. Direct marketers know that, left untended, such problems will lead to increasingly negative consumer attitudes, lower response rates, and calls for more restrictive state and federal legislation.

2. Most direct marketers want the same things that consumers want: honest and well-designed marketing offers targeted only toward consumers who will appreciate and respond to them.



Travel Log


Discussing the Issues

1. What is meant by “personal selling is the interpersonal arm of the promotion mix”? What advantages and disadvantages does the personal selling function have relative to advertising in convincing consumers to make a purchase?


Advertising consists of one-way, nonpersonal communication with target consumer groups. In contrast, personal selling involves two-way, personal communication between salespeople and individual customers—whether face-to-face, by telephone, through video or web conferences, or by other means. Personal selling can be more effective than advertising in more complex selling situations. Salespeople can probe customers to learn more about their problems, then adjust the marketing offer to fit the special needs of each customer and negotiate terms of sale. They can build long-term personal relationships with key decision makers.


2. Compare and contrast a territorial sales force structure, a product sales force structure, and a customer sales force structure. Under what circumstances might a company want to use each one?


In the territorial sales force structure, each salesperson is assigned to an exclusive geographic area and sells the company’s full line of products or services to all customers in that territory. Salespeople must know their products—especially when the products are numerous and complex. This need, together with the growth of product management, has led many companies to adopt a product sales force structure, in which the sales force sells along product lines. More and more companies are now using a customer sales force structure, in which they organize the sales force along customer or industry lines. Separate sales forces may be set up for different industries, for serving current customers versus finding new ones, and for major accounts versus regular accounts. 


3. In the selling process, the activities that occur before the potential client is contacted are of vital importance. Discuss the role of prospecting, qualifying, and the preapproach activities in making the actual sales presentations more successful.


Prospecting is identifying qualified potential customers. Qualifying is identifying potentially good customers and screening out poor ones. Prospects can be qualified by looking at their financial ability, volume of business, special needs, location, and possibilities for growth. Before calling on a prospect, the salesperson should learn as much as possible about an organization (what it needs, who is involved in the buying) and its buyers (its characteristics and buying styles). This step is known as the preapproach. If these three steps are done correctly, then the salesperson is much more likely to be calling on individuals who need his or her products, and thus has a better chance to ultimately make a sale.


4. Direct marketing is the fastest growing form of marketing. What benefits do buyers and sellers receive from this marketing communications mix element that has led to its growth?


For buyers, direct marketing is convenient, easy to use, and private. Direct marketing gives buyers ready access to a wealth of products and information, both at home and around the globe. Also, direct marketing is immediate and interactive—buyers can interact with sellers by phone or on the seller’s website to create exactly the configuration of information, products, or services the buyer desires, then order them on the spot.  For the sellers, direct marketing allows them to target small groups or individual consumers, tailor offers to individual needs, and promote these offers through personalized communications. Direct marketing can also be timed to reach prospects at just the right moment. Direct marketing also gives sellers access to buyers that they could not reach through other channels. 


5. Study the direct marketing forms of telephone marketing, direct-mail marketing, catalog marketing, direct-response television marketing, and kiosk marketing presented in this chapter. Identify products or services that would be appropriate for each of these forms of direct marketing. What is it about the products or services you selected that make them appropriate for these forms?


Student responses to this question will vary with the types of products they select. Instructors may wish to point out how the degree to which the customer wants immediate delivery of the product/service, the consumer’s desire to “touch” the product before purchase, and the risk (financial and social) associated with the product may be factors that account for the appropriateness of products for particular forms of direct marketing.



Application Questions

1. In a small group, discuss entry-level sales positions appropriate for someone graduating from college with a marketing degree. Your discussion should include what a typical day would be like for this salesperson and your group should identify the traits an individual should possess to be a successful salesperson in this industry. Write a newspaper advertisement for recruiting an individual for this position. 


Be sure that students list the specific attributes they would like the new hire to have in the advertisement. This would also be a good opportunity to review diversity and gender issues related to hiring.


2. Building on the sales position advertisement developed in the prior question, you are now asked to evaluate potential applicants for the job. Each group member should bring a resume to class with the individual’s name removed. The group should then discuss what they will look for in a job candidate’s resume that will allow them to screen for the traits they discussed in the development of the advertisement. The group should then review the resumes and select the top two candidates they would invite to interview.

Another twist for this exercise is to bring in a sales manager as a guest speaker and have the sales manager perform the same task and then debrief with the students. For more ideas on this type of exercise see “An Experiential Exercise for Enlightening Sales Students about the Screening and Selection Process for Sales Jobs” by James G. Lollar, Thomas W. Leigh in the Journal of Marketing Education, Volume 17, Number 3, Fall 1995.

3. Select a product with which you are familiar and conduct a sales presenta-tion/demonstration. Pair with another student and take turns role-playing the “salesperson” and the “prospect.” The salesperson should tell the product story to the prospect, present customer benefits, and show how the product solves the customer’s problems. The prospect should raise objections to the sale so that the salesperson can practice handling objections. The selling role-play should end with the salesperson attempting to close the sale. Several other students can observe the interaction and offer a critique of the salesperson.


Instructors may also desire to have the role play interaction videotaped and later go back with the entire class to critique the positive actions and improve the poorer performances. Alternatively, students might be asked to develop two tapes, one showing a poor salesperson-client interaction and the other showing a good one.



Under the Hood/Focus on Technology

Many companies offer sales force automation products to assist salespeople in managing their clients. Visit the websites of these three sales force automation vendors (www.salesforce.com, www.avantgo.com/frontdoor/corpfrontdoor.html, and www.upshot.com), and read about their products. Next respond to the following questions.

1. What activities can sales force automation products help salespeople perform better?


Students are likely to respond with scheduling tasks, keeping track of where the client is in the decision-making process, knowing what the customer has purchased in the past, and keeping track of personal information about specific clients (e.g., favorite food, birthday, etc.).


2. What kinds of questions would you ask a sales force automation vendor if you were in charge of purchasing a system for your company?


Cost versus benefit questions would be appropriate. The company purchasing the automation system will want to know how revenues will increase as a result of using this system and how long it will take to recoup the cost of the investment.


3. What concerns might salespeople have to their company implementing a new sales force automation tool? What could be done to overcome these objections?


Salespeople may be used to doing things the “old” way and be reluctant to embrace new technology, especially if they don’t see any immediate benefit to the added time they are now giving to entering information into the system. Having a successful salesperson act as a champion for the new system may help win over other salespeople. Of course, adequate training and support must be provided to make sure the system is being used to its fullest potential.



Focus on Ethics

Recruitment and selection are a big part of the sales management function. There are a variety of state and federal laws dictating what a sales manger can and cannot ask an applicant during the job interview. Generally, a sales manager should focus on questions that directly relate to knowing if the job candidate can or cannot perform the functions required of the job. Questions should not be asked that may lead to the potential for discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, national origin, race, or religion. Examples of inappropriate questions include: Are you married? How old are you? Where were you born? Do you attend church regularly? Have you ever been arrested? Are you planning on having children? Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?  

1. Why are laws in place that make it illegal to ask the types of questions listed above?


These laws protect job applicants from being unfairly denied employment. The fact that an individual will have children, for example, should not disqualify him or her from a job.


2. If you were asked one of these questions in an interview how would you handle it? What response options would you have?


One way to react would be to be defensive and tell the interviewer that the question is inappropriate. However, often times these questions are not asked for the purpose of discrimination, but are more often naively asked as a way to get to know the applicant better. In such cases, getting defensive may harm the chances of the firm hiring the applicant. Students might be advised to try and assess the motivation or reason behind the question being asked and then respond appropriately. One could also choose to deflect the question and answer it only partially.


3. What steps might a sales organization take to help reduce the possibility that inappropriate questions are asked during job interviews?

 

Firms should provide training and/or information to those involved in the hiring process with regard to the types of questions that should and should not be asked. Role-playing might be a useful exercise in this regard.




 

GREAT IDEAS



Barriers to Effective Learning


1. The issues surrounding managing the sales force can be difficult for some students. Individually, each of the decisions a sales manager needs to make seem reasonable enough, but bringing them all together to actually plan how to develop and manage the sales force appears complicated to most undergraduates. These issues can be made simpler by going through each of the concepts carefully and thoroughly. You may also want to have the students design their own sales force for a product or service idea they have. This will really drive home the concepts of how you design the sales force, as well as all the management processes.

2. Sales to most students equates to retail sales, a field that many people dislike. Therefore, many students will not be planning on going into sales as a career, and this could cause them to “tune out” during this section. You can bring them back by talking about the nature of selling in various kinds of service firms, such as accounting firms, that many students may be heading toward after graduation. Also, a discussion of the sophistication and professionalism of the salespeople in companies such as IBM and other business-to-business companies can generate some enthusiasm for this important field.

3. The personal selling process will be a surprise to many students, again because they typically think of retail sales, if they’ve thought about sales at all. The importance of all of these steps in the sales process can be highlighted in the discussion of business-to-business sales.

4. Direct marketing is a hot topic these days because of the national Do Not Call list and the recently passed federal legislation on anti-spamming. The students should be able to maintain their interest in this topic, but they may well be surprised that direct marketing is not just for underfunded or shady enterprises. Highlight the section on customer databases to get across the analytics required for successful direct marketing, as well as all the forms of direct marketing listed in the text.



Student Projects


1. Research several companies to decide how their sales forces are structured (i.e., territorial, product, customer, or complex).

2. List and briefly describe the steps in the personal selling process. Which do you think are most difficult? Which step is most critical to successful selling?

3. Analyze your own potential to be a salesperson in your chosen field. List your strengths and weaknesses as they apply to a career in sales. How would you play up your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses?

4. Select one of the direct marketing methods and discuss the decisions that are necessary in developing a strategy for using the method.



Classroom Exercise/Homework Assignment


The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) was established in 1917 and is the largest trade association for businesses involved in direct marketing, database marketing, and interactive global marketing. Its membership includes about 4,700 companies in the United States alone.


The DMA provides its members with education, the latest industry knowledge and techniques, representation to both federal and state legislatures, and can even provide some targeted marketing opportunities.


1. Review the website for the DMA. What functions impress you the most? Worry you the most?


Student responses will vary. On the impressive side, the DMA does provide a host of educational services for its members, which could help stem abuses by direct marketers. On the other side, the DMA also argues vociferously for sharing marketing data in the debate over consumer privacy. Although the association has always supported the ability of consumers to “opt-out,, they feel strongly that companies should be able to use the data they collect to their benefit and share the data with others. There is also content on the site that is restricted to members; what might they be trying to hide?


2. The Member Directory for the DMA is restricted. How do you feel about this?


Again, student responses will vary. Some will point out that the vast majority of associations restrict their membership lists. Others will argue that, given the mission of the DMA, it might be helpful for consumers to be able to check to see if a given company is a member, thus giving it a kind of “seal of approval.”


3. When considering purchasing a product from a direct marketing company, would it make a difference to you if that company noted that they were a member of the Direct Marketing Association?


Student responses will vary. Many will point out that any company can claim to be a member, and because you can’t check on the DMA website, you will have no way of knowing if a company really is a member. And if it were, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their business practices are totally on the up and up; it would make more sense to check with the Better Business Bureau. However, others will say that it is at least a step in the right direction, and they will believe that the DMA will police those who say they are members.





 

Classroom Management Strategies


This chapter continues the discussion begun in Chapter 12; it describes the final two communications methods for integrated marketing communications. Most of the chapter is spent on the sales process, and then direct marketing is discussed.


1. The introduction and Personal Selling section can be covered in 5 minutes. These sections set the stage for the next two sections, and for that reason should not be rushed through.

2. Spend 20 minutes going over the section entitled Managing the Sales Force. This is critical information that the students will need to learn. Figure 13-1 provides an introduction to the steps in sales force management. Marketing at Work 13-1 shows how sales forces are changing with the introduction of new technology. Finally, review Table 13-1 to show the connection between marketing strategy and sales force compensation.

3. The Personal Selling Process can be covered in 15 minutes. Be sure to work with the students to ensure their understanding of each step of the process. Having them team up to “sell” something to other teams is often helpful in this section, ensuring that they “prospect,” develop their preapproach and approach, and then present, close, and follow-up. Figure 13-3 shows the complete selling process.

4. Direct Marketing is a packed section. Spend 20 minutes here, paying particular attention to the subsections on customer databases and the forms of direct marketing. Most students will come into this thinking only of telemarketing calls. Others will have trouble distinguishing between direct marketing and advertising. Marketing at Work 13-2 talks about Dell’s direct process. Because most students are familiar with Dell, this can really help them understand the benefits of direct marketing.

5. Public policy as it relates to direct marketing is ever changing. Have the students investigate the current status of laws and proposals as it pertains to telemarketing and email marketing campaigns, and report back to the class. A discussion of the implication of these laws and proposals will drive home the complexity of the issues.



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