Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sales Organization

Definition of Sales Organization
The value-based orientation and set-up of sales channels and management structures is a central part of sales control. In the past, having an extensive agency network was a central success factor. In the future, the focus is more likely to be on networking of various sales channels (key word: multi-channel). This will mean numerous changes, for example in the supply of the necessary information, in the management of sales channels, and also in the creation of customer-friendly product bundles. Integrated reconciliation of sales activities and avoidance of channel conflicts will be of great importance.

Building the sales organization
The sales department in any organization occupies strategic position. Of all company personnel, those in the sales department are in the closest touch with final buyers and middlemen. Sales department personnel also work closely with such key publics as the industry, the government, the educational world and the press. How these representatives of the sales department conduct themselves with the public affects the company’s reputation. Good relations depend in larger measure upon the skill with which personnel selling programs are planned and executed, thus building an good sales organization plays a very important role in maintaining above said relations and promote the sales.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sales Control

Sales co-ordination and sales controlling including sales expense control
Sales co-ordination goes hand in hand with sales control. The sales executives have the responsibility for co-ordinating the different elements of the selling efforts. He should ensure that the various elements do not pull in different direction.

It is through sales control that the sales executive ensures that all the personnel selling objectives of the firm are achieved. Sales control also helps him to ensure that the sales goals are properly aligned with the other goals of the firm. Even in online business sales control is very much important factor. Online blinds store who are selling roller shades and woven wood shades, for them sales control is very much important factor.

Methods of sales control:
Sales managers use both formal and informal control methods in exercising sales control. The more common one among the methods of sales control are as follows:

a) Sales targets and sales reports
b) Sales expenditure budget and expenditure reports
c) Travel plan and tour reports
d) Watching the salesman in the field
e) Information gathered from dealers and major customers.
f) Inspection of depots/warehouse
g) Sales conferences.

In our next post we will discuss on some important part of sales force management and which is Sales Organization and sales promotion.

Sales report

Today we are going to discuss on Sales Report and user of sales reports and types of sales reports. The fundamental purpose of sales reports is to provide control information. Good communications require interaction between those preparing and those receiving reports. A good sales reporting system provides both for communication from field to headquarters and from headquarter to the field. Field sales reports provide sales management with a basis for discussion with sales personnel and it helps to the sales personnel in their self-improvement programs.

Uses of sales reports:
a) Sales reports provide data for evaluating performance.
b) Helps to plan the activity to the salesman.
c) Helps to record the customers suggestions and complaints, about products, service policies, price changes advertising campaigns etc.
d) Helps to gather information on competitors activities.
e) Helps to report changes in local business and economic conditions.
f) To keep the mailing list updated for promotional and catalog materials.
g) To provide information required by marketing research.

Types of sales report:
a) Progress or call report
b) Expense report
c) Sales work plan
d) New business or potential new business report
e) Report of complaint and/or adjustments

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Growth and Development

Ensuring growth and developing new accounts
Sales organization plays important role not selling to the existing customers and the same number of units all the time, it is very important to maintain growth in the quantity of sales through identifying new markets and the new customers. In term life insurance business, adding new clients, they can sell new policies and by that business can grow and get developed. So, for term life insurance company identifying new segment of markets and by that adding more and more new customers is always on priority list.

Sales communication and reporting
Sales management is carried out largely through communication-either it is oral or written or both. The communication in the sales department is two way process. The sales manager lets his men know what they are expected to achieve, how they are performing, how they can improve and perform better. He also keep them informed of what is happening in the company related to the, products, production, distribution, promotion and profitability. Insurance SFA software helps term life insurance agents to keep and maintain two way sales communication and sales reporting.

The salesman in turn keep the sales manager informed of what is happening in the market and how the sales and marketing programs of the firm are progressing. In the field’s sales situation, communication cannot be always face-to-face as in factory or in office situation. A Local installer for blinds and roller shades company play important role for two way sales communication. He let customer know about the company products and policies at the same time he update company about the feedback from the customer. Sales persons work independently and always from the office.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Managing the marketing channels

It is very important to secure and maintain harmonious working relationships with the distributive networks are an important as building and maintaining favourable relations with final buyers. Distributive outlets are customers for the products, and collectively they bear responsibility for making the pay-off sales to final buyers. Unless the supply of product flows through the final buyers, marketing channels clog, and all previous personnel selling and other marketing efforts are wasted.

Both the manufactures and distributive outlets have much to gain from co-operation, and much to loose if it is lacking. Although co-operation is a two way street, generally the manufacturer must initiate it. Those charged with planning, administration, and implementation of programs of co-operation with distributive outlets must consider the implications for personal selling strategy and sales department operations.

No manufacturers marketing program is complete if it lacks plan for securing and maintaining the co-operation of the distributive outlets. The fortunes of manufacturers rise and fall with those of their distributors and dealers. If distributors and dealers succeed in selling the products, the manufacturer also succeeds if they fail the manufacturer fails.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Training and development

In every area training is the prerequisite to improvement, like-wise the purpose pf sales training is to achieve improved job performance, and the training should rest on the convictions that every salesman can be improved through carefully designed training

Steps involved in designing sales training:

1. Defining training aims.
2. Determining the training needs.
3. Determining the special needs.
4. Deciding nature and type of training required: Normally following are the some types of training, In company training, external training, individual training, group training, on-the job training, off-the job training.
5. Deciding the content.
6. Choosing the methods: The lecture, the personal conference, demonstrations, role playing, case discussions etc.
7. Developing the material required for training.
8. Evaluating the effectiveness of the training.

Aims of Sales training: Normally the sales training will have following aims to inculcate new techniques or to improve upon the existing knowledge.

1. To increase sales.
2. To acquire new accounts.
3. Faster turn round stocks.
4. Selling a complete product line instead of just fast selling items.
5. Better merchandising and sales promotion.
6. Better technical knowledge.
7. Improving sales presentation and sharpening sales skills.
8. Improving customer relations and dealer relations.

blinds, roller shades, woven wood shades

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sales Approaches

Symptoms of poor morale:
1. Minor complaints get magnified.
2. Unionism suddenly arises.
3. Anti-management attitude of sales personnel.

Sales coaching/supervision: It is also important factor in sales management. It is perhaps the most neglected, but potentially most rewarding area. Effective sales supervision will increase sales and profits and reduce selling expense. It will also improve the morale and motivation of the salesman and reduce their wasteful turnover. The extent and sales supervision may vary depending the complexity of the organization. Important aspect that requires close supervision includes.

1. Setting norms for sales calls.
2. Managing key customers.
3. Guiding salesman on route planning.

Evaluation/appraisal: The basic idea of all performance appraisals is the belief that human beings have great capacity for growth and improved performance under right climate for performance, they will respond creatively and positively. The same principle applies equally to the performance appraisal of sales personal. The sales personnel perform better when performance criteria, goals, and tasks are established clearly and by mutual agreement. Likewise their performance is considerably improved when they are given periodic feedback on how they are performing and in what areas they can improve by greater application. The sales personnnel performance helps debt consolidation work in company. They also come up with improved performance when they are given the necessary help and guidance on the job and are rewarded promptly according to their contribution.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Motivation of sales personnel

Motivation sales personnel is an important aspect of sales force management sales force management sales personnel require additional motivation because of inherent nature of the sales job, role conflicts, the natural tendency towards apathy, and difficulties in building group identity. The concept of need gratification and interdependence assist in understanding efforts require that sales personnel. Implementing motivational efforts require that sales executives be skilled leaders, rather than drivers, of sales personnel. It demands that they be skilled in interpersonal and written communications. Satisfactory job performance develop out of deep understanding of motivational forces and process, effective leadership, two-way communication, and effective handling of relationships.

Moral building: Motivation in the larger sense includes morale good morale leads to good motivation and to good performance. In other words, morale and motivation go to hand in hand, it is the responsibility of sales management to built up the morale of the sales force and maintain it at high level. Following are the some of the reasons for poor morale.
1. Improper designing of the sales territories.
2. Some salesman might be given territories with little potential.
3. The compensation plan may be faulty.
4. Performance evaluation not done with fairness and objectivity.
5. Unfair treatment in rewards, transfer and promotions.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Compensation plan types

Types of compensation plans:

A. Straight salary plan:
This is the simplest compensation plan under this plan sales person receive fixed sums at regular intervals, representing total payments for their services. This method has advantages as well as disadvantages it should be carefully chosen according to the type of product industry.

B. Straight-commission plan:
This plan mainly relies on the theory that the sales personnel should be paid according to productivity. The assumption underlying this plan is that sales volume is the best productivity measure and can therefore be used as the sole measure.

C. Combinations of salary and incentive plan: Most sales compensation plans are combinations of salary and commission plans. It includes fixed salary plus incentive according to the performance of the individual sales person.

Apart from the above methods some companies may have the system of paying bonus and fringe benefits, Bonus differ from combinations – Infact a bonus is a amount paid for accomplishing a specific sales task a commission varies in amount with sales volume or other commission base. Fringe benefits, which do not bear direct relationship to job performance, it is normally percent of the total sales performance package, out of which some are required by legal and government such as provided fund, gratuity, etc.

roman shades, vertical blinds, window blinds

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Managing the Sales Force-1

Managing the sales force involves the following conceptual activities, let us discuss each of them briefly.

1. Compensation
2. Motivation of sales personnel
3. Morale Building
4. Sales coaching/supervision
5. Evaluation/appraisal
6. Training and development

1. Compensation: Once a sales personal is selected it is necessary to design a good sales compensation plan, according to experts sales compensation plan meets the following requirements.

It provides a living wage.
The plan fits with the rest of the motivational program.
Plan should be fair.
It must easy for sales personal to understand.
Plan must adjust pay according to change in performance.
It must be economical to administer.
It must help in attaining the objectives of the sales organizations.

Steps in devising the good compensation plan: Whether contemplating major or minor changes or drafting completely new sales compensation plan, the sales executive approaches the project systematically, good compensation are built on solid foundations. A systematic approach assures that no essential step is overlooked, they are:

a. Define the sales job.
b. Consider the company’s general compensation structure.
c. Consider compensation patterns in company and industry.
d. Determine compensation levels.
e. Provide for the various compensation elements.
f. Consider special company needs and problems.
g. Consult the present sales force.
h. Reduce tentative plan to writing and preset it.
i. Revise the plan.Implement the plan and provide for follow up.

window blind store, premierinns, term life insurance

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creating the Sales Force-1

Source of sales force recruitment: Is categorized into two types’-namely internal sources and external sources.

An internal source consists of: Company sales personnel, company executive and internal transfers. An external source consists of: direct unsolicited applications, employment agencies, sales people making calls on the company, employees of customers, sales executives club, sales force of non-competing companies, sales force of competing companies, educational institutions etc.

Selection: Selection system of sales personal range from simple one step system consisting of nothing more than an informal personal interview, to complex multiple step system incorporating diverse mechanisms designed to gather information about applicant for sales jobs. A selection system is a set of successive ‘screens’ at any of which an applicant may be dropped from further considerations.

Steps involved in sales personnel selection: Normally following are the steps used in most of the company’s for the selection of the sales personal:

1. Preliminary interview and pre-interview screening.
2. Formal application form.
3. Interview: The techniques may consist of, patterned interview,
non-directive interview, interaction interview.
4. Rating scales.
5. References and credit check.
6. Tests: Tests may be consists of following types – tests of ability
tests of habitual characteristics, Interest tests, achievement test.
7. Physical examination.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guaranteedblinds Review

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Creating the Sales Force

We are talking Sales management. We talked setting personal selling objectives, formulation sales policies, Structuring the sales force, Deciding the size of the sales force, Designing sales territories, Developing the sales forecasts and sales budgets, fixing sales quotas/targets. We talked on each of the above mentions errands involved in sales management. Today we will talk on creating the sales force.

Creation of the right kind and the right number of sales personnel is an important responsibility of sales management. Recruiting sources need identifying, both those internal to the company and those external to it. The process of creation of sales personnel involves the following activities.

  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Induction/orientation

Recruiting sales personnel is an important part of implementing personal selling strategy but it is not all that is involved. Team selection or recruiting sales personnel is very important task. Sales personnel are going to work in the field and going to give business. If we consider over all sales management, than recruitment of sales personnel is key part of that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Budget Quotas

The intension in setting budget quotas is to make it clear to sales personnel that their jobs consist of some thing more than obtaining sales volume. Budget quotas make personnel more conscious that the company is in business to make profit. Budget quotas indirectly controlling gross margin and net profit contributions.

Types of Budget Quotas:
a) Expense Quotas
b) Gross margin or net profit quotas
c) Activity quotas
d) Combination quotas

A) Expense Quotas: Expense Quotas emphasize on expense and different types of expense quotas.
Key man life insurance is included in expense quotas.

B) Gross Margin or net profit quotas: Gross margin or net profit quotas emphasize margin and profit contributions.

C) Activity: This type of quota desire to control how sales personnel allocate their time and efforts among different activities. A company using this type of quota system start by defining the important activities sales personnel perform, then it sets target performance frequencies. Activity quotas are appropriate when sales personnel perform important non-selling activities, normally in insurance selling, drug detailing etc. Sales personnel are part of keyman coverage.

D) Combination Quotas: Combination quotas are used to control performance of both selling and no-selling activities. These quotas overcome the difficulty of using different measurement units to appraise different aspects of performance, thus combination quotas summaries overall performance in a single measure.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sales Volume - Sales

We are talking Sales Forecast and Sales Budgeting here as part of our talk on Sales forces management. Sales Force Automation (SFA) is part of sales force management. We talked Fixing Sales Quota in our last talk. Today we are going to talk about Sales Volume.
Sales Volume:
Quote is an important standard for appraising the performance of individual sales personnel. Sales volume quotas communicate management’s expectations as to how much for what period sales volume quotas are set for geographical areas, product lines, or marketing channels or for one or more of these in combinations with any unit of the sales organization, the exact design depending upon what facets of the selling operation management want to appraise or motivate.

Sales volume quotas are subdivided into following categories:

  • Money sales volume quotas
  • Unit Volume quotas
  • Point volume quotas

Procedure for setting sales volume quotas:

  • Sales volume quotas derived from territorial potential.
  • Sales volume quotas derived from total market estimates.
  • Sales volume quotas based on past sales experience alone.
  • Sales volume quotas based on executive judgment alone.
  • Sales volume quotas related only to compensation plan.
  • Letting sales personnel set their own sales volume quotas.

ref: Insurance CRM Software, Insurance Agency management software

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Objective of Fixing Sales Quota

Sales force management is part of any sales force automation software with agency management software. We talked Sales Forecasts, Sales Budgets and Fixing Sales Quotas in our last post. Today we are going to talk about Objectives of Fixing Sales Quotas.

The basic objective is that a sales management has in mind in using quotas is to control the sales efforts. A skilled management uses quotas to motivate personnel to achieve desired performance levels, apart from these there are some other objectives also which are as follows:
  • To provide quantitative standards
  • To obtain tighter sales and expense control.
  • To motivate desired performance.
  • To use in connection with sales contents.

Types of sales quotas and quota setting procedures:
There are four types of sales categories. They are
1) Sales Volume
2) Budget Quotas
3) Activity
4) Combination
We will talk about Sales Categories in our next post.

ref: Agency Management Software, Insurance Software, Insurance CRM

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fixing Sales Quotas

Sales force management systems are information systems used in marketing and management that help automate some sales and sales force management functions. They are frequently combined with a marketing information system, in which case they are often called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. CRM is part of Agency Management System. We talked Sales Forecasts and Sales Budgets in our last post. Today we are going to talk about Fixing Slaes Quotas.

Fixing Sales Quotas/targets for individual sales territories/salesman
Sales Quotas are quantitative objectives assigned to sales organizational units i.e., to individual sales personnel. In some company’s, sales management sets quotas for middlemen, such as agent, wholesalers and retailers.

Quotas set for sales regions or other marketing units are broken down and assigned to lower level units like sales districts, or to individual sales personnel. All quotas have time dimension- they quantify what management expects with in a given period.

We will talk about Objective of fixing sales quota in next post.

ref: Insurance Software, Insurance SFA, agency management system

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sales Budget - SFA

Sales Force Management (SFA) we are talking here which is a part of agency management system of business. We talk about Sales forecasting in our last talked. Today we are going to talk on Sales budget.

Sales Budget:

The sales budget is a statement of projected sales revenues and selling expenses. Agency management system needs to have a sales budget. The projected sales revenue is, in effect the sales volume objectives derived from the various sales forecasts. The projected selling expenses are determined by the different organizational units with in the sales department and are based on assigned sales and profit objectives.

The sales budget is best prepared in an atmosphere where the bottom-up planning style predominates, with each echelon preparing a tentative budget of revenue and expense.
During the period in which the budget is in effect, items in the approved budget are compared with actual sales and expenses, and action is taken to bring the two into alignment.

In reality, the sales budget is a composite of quotas for sales, profits and expenses. Budget is a valuable too for control.

ref: agency management system, Insurance SFA & CRM

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sales Forecasts and Sales Budgets

Sales Force Management we are talking here which is part of agency management system. We talked Sales Force Automation in past post.

Today we are going to talk Sales Forecasts and Sales Budgeting.

Sales forecasting is the estimation of future sales of a company in a given period. It indicates how much a company with a given amount of resource can sell if it implements a particular marketing program.

Methods of sales forecasting

Sales forecasting method is a procedure for estimating how much of a given product can be sold if a given marketing program is implemented. Following are the some of the methods used in forecasting.

  • Jury of executive opinion
  • Delphi technique
  • Poll of sales force opinion
  • Projection of past sales
  • Time series analysis
  • Exponential smoothing
  • Survey of customer buying plans
  • Economic model building and simulation

ref: agency management system, sales force automation (sfa)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sales Territory - Sales Force Management

Structuring sales force and Sales Territories we talked as part of agency management system in our past post. Sales Force Management we are talking here and as a part of that we talk Sales Force Automation .

Reasons for eastablishing Sales Territories:
Sales territories play a major role in plannig and control of sales operations. Follwing are the some of the reasons for having sales territories.

  • To provide proper market coverage.

  • To control selling expenses.

  • To assist in evaluation sales personnel.

  • To contribute to sales force morale.

  • To aid in the co-ordination o persnnel sllng and advertising efforts.

Steps involved in setting up sales territories:
in setting up sales territories, there are four major steps-

  • Selecting a basic gegraphical control unit.

  • Determining sales potential in control units.

  • Combining control units into tentative territories.

  • Adjusting for coverage difficulty and redistricting tentative territories.

ref: agency management software, Insurance SFA & Insurance CRM Software