Management of Sales force

12th April 2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Personal selling is a very important component of the marketing activity. The success of a business concern depends considerably upon the performance of its salesperson. Salesperson play a crucial role in communicating company and product information to customers. The task of selling company’s products and services is entrusted to the salesmen of the company.

A salesperson not only communicates product information to customers but also relays the reactions of customers towards company and its products to his employer. Hence, the management of sales force is an important aspect of marketing management. It is concerned with the task of selection, orientation training, supervision, motivation compensation and evaluation of the sales force of the company.

Objectives of SFM

Objectives of sales force management are achieved through strategies. Policies provide the guidelines. Selling strategies have two dimensions; what type of salesforce is needed and how many of salespeople are needed. The overall size of the salesforce affects the number of calls made and the frequency with which they are made.

A company takes into account its competitive setting, because this influences all its sales-related policies; which in turn affects the formulation of strategies. Marketing plans are long-term and strategic. Mostly, sales plan are short-term and tactical. A company may operate in pure competitive environment which is hardly found in practice, but makes our understanding of other types of competition more incisive.

In practice, we may encounter monopolistic competition which is most common, or oligopolistic competition where there are, a number of competitors. Mostly, the qualitative personal selling objectives respond to the competitive setting in which an organisation operates. Qualitative objectives have a bearing on the sales job.

A company may have the objective to rely 100 per cent upon personal selling. It then needs a larger and a trained salesforce. Another company relies more on advertising, and expects the salesperson to provide just the support service, and order booking service. It may do well with an ordinary salesforce, not so large in size.

Quantitative selling objectives also influence both the nature of the sales task on hand, and the size of the salesforce. A larger sales volume target requires more effective and large-sized salesforce that covers the territory intensively. Sales-related marketing policies provide a framework within which the salesforce performs.

Identifiable Processes Involved with SFM

Sales force management systems are information systems that help automate some sales and sales force management functions. They are often found to be combined with a marketing information system. Sales force automation includes sales lead tracking system that lists potential customers through paid phone lists or customers of related products. Some of the other elements of sales force automation include sales forecasting, order management a product knowledge.

Some of the identifiable processes involved with sales force management are:

  1. Setting targets and objectives based on inputs
  2. Assigning executives for achieving sales objectives.
  3. Control processes are achieved within a given time frame and given markets
  4. Management of system to handle uncertain environment

It is not just about the control systems involved with sales force management process but also the various metrics involved.

Designing of the Sales Force

Sales force is linking between companies and customer. Therefore, companies have to be careful in designing and structuring sales force.

The first step is setting out an objective for sales force. Earlier companies had a single objective increasing sale making it objective also for sales people. Sales people are asked to perform a search for prospective clients or lead. Sales people are asked to balance time between a prospective customer and current customer. Effective communication of product and services is essential to close the deal. Sales people also play an important role in after sales service and can make a difference for the company. Sales people are eyes and ears of the company in the market gathering information about competition and customer changing demands.

The second step is use sales people strategically. Sales people have to combine efforts with other team members to achieve the objective. Sales people should be aware how to analyze market data been provided and convert them into marketing strategies.

The third step is deciding the structure of the sales force. The structure of the sales is dependent on the strategy followed by the company. Common sales force structures are as follows:

  • Territorial structure is used where every sales representative is assigned specific geographical area. This structure is preferred for building relationships with locals.
  • Product structure is used for complex and un- related product portfolio. Here the sales people are directly associated with research and development of the products.
  • Market structure is used if the companies are operating different industry or market segments. Every sales force specializes in a definite market and helps push a product efficiently across the given market. However, the disadvantage would arise if customers are located over a wide geographical area.
  • Complex structure is used when companies are in business of selling complex product to different customer across a large geographical area. Here sales force structure is a combination of other structures discussed.