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It is important to determine the role of personal selling and this is possible by
examining the following factors:

× Information to be Exchanged

× Product Nature and Selling Situation

× Cost Effectiveness
Personal selling function is constantly evolving in response to changes in
marketing environment. These evolutionary stages are:
× Provider Stage
× Persuader Stage
× Prospector Stage
× Problem Solving Stage
× Procreator Stage

Ôost companies structure their sales force based on geography, customers
or products, or some combination of these factors.

× Territory Based

× Product Based

× Customer Based
× Prospecting

× Recommending the Solution

× Closing Sales

× Follow Up
× Ego Strength
× A Sense of Urgency
× Ego Drive
× Empathy
× Assertiveness
× Willing to Take Risks
× Sociable
× Abstract Reasoning
× Creativity
× Scepticism

Companies have to determine the size of the sales force they need. A company
may add more salespeople until the last additional member equals the profit of
the sales volume, the sales person is expected to produce. He expressed this
approach to calculating the size of the sales force in a simple formula:
÷ = Expected sales volume each additional salesperson will produce.
  Expected profit margin on sales.
  Total cost of maintaining the additional salesperson in the field.
It is important for companies to employ and maintain an effective sales force.
Recruitment and selection process involves developing a list of sales positions
and selecting candidates to fill the vacancies. Companies can recruit from
several sources, such as personal recommendations, educational institutions,
employment agencies, advertising the vacancies, and other sources.

The process of selection varies widely from one company to another. It could be
just one personal interview, or a more detailed process involving a preliminary
interview, group discussion, written test and detailed personal interview, and
physical check up.
To design a training programme, the management focuses on determining the
following training-related issues:
× The aim of the training programme.
× The course content.
× Ôethods to be used.
× Who should conduct the training?
× The place where training will be conducted.
× Duration and time of training.
× Training evaluation.
The course contents might cover company policies and procedures, job
responsibilities, company products, their benefits, and applications, problems,
services, warranties, terms and conditions, distribution, selling skills and methods.
For experienced salespersons, there might be refresher courses for existing
products/services, for new -products, and certain selling skills.

°enerally, compensation programmes use one or more of the three basic
× straight salary system
× straight commission plan
× combination approach
Ôotivating sales force refers to making deliberate efforts so that salespeople
do their jobs well.

Companies develop annual sales forecasts. Sales management assigns
quotas to different sales regions based on potential.
some generally accepted principles of evaluation salespeople:
Ôust be realistic and reflect territories, competition, experience, and sales
potential etc. as they are.
× Salesperson must know when and how performance is evaluated.
× The evaluation must show a salesperson, what needs improvement and
how to do it.
× It must be motivating and stimulate the salesperson to improve.
× It must furnish useful information about a salesperson and the work territory.
× The salesperson must be involved in her/his evaluation.
× It must be based on objective evaluation standards and not opinions.
× It must take into consideration the changing market conditions.
× It must be specific to fit the company and the salespeople.
× It must be economical.
× ½uotas
× Ratio of Selling Expenses
× Territorial Ôarket Share
× Call Average Per Customer Class and Total Average
× Average Cost Per Call
× Average Order Size Per Call
× Non-Selling Activities
These job aspects affect performance but in their evaluation a subjective element
cannot be ruled out. These may include:
× Product and Customer Knowledge.
× Customer and Trade Relations.
× ½uality of Sales Presentation.
× Communication Skills.
× Punctuality.
× Ôarketing Intelligence.
× Job Attitude.
× Cooperation.
The first requirement in personal selling is narrowing down the selling effort to
the targeted customers. Prospecting involves developing and following all the
leads to identify potential target customers and this requires hard work and
proper time management.
Once the salesperson identifies a set of prospects and customers, the
salesperson should try to learn as much as possible about the individual or
company needs.
A salesperson should select an approach that suits her/his personality and
judgement about the specific sales situation. Some proven techniques include:

× Ask ½uestions

× Use a Referral

× Offer a Benefit or Service

× Complement the Prospect

Relevant to prospect needs, the salesperson presents the product/service story
according to the AIDA model (capture attention, hold interest, stimulate desire,
and get action). The salesperson describes product/service features, their
advantages, benefits (economic, technical, service, and social or psychological),
and the total value prospect gains from making the purchase.
Salespersons can use different approaches to making sales presentation.
× stimulus-response theory of learning (sometimes called canned
× formulated presentation
× need-satisfaction approach
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All salespersons, encounter sales resistance and this resistance often takes the
form of objections. Some of these objections may be rational, or may be purely
psychological. These may include product price and quality, company
reputation, preference for competing brand, postponing purchase, and irritation
towards salesperson etc.

Closing refers to asking for the order. Closing is the sum total of all the sales
presentation steps.
Post-purchase follow up is very important in building customer confidence and
long-term relationship with the company.
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