Sales refer to the transaction taking place between two parties wherein purchaser buys the article, service or asset in return of money or related consideration. Sales management can be defined as the process of developing an effective sales force, facilitating coordination among sales operations and executing the techniques related to this process. This facilitates a business to surpass the sales targets set by top management of an enterprise. It includes management of activities such as advertising, marketing, promotion, pricing, physical distribution and product merchandising. The present assignment is based upon Marks & Spencer which is a multinational retail company dealing in home products, food and clothing. This enterprise is headquartered in London, UK. This assignment takes into account the key principles related to sales management in association with sales planning, reporting and methods of selling. Also, benefits of sales structure are provided together with the way in which they are organised. Lastly, importance and the advantages of selling through others are highlighted in this assignment.
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P1. Key principles of sales management in relation to importance of sales planning, methods of selling and sale reporting
Sales management is one of the most essential core activities of a business as any enterprise which is involved in sale of goods and services exist for two objectives, namely, maximisation of revenues and increased profits. In this regard, Marks & Spencer is a leading name within the retail industry and thus sales management holds prime significance for this entity. In order to become the top retailer across the global market, M&S need to manage their sales in an effective manner. The Revenue manager of this company is responsible for ensuring that the enterprise earns huge amount through sales along with increased profitability. Sales management is a process which provide a base for manager of this department to provide assistance to sales force in order to make sure that the activities of this function are executed in a timely manner.
Various programs are organised within M&S to equip the sales team with knowledge and skills associated with carrying out sales and building healthy relationship with customers in order to retain them for a long duration of time. Sales report refers to the information associated with the items sold along with the location which reflects that management process also includes optimisation of product distribution. There are certain principles of sales management which have to be abided by the manager of Marks & Spencer in order to make sure that exchange takes place across the organisational premises in a desirable manner. Such principles are described in detail below:-
Manager makes significant difference:The quantum of sales generated by an enterprise clearly demonstrate the skills, capabilities and potential of Sales Manager of a company. Within corporate world, it is generally observed that a skilled and efficient sales manager is able to derive the desirable outcome out of the performance of employees, reduce workforce turnover and enhance the quality of products and services. This helps in retaining the customers for a long period of time and ensuring the sustainability of company within marketplace. The sales manager of Marks & Spencer takes into account all this and maintains a behaviour which ensures effective performance being delivered by sales workforce and achievement of targets within the stipulated time.
Lead by setting example:An effective sales manager within any enterprise inculcate a culture of discipline and rigidity where their own behaviour tends to act as an example for the team to follow. In this regard, Sales manager of Marks & Spencer ensure that the team abide by all the stated policies and procedures so as not to get involved in any undesirable activity or conduct which may hamper the long term goodwill and position of company in global market. They equip the sales workforce with the tactics and skills required for persuading people to make a purchase.
Golden rule of Sales Management:Human resource is an important and inseparable part of an organisation whose role and contribution towards the performance and position of company in global market can not be ignored. This principle of sales management emphasize upon this aspect only and consider treating the workforce as a valuable asset for an entity. The sales manager of Marks & Spencer gives due respect and care to all the employees within the team so as to inculcate a culture where coordination and cooperation is given immense importance. This helps the team in displaying the same behaviour towards customers and this aids in enhancing the sales figures as well as the profits of company.
Be goal-oriented:It is essential for sales manager to state the desirable outputs, targets and goals to employees within the team in order to ensure that sales force works in alignment with such objectives and achieve them within the specified time. In this regard, revenue manager within Marks & Spencer establish such targets which are sufficient to raise the position and stature of company across the globe and ensure that the sales team attain these within the desirable time. When sales goals are accomplished by workforce, it consequently inflates the probability of realisation of overall organisational goals and objectives.
Relation of sales management with sales planning, methods of selling and sale reporting
In any business enterprise, sales management is a key activity which is closely related with a number of other processes such as sales planning, methods of selling and sales reporting. The success as well as sustainability of a company is largely dependent upon this interrelation and it is of prime significance to the sales manager of the entity. Effective sales management across the organisational premises assists the enterprise in achieving the sales targets in a timely manner. Besides this, effective sales planning and its optimum implementation aids the sales force to enhance their performance in order to deliver increased output. Efficient planning, organisation, controlling as well as monitoring are some of the most crucial factors which shape the basis upon which performance of sales team is dependent. Thus, the interrelation between principles of sales management with methods of selling, sales planning and reporting is given below:-
Effective Sales force: It is essential that an entity recruits only such employees which possess the calibre as well as the potential to grab the attention of people towards the products and services being sold by organisation. The attainment of sales targets is largely dependent upon presence of qualified, tactical and competent employees within the team who have in-depth knowledge about company's products, market and customer needs and preferences. In this regard, the sales workforce within M&S is given adequate training in order to equip them with the required skills and potential to deal with customers even in complex situations. Also, this assists in enhancing the capacity of sales team to deliver desirable performance.
Development of an effective reporting system:Reporting is an internal part of sales management. Effective reporting procedure within an entity enhance the extent of validity and reliability of performance of employees within a sales team. Within Marks & Spencer, the manager of this department devise and develop an optimal reporting process which assists in determining the individual performance of sales force and also aid the management in taking strategic decisions. This renders a competitive edge to enterprise over their rivals. Besides this, by enforcing efficient reporting system, M&S gains an insight into the sales growth and other future prospects. Further, when along with sales reporting structure, sales management is carried out by complying with all the principles, it assists the top management in monitoring the overall organisational performance. Also, it aids in formulation of such policies and strategies through which the existing level of revenues can be significantly increased.
Acknowledgement of present and future situation through sales planning: For effectively carrying out sales management within an entity, the managers need to analyse and evaluate the future conditions of the marketplace along with the choices and preferences of customers. Without gaining proper knowledge of internal and external business environment, sales management policies can not be formulated. It is here that the importance of link between sales management, sales forecast and sales planning gains relevance. In this regard, Marks & Spencer ensure that effective sales planning and forecasting is done by the team so that targets can be achieved in a timely manner.
Looking for creative ways of selling: Uniqueness has prime significance in sale. Opting creative and unique methods of selling can help the sales team of an enterprise in luring the focus of customers towards the products and services of company. In this regard, Sales manager of Marks & Spencer encourage the members of team to make use of innovative ways to enhance the revenues and profits of entity. Exceptional ways of targetting and influencing customers helps the enterprise in achieving organisational goals and objectives.
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M1. Analyse how the principles of sale management will be different in response to consumer and business buying behaviour
Buying behaviour of consumer is the key catalyst for formulation of sales management policies and procedures. The selling system of enterprise can be classified into two modes:-
(A) Business to business (B2B)
(B) Business to customer (B2C)
Consumer Buying behaviour process
Consumer behaviour is the study of needs, wants, choice, attitudes and reaction of customers in response to a specific good or service. In modern world, tastes and preferences of customers are changing with passage of time. Customers have become much more sensitive towards price, quality and features of the product. The key focus of Marks & Spencer while dealing with customer buying behaviour is emphasizing upon the quality quotient and pricing of the products being provided by entity in marketplace. Post the analysis of buying behaviour of consumers, effective policies and strategies can be devised which can assist the enterprise in fulfilling the needs of customer for meeting the targets in the given period of time.
Business Buying behaviour process
Business buying behaviour is largely shaped by the structure of consumer behaviour model only. While dealing with business buying behaviour, organisations have to take into account the component of effective communication in order to optimally communicate the features and specifications of products and services of enterprise to the client. In this regard, Marks & Spencer employs an effective communication system to conduct business to business sales in the best manner.
P2. Benefits of sales structures and their organisation
Sales department of a company generally follows a sales structure to avoid the miscommunication and encourage coordination among the employees of the enterprise. To carry out the sales process smoothly and effectively, sales structure is used by the company. This involves cold calling, business development and handling of inbound sales. The overall sales process will become messy in the absence of sales structure which can directly affect the sales and product requirements of Marks & Spencer. Sales structure within a company helps to assess the way in which organisation of sales department is done and the manner in sales growth can be attained. In order to maintain and increase the high conversion rates, well organised sales structure is used by M&S. There are different types of sales structures whose description and benefits are stated briefly below:-
Geographic structure:This is the least specialised and most generalised form of sales force wherein the management and sales responsibilities are divided on the basis of geographical area. Also known as the territorial sales force structure, employees here are brought together within any geographical division which are formed as per the needs of a product within any region. With reference to M&S, these divisions act as individual organisations which carry out their organisational functions as per the requirements of company. This structure has certain benefits which are briefly mentioned below:-
- Fulfilment of needs and demands of consumers become an easier process as a result of presence of different divisions for various regions which assist in providing facilities as per the requirements.
- The close geographical proximity helps M&S in fostering the building of healthy relationship with clients which further assists in sales effectiveness and enhancing the revenues and profits of enterprise.
Product sales structure: It refers to that sales force firm where the salesperson is expert at selling certain products, services or ideas of company. This salesperson is just acquainted with some items of entity and possess no knowledge of the other products of the firm. M&S offer a number of products to their customers over a vast geographical range. For this purpose, various sales force structures are united which are created through territory, customers and products. This structure possess certain benefits which are given beneath:
- Salesperson become an expert at sales of a particular item and leads to product leading.
- Selling efforts which are required to carry out sales are easily guided by the management of enterprise.
Market based structure:Also known as customer sales force structure, here sales representatives are grouped together on the basis of customer or industry. The role and responsibility of various salespersons within M&S is to offer varied products to customers in order to gain maximum satisfaction from them. For instance: M&S is a leader in clothing as well as home products, this reflects that salesperson of this enterprise is required to have adequate and relevant knowledge about fabrics of clothes and styles along with various general merchandise. In case the sales team of M&S is not appropriately acquainted with the products within these segments, then they will be unable to sell these articles in bulk volumes. The large scale benefits of market based structure are clearly stated as follows:-
- Salesperson identify and respond to the requirements of customers in an adequate and appropriate manner which helps in maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with them in order to retain them for a long time.
- Yet another benefit of market based structure is that here, management control is assigned to different markets in a strategic manner in order to gain advantage in marketplace.
P3. Importance and advantages of concept of 'selling through others'
Sell through others is termed as an amount of percentage in which a product or a service sold by a retailer. This is evaluated for a particular period of time span that is mainly for a month. In context with this, M&S is required to replenished their inventories in a proper given time manner to their consumers on continuous basis. M&S can effectively sell their products and services by taking advantage of various distribution channels which include, manufacturer-wholesaler-retailer-customer, manufacturer-customer, manufacturer-retailer-customer.
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Importance of selling through others
Taps into existing consumer base:Most important factor that is required to build effective consumer base is time and efforts. Marks and Spencer will effectively able to build strong relationship with their customers while performing their work with different retailers, wholesalers etc., therefore, sell through others provide formative benefits to costumers as with this they can reach to maximum consumers which will help them to increase their brand image. Increase level of market growth:This is most effective process as working with more channel of distribution benefits Marks and Spencer to maximise their growth of product in a marketplace. As M&S offer wide range of home, products, cloth and food products working with large number of distributors helps them to enjoy more recognition in market.
Cost effective:Wholesalers and retailers perform their functions with their own sales and marketing team which will benefit them to perform their sales procedures in more effective manner. M&S by taking advantage of various distribution measures such as logistics and already framed processes and systematic can effectively save their time and cost which will further help them to expand their business operations.
Advantages of selling through others
Furnish logistic assistance:Selling via other means refers to selling of products with assistance of intermediates. They render logistic support for firm which assures smooth and effective distribution of products and commodities. Intermediates of M&S hold back shortage and storage of supplies to customers by which they can easily access goods. By this customers will have their products within stipulated duration and their sales will be enhanced.
Provide transactional functions:Intermediaries uses their contacts by which they serve in entire market in effective way. This will aid manufacturers and customers as organisational goals and objectives can be accomplished. In case of M&S customers feel more easy to access their resources without being in central location and getting out of their central zone, this has signifiant impact on sales of their products which leads to enhanced profit and revenue.
Burden mutuality, time and cost saving:Wholesalers, retailers are intermediators who share responsibilities of manufacturing organisation by taking into account storage, setting up sales, stock management, etc. These intermediators within M&S shares cost which have been occurred in promotion and advertisements of services and products. BY this encumbrance on organisation can be trimmed down to definite level.
M2 Critically analyse the implementation of different sale structure types using organisational example
It is essential for sales manager of an enterprise to opt for a desirable sales structure in order to earn the revenues and profits as per the desirable outcomes and set targets. The various sales structures have their own advantages and disadvantages which reflects the extent to which they can be effective within Marks & Spencer. With regards to geographical sales structure, benefit is that adequate and relevant territorial management consequently results in lesser duplication of efforts in terms of same customers. The demerit associated with this structure is that sizing different territories may become a tough challenge and even lead to uneven opportunities or sales. In context of product sales structure, merit is that sales representative attains product expertise while demerit is that duplication of efforts further leads to rise in costs as well as expenses of Marks & Spencer. In regards to market-based structure, benefit is that it leads to a healthy and strong relationship with customers which further enhances loyalty of consumers. The disadvantage is that this process is vast and time consuming and further requires investment of high funds in order to maintain it.
From the above report, it can be concluded that sales management is an essential process for an enterprise which helps in maintaining as well as enhancing the revenue and shares of a company. Besides this, it has been evaluated that sales planning, reporting and forecasting are closely linked with the process of sales management and are imperative to ensure that the sales targets of a company are achieved in a timely manner. Further, it has been assessed that there are various types of sales structures which can be opted by a company and possess their own merits and demerits. In addition to this, the importance of concept of selling through others is analysed for an entity.
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