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Case Study: Sales Planning Operation

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 5408 words Published: 16th May 2017

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Sales, is the name of the game in many businesses and organizations. To have a successful business you must have profitable sales. In the first phase of this assignment Personal selling is evaluated in depth. Communication mix is described in every aspect of sales by giving examples, selecting two organizations from the market. Identified environmental and managerial forces affecting selling and well described personal selling.

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In the second phase of the assignment selling process is well described pointing out its principals. Each stage well evaluated and suggestions given in order to make new improvements. In the third phase sales strategies and corporate objectives of selected 2 organizations well explained. Appropriate recruitment and selection procedures devised accordingly. Motivation, remuneration and training is well discussed in this phase.

In the fourth phase of this assignment assessed the implications of operating in different sales environment and contexts. It’s well evaluated by pointing realistic examples from the current business environment, and assessing theories and techniques.


Task 1

Introduction on Sales and Operations Planning

Sales and operations planning, sometimes known as aggregate planning, is a process where executive level management regularly meets and reviews projections for demand, supply and the resulting financial impact. S&OP is a decision making process that makes certain that tactical plans in every business area are in line with the overall view of the company’s business plan. The overall result of the S&OP process is that a single operating plan is created that identifies the allocation of company resources, including time, money and employees.

Sales and operations planning is an integrated business management process through which the executive/leadership team continually achieves focus, alignment and synchronization among all functions of the organization. The S&OP plan includes an updated sales plan, production plan, inventory plan, customer lead time (backlog) plan, new product development plan, strategic initiative plan and resulting financial plan. Plan frequency and planning horizon depend on the specifics of the industry. Short product life cycles and high demand volatility require a tighter S&OP planning as steadily consumed products. Done well, the S&OP process also enables effective supply chain management.

A properly implemented Sales and operations planning process routinely reviews customer demand and supply resources and “re-plan” quantitatively across an agreed rolling horizon. The re-planning process focuses on changes from the previously agreed sales and operations plan. While it helps the management team to understand how the company achieved its current level of performance, its primary focus is on future actions and anticipated results. Companies that have an integrated business management process use the S&OP process to monitor the execution of the company’s strategies.

Main Elements of Communication Mix.

Marketing Communication Mix is the “Promotion” of the Marketing Ps and covers every method and medium of communicating with your target audience. In many ways, the marketing communication mix is the heart of the marketing strategy around which everything else in sales and marketing is predicated. If business consists of creating value and creating customers, Marketing Communication covers exactly how you are going to create customer by taking your value message to the market.

Advertising – Any paid form of nonperson presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.

Personal selling – Personal presentation by the firm’s sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships.

Sales promotion – Short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service.

Public relations – Building good relationships with the company’s various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good “corporate image”, and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories, and events.

Direct marketing – Direct communications with carefully targeted individual consumers to obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.



This is the mass media method of marketing communication and provides exposure to the largest, most geographically dispersed audience at the lowest cost per head. That being said, advertising costs can add up quickly with mediums like television, radio and even online advertising which can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses.

Other traditional forms of paid advertising include newspapers and magazines, the Yellow Pages, billboards, signs and posters. As well, advertising on buses, benches, gas pumps and even public restrooms is in vogue today. Basically, any medium which provides an opportunity to target “eyes and/or ears” can be a venue for advertising and you can see examples of successful promotion in the most unlikely places.

Direct Marketing

This marketing communication competency enables companies to reach out directly to consumers without intermediary channels such as those required for advertising. This component of the marketing communication process includes direct mail, catalogs, coupons and inserts, telemarketing, online marketing and television infomercials. Done correctly, Direct Marketing is extremely effective in the long run and allows for a targeted marketing approach to specific consumers to create valuable lasting relationships.

Direct Marketing is the marketing communication method that enables companies to interact with a relatively large number of customers and encourage a “call to action” or “most wanted response” which is usually a purchase. The downside of Direct Marketing is that it is usually unsolicited and seen as a nuisance by the general public. Telemarketing, e-mail spamming and junk mail are universally despised and so Direct Marketing tools should be used with thought and caution.

Personal Selling

This is the most dreaded as well as the most expensive of all methods in the marketing communication process. However, if you are a small business owner or otherwise have the ability to personally sell and build relationships with customers, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the marketing process, both personally and professionally.

Just as with traditional marketing, successful selling begins and ends with the customer. The whole objective is to ascertain needs and create the best solution for customers. Along the way you build relationships and continue to gather information about how you can better serve customers which is your reason for being in business in the first place.

Sales and marketing are fundamental to the survival of any business and both involve creating customers for the business value you have created. The former targets one person (or entity) whereas the latter targets many. Both engage, inform and persuade through a variety of communicational tools. Aligning both will increase your success regardless of conditions. Successful sales and successful marketing both begin with an attitude and that attitude is customers first

Public Relations

This refers to how you handle your relationships and the flow of information with your various “publics” or the people who have a stake in or are affected by your business. This includes the general public, consumers, shareholders, employees, partners, competitors and the government.

PR becomes a more and more crucial element of the marketing communication mix as a business or organization grows larger. That being said, it is still a vital component of the marketing communication process to think about for smaller businesses as well. PR tools include press and media releases, lobbying, charitable and public events, advertorials, financial reports, promotional collateral, facility tours, sponsorships, interviews and any other method for the promotion of a positive image to people.

Being “people conscious” starts with the individual and carries through to the organization. Once again, people buy from people at the end of the day and the most successful people and organizations are those that benefit other people the most. As with many facets of sales and marketing, PR also has a “good” and “bad” side.

The good side of PR is fostering socially conscious business practices whereas the bad side is epitomized in shady political lobbying, “spin doctors” and so forth that divert from the truth as opposed to promote it. Suffice it to say that in today’s connected world, more than ever, any sized organization needs to be cognizant that it operates within the larger framework of society and has corresponding responsibilities.

Sales Promotion

This is the last traditional component of the marketing communication mix that is discussed here as part of the marketing communication process. Sales promotion simply refers to purchase incentives that you provide your customer with. These can assume a number of forms including offering free goods or services, coupons and vouchers, gifts and prizes, discounts, samples, financial incentives, charitable promotions and any other value-add over and above your standard product or services.

Sales Promotions are generally short-lived, “one off” incentives intended to provide consumers with that last “push” to buy. The main takeaway is that regardless of the size and type of your business, you should continually look at ways in which to create additional value for customers. Your customers will appreciate it and, in facts, customers have been shown to pay premium prices for real value and real service.

Role of Personal Selling on my Selected Organization

Personal selling is all about Delivery of a specially designed message to a prospect by a seller, usually in the form of face-to-face communication, personal correspondence, or a personal telephone conversation. Unlike advertising, a personal sales message can be more specifically targeted to individual prospects and easily altered if the desired behavior does not occur. Personal selling, however, is far more costly than advertising and is generally used only when its high expenditure can be justified. For example, the marketing of a sophisticated computer system may require the use of personal selling, while the introduction of a new product to millions of consumers would not. Two other forms of personal selling that are not used with high-end products are door-to-door selling and home demonstration parties. These two personal selling methods are primarily used for personal care products, cosmetics, cookware, encyclopedias, books, toys, food, and other items of special interest to homemakers. Ideally, personal selling should be supported by advertising to strengthen its impact.


Buyer behavior in relation with personal selling

If a marketer can identify consumer buyer behavior, he or she will be in a better position to target products and services at them. Buyer behavior is focused upon the needs of individuals, groups and organizations.

It is important to understand the relevance of human needs to buyer behavior (remember, marketing is about satisfying needs)

Let’s look at human motivations as introduced by Abraham Maslow by his hierarchy of needs: The hierarchy is triangular. This is because as you move up it, fewer and fewer people satisfy higher level needs. We begin at the bottom level.

Physiological needs such as food, air, water, heat, and the basic necessities of survival need to be satisfied. At the level of safety, man has a place to live that protects him from the elements and predators. At the third level we meet our social and belongingness needs i.e. we marry, or join groups of friends, etc.

The final two levels are esteem and self-actualisation. Fewer people satisfy the higher level needs. Esteem means that you achieve something that makes you recognised and gives personal satisfaction, for example writing a book. Self-actualisation is achieved by few. Here a person is one of a small number to actually do something. For example, Neil Armstrong self-actualised as the first person to reach the Moon.

The model is a little simplistic but introduces the concept a differing consumer needs quite well.


In the above model, marketing and other stimuli enter the customers “black box” and produce certain responses.

Marketing management must try to work out what goes on the in the mind of the customer – the “black box”.

The Buyer’s characteristics influence how he or she perceives the stimuli; the decision-making process determines what buying behavior is undertaken.

Union International Accessories (Pvt) Ltd

Union International Accessories (Pvt) Ltd has been in the garment accessories business since 1993 in collaboration with M. Y. & Company in Hong Kong. Together they have earned a reputation of being a reliable supplier of the highest quality of all kinds of garment accessories. Union International supply all kinds of regular items such as zippers, buttons, threads, elastics, webbings, draw-codes, stoppers, buckles, eyelets, fashion belts etc, to more sophisticated trims such as rhinestones, rhinestuds, motifs, sequin patches, glitter belts, rubber badges, heat transfer glass beads and so on. Union International work directly with as many as five zipper plants in the World. This gives us the edge over many of our competitors placing us in a very strong position to offer better and faster deliveries for any type of original zippers that is required by our customer.

Union International have an extensive customer base in Sri Lanka and other countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, USA, UK, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. We have developed and built a strong lasting business relationship with all our customers through our dedicated, conscientious, reliable and personalized service rendered throughout the years. Some prestigious names our customers process orders for include Wal-Mart, Gap, Tesco, London Fog, Primark, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, Abercombie and Fitch, Liz Clairborne, Dillard’s, Ralph Lauren, May Department, Columbia, Target Stores and so on


B2B Selling

B2B” is contemporary shorthand for a longtime sales practice called business-to-business. B2B transactions primarily target companies and other wholesale buyers, while transactions targeting individuals are called B2C, or business-to-customer. Many organizations have both B2B and B2C components, but it’s not unusual for a company to specialize in B2B services or sales. In fact, the vast majority of products and services sold are considered to be B2B in nature.

Union International is in garment Accessories based business and most of the time the organization deal with the Garment Factories by supplying them the accessories which needed to complete the final garment product. 99% of Union internationals business is to the manufactures, not to the final Customers.

One major reason for the popularity of B2B sales and services is sheer volume. An individual customer may visit a clothing manufacturer’s website catalog and order two pairs of shoes or a sweater. The buyer for a national chain of clothing stores, however, may order 5,000 pairs of shoes and 2,000 sweaters. Without a B2B component, the manufacturer would have lost out on a very lucrative sale. This is why many companies provide B2B options alongside the B2C offerings at their websites and other outlets.

B2B sales are also generated by providing a specialized product line or service not available to the general public. This form of B2B transaction is very common in the manufacturing world. A company which produces shaving cream in cans, for example, may need a specific plastic nozzle. Several plastic injection molding companies would send sales representatives to pitch their particular designs. These nozzles would be useless for individual customers, but a manufacturer may order thousands of them.

Union International is in garment Accessories based business and most of the time the organization deal with the Garment Factories by supplying them the accessories which needed to complete the final garment product. 99% of Union internationals business is to the manufactures, not to the final Customers

B2B Focus on

Relationship driven

Maximize the value of the relationship

Small, focused target market

Multi-step buying process, longer sales cycle

Brand identity created on personal relationship

Educational and awareness building activities

Rational buying decision based on business value

B2C Selling

B2C. A transaction that occurs between a company and a consumer, as opposed to a transaction between companies (called B2B). The term may also describe a company that provides goods or services for consumers.

Union International does is business only to Manufactures but not to customers directly.

Product driven

Maximize the value of the transaction

Large target market

Single step buying process, shorter sales cycle

Brand identity created through repetition and imagery

Merchandising and point of purchase activities

Emotional buying decision based on status, desire, or price

The personal selling process consists of the following steps:

1) Prospecting

Prospecting refers to identifying and developing a list of potential clients. Sales people can seek the names of prospects from a variety of sources including trade shows, commercially-available databases or mail lists, company sales records and in-house databases, website registrations, public records, referrals, directories and a wide variety of other sources. Prospecting activities should be structured so that they identify only potential clients who fit the profile and are able, willing and authorized to buy the product or service.

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This activity is greatly enhanced today using websites with specially-coded pages optimized with key words so that prospects may easily find you when they search the web for certain key words related to your offering. Once prospecting is underway, it then is up to the sales professional to qualify those prospects to further identify likely customers and screen out poor leads. Modern websites can go along way in not only identifying potential prospects but also starting this qualification process.

2) Pre-approach

Before engaging in the actual personal selling process, sales professionals first analyze all the information they have available to them about a prospect to understand as much about the prospect as possible. During the Pre-approach phase of the personal selling process, sales professionals try to understand the prospect’s current needs, current use of brands and feelings about all available brands, as well as identify key decision makers, review account histories (if any), assess product needs, plan/create a sales presentation to address the identified and likely concerns of the prospect, and set call objectives. The sales professional also develops a preliminary overall strategy for the sales process during this phase, keeping in mind that the strategy may have to be refined as he or she learns more about the prospect.

3) Approach

The approach is the actual contact the sales professional has with the prospect. This is the point of the selling process where the sales professional meets and greets the prospect, provides an introduction, establishes rapport that sets the foundation of the relationship, and asks open-ended questions to learn more about the prospect and his or her needs.

4) Making the Presentation

During the presentation portion of the selling process, the sales professional tells that product “story” in a way that speaks directly to the identified needs and wants of the prospect. A highly customized presentation is the key component of this step. At this point in the process, prospects are often allowed to hold and/or inspect the product and the sales professional may also actually demonstrate the product. Audio visual presentations and/or slide presentations may be incorporated at this stage and this is usually when sales brochures or booklets are presented to the prospect. Sales professionals should strive to let the prospect do most of the talking during the presentation and address the needs of the prospect as fully as possible by showing that he or she truly understands and cares about the needs of the prospect.

5) Overcoming Objections

Professional sales people seek out prospects’ objections in order to try to address and overcome them. When prospects offer objections, it often signals that they need and want to hear more in order to make a fully-informed decision. If objections are not uncovered and identified, then sales professionals cannot effectively manage them. Uncovering objections, asking clarifying questions, and overcoming objections is a critical part of training for professional sellers and is a skill area that must be continually developed because there will always be objections. Trust me when I tell you that as soon as a sales professional finds a way to successfully handle “all” his or her prospects’ objections, some prospect will find a new, unanticipated objection– if for no other reason than to test the mettle of the sales person.

6) Closing the Sale

Although technically “closing” a sale happens when products or services are delivered to the customer’s satisfaction and payment is received, for the purposes of our discussion I will define closing as asking for the order and adequately addressing any final objections or obstacles. There are many closing techniques as well as many ways to ask trial closing questions. A trail question might take the form of, “Now that I’ve addressed your concerns, what other questions do you have that might impact your decision to purchase?” Closing does not always mean that the sales professional literally asks for the order, it could be asking the prospect how many they would like, what color they would prefer, when they would like to take delivery, etc. Too many sales professions are either weak or too aggressive when it comes to closing. If you are closing a sale, be sure to ask for the order. If the prospect gives an answer other than “yes”, it may be a good opportunity to identify new objections and continue selling.

7) Follow-up

Follow-up is an often overlooked but important part of the selling process. After an order is received, it is in the best interest of everyone involved for the sales person to follow-up with the prospect to make sure the product was received in the proper condition, at the right time, installed properly, proper training delivered, and that the entire process was acceptable to the customer. This is a critical step in creating customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships with customers. If the customer experienced any problems whatsoever, the sales professional can intervene and become a customer advocate to ensure 100% satisfaction. Diligent follow-up can also lead to uncovering new needs, additional purchases, and also referrals and testimonials which can be used as sales tools.

Impact on Personal Selling



Task 3

Sales manager Job description and activities

Sales managers organize, motivate and lead sales teams in a wide range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and finance. They are responsible for the combined performance of the team and for ensuring that everyone within their team reaches their targets. They may set the targets themselves or receive them from the sales director. They may also operate incentive schemes that motivate members of their team to reach or exceed sales targets.

Typically, sales managers direct a company’s sales program. They assign sales territories, set goals, and establish training programs for their sales representatives. Sales managers may also advise their sales representatives on ways to improve their sales performance achieve goals and obtain expected quotas.

Whilst management structures vary significantly between companies and sectors, most sales managers will be responsible either for specific geographical areas (area sales managers) and/or particular products, or for specific types of customer.

Sales managers will usually be responsible for:

recruiting and training sales staff;

supervising, motivating and monitoring team performance;

allocating areas to sales executives;

setting budgets/targets;

liaising with other line managers;

reporting back to senior managers;

liaising with customers (which may include actual selling);

maintaining detailed knowledge of the company’s products or services;

Keeping abreast of what competitors are doing.

Depending on the culture of the company and level of seniority within it, sales managers may also be involved with product development, identification of new business opportunities and the development of marketing strategies.


Expected Tasks form a Sales manager in a Organizations Point of view

Single point of contact: In fact, the sales manager is the single point of contact for all the salesmen when it comes to any questions and queries about the product or the company.

Team leader: The sales manager can generally be termed as the team leader for the sales team and should have all the qualities that a team leader would have.

Team person: The sales manager should be a team person, who understands any differences that crop in his or her team and work towards solving them in an amicable and quick manner.

Strong sales background: Other than these internal qualities, the sales manager should have a strong sales background and should be able to lead his or team from the front with their sales expertise and talents.

Hiring the new sales executives: The sales manager is also expected to hire the new sales executives. Therefore, the sales manager should be experienced and equipped enough to judge a person whether they can be good in sales or not. The one issue with sales is that “sales” is an inborn quality. Of course, having a business administration does help, but still, some people just have it in them to sell a product. As a sales manager, you should know how to recognize that.

Sales Manager Qualities

Sales management is one of the most challenging balancing acts in all the business world. Good sales management is worth its weight in gold. To fully view the valuable products of good sales management, one must go beyond the high gross figures and stout net profits being rung up at the register.

Good sales management is also marked by a sales force which is flourishing and prospering, and a customer base which is satisfied beyond expectation. When a sales force has a good sales manager, they not only produce well and stably, but they tend to stay loyal and stay long.

What are the distinguishing qualities of good sales management? A good sales manager motivates and leads the sales force, while at the same time seeing to it that the goals and purposes of the sales organization and its ownership are being met. Sales management at its best executes command intention, when he sees that the marching orders will indeed produce the effects that ownership and management intend it to, and queries the orders when he considers that those orders would actually get in the way of their own goals.

A good sales manager commands with authority, but in a way that draws respect rather than contempt. A good sales manager corrects poor attitude with skill and understanding, at the level of firmness required by the circumstances at hand. A good sales manager continues to become more and more expert on the theory and application of all five steps of a sale, as detailed in the book, HOW TO SELL – Clear and Simple, and guides his sales force in the successful use of these steps. A good sales manager effectively uses his knowledge of the five-step procedure as his primary tool for improve poor performance. And a good sales manager sets real, though challenging goals and then does everything necessary to assist all concerned to reach and exceed those goals.

If a salesman were ambitious and was looking for one of the most demanding, and most rewarding challenges in the world of business, he would do well to aspire to become a part of sales management.


Reduce turnover by hiring smart instead of often.

Establish compensation plans that drive sales and profits.

Develop sales systems that facilitate consistent sales results.

Coach and train your sales team toward service-minded selling.

Provide motivation, recognition and accountability.

Increase sales and profits to the type of customer you prefer.

Relieve you from sales management responsibility.

Human resource functions Handled by Sales Manager

The sales manager is also responsible for some of the functions handled by the Human resource as the sales manager is the person who will be working with the selected employee so he will make sure that he also takes part in each function and make sure no mistake is made and below are some functions which the sales manager will involve in the HR handles…

Recruitment and selection

Employing the right person has the potential to, in the long run, save you thousands of dollars. Clearly the right initial choice will save money by reducing turnover but there are many other costs involved, some less quantifiable than others. Most sales managers agree that they cannot afford even one non-productive team member, yet most managers have their own ‘horror’ stories regarding troublesome or struggling employees. This highlights the importance of recruitment and selection of sales people. Various practices can and should be employed to best avoid the unenviable situation of having hired the wrong person for the job. Eg: Company Union International Accessories used to involve the sales manger when recruiting and selecting the person inorder to make surer that he has the right person in his team


In motivating people only the HR cannot take its own decision as the sales manager’s involvement will be very important in this function as he knows very well how each employee had been working and who the appropriate person to be promoted is. In case this decision is taken only by the HR it might not be accurate so to avoid such problems the sales manager will be involved in this function. Eg: the sales manager of Union International Accessories is involved when any motivation program organized by HR to make sure there is no mistake in the decisio


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