KINDS OF SALESMEN AND FUNCTIONS
The size of the market and the types of product handled influence the ten principal types of selling positions discussed below:
(a) SALESMEN OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCT FOR MANUFACTURERS.
This type of salesforce sells to other manufacturing firms or to middlemen, most especially wholesalers. The types of products marketed in this field includes any or combination of these items-computers, office supplies, valves, steel, chemicals, cleaning solvent, medicine tools, and office furniture. The sales personnel in this class work closely with the buyers and also demonstrating how the product can satisfy them. The position of buyers is tailored after sales by giving after sales service like guarantee, maintenance parts etc. this enhances the good-will of the company.
(b) SALESMEN OF CONSUMER PRODUCTS FOR MANUFACTURER.
The sales personnel in this class, sells directly to wholesalers or big retailers (retail outlet) like PZ, UAC, BATA, LEVENTIS, KINGSWAY etc. they may also sell, to small independent operation stores like local drugs stores. Intact, they do little selling in this field, when the stores are out of stock like books dealers. They fill the shops instantly and re-arrange the shelves as to attract buyers. The shops should be large enough with spaces provided for merchandising activities. These salesmen also check the shelves, of their customer constantly as some needs regular calling than others. Dealers must be informed when there are new ingredients added to the products or when there are changes in prices.
(c) SELLING FOR WHOLESALERS.
The sales personnel in this field sells to manufacturers and the middlemen respectively. The retailers are their target audience or market and the sales personnel here acts as marketing consultants to their, customers. They may also assist their customers in drafting letters requesting payment of overdue accounts. They may as well give opinion about the location and layout of their customers stores.
(d) SELLING SERVICES.
The salesmen of this class, sells services instead of actual product. The nature of their job can be seen but cannot be touched. These services are directed at customers, middlemen, or manufacturing firms such as salesmen selling life assurance policy, advertising agencies, and a host of others. Salesmen that are in this categories must be well trained in the field because they have got no tangible product to present to their prospective customers. They rely heavily on customers benefits to sell their product instead of relying on the product benefits. For example, a salesman selling industrial chemicals can show sample to their customers before payment are made but not so in selling services.
(e) SELLING DIRECT TO CONSUMERS
They are called door-to-door selling. The sales personnel in this unit involves calling at their prospective buyers in their homes respectively. A good example of such salesmen are the vendors. The main advantage of this method is that people can buy at impulse (buying newspapers they may not intends to buy).
The difficulties associated with this method are that some are not stationary, and the difficulties of working inside the sun or rain are prevail.
(f) RETAIL SELLING.
Over 52 percent of these salesforce are women. These are independent stores, variety stores, discount houses, supermarket, and specialty shops etc. their duties are to wait for their customers and showing them merchandise, answering their questions, running up to order, and packaging the product. Salesforce in this field must not forget to create customers interest or satisfaction after the product have been bought.
(g) MISSIONARY SELLING.
Basically, missionary selling are the same with propaganda selling. These salesmen call upon say Doctor, who should not be termed as purchasing agent rather than, he may in turn prescribe to the third party (the patients) who are supplied by chemists. The legal consultant may also issue directive on what to do and how to do it.
(h) SPECIALITY SELLING.
Economics meaning of the word “specialization” will give ample coverage of this topic. But, our major concerned is that the sales people in this unit sells only one brand of product like the cement dealers. Another feature is that this products are not bought frequently like the cigarettes dealers. Men are the dominant salesforce in this field.
(i) COMMANDO SELLING
The sales personnel in this class operate independently and cannot be regarded as an employee in an organization. Rather, they are used to launch new product or when new ingredients are added to existing products. The company may not use its sales employees because of the expertise knowledge of these command salesmen. They are also referred to as PIONEER SALESMEN. Once a company has decided to use the expertise knowledge of these special trained salesmen, the said products is bound to gain root in the market.
(j) INERTIA SELLING.
The bearer (owners) give say books to other party to help in marketing the product and usually operate on commission basis, in the real sense, they are not purchasing agent because they are not liable to any damages that may incur to the product.
If for instance, the Dean of faculty in the university printed hand-out to the students and demanding one of the students to help in selling the hand-out. Legally, the student concerned is not obliged to pay for such product if damages or losses are sustained.
RECRUITMENT OF SALESMEN
Once the management here decided to recruit salesforce in their organization, it is their obligational right to forecast the size of such salesforce which could depend greatly on the following key factors:
The resources available to the company
A small company with little capital will definitely be restricted in employing salesforce, whose responsibilities carry high burden of expenses. They should decides therefore either to use other promotional support like advertising Profitability- the expenses of the operation must be measured against the likely result to be achieved In most cases, a company may embark in selling one particular line of capital equipment at a rate which covers more .easily the cost of direct selling. However, where the unit margin is high the Company should employ more salesforce to sells the products.
Locational factors – it is believed that industrial salesforce are more concentrated than consumer product salesforce in terms of location. When such matter arises, the management should analyses critically the activities of the competitor’s products. Channels of distribution- if the existing channels are such that follow the primary type i.e. manufacturer-wholesaler- retailer-final consumer, the company should employ less salesforce to market the product. But, if reverse be the case, the company should employ more salesforce to market ‘the product.
Product line- when the products are characteristically different, the company should employ more salesforce instead of employing few salesmen to cover such differentiated products. When these are not followed up, it may lead to greater inefficiently.
Policy of the market – A company may settle to follow the selective type or the intensive type or neither of the exclusive methods, if the company decided to use the selective type, that means selecting limited number of wholesalers or retailers or distributors and works more closely with them to effect sales logically. The intensive distribution also has its merit of segmenting the various outlets choosing and which should be measured against the strength of the company. Many popular companies follow the exclusive type which is based on agreement. The company cannot sell to no* one else in the territory except to appointed distributor assigned for the territory. After knowing the size of the salesforce to be employed, the next step is the recruitment exercise. Most sales position are advertised through the media: Radio), press, Television, Bill board, and outdoor advertisement.
The advertisement or whatever methods that are used, should be carefully worded, so as to includes all relevant information therein. Many applications are loosely worded, as a result fewer people applying, leading to financial waste on part of the company.
The application There are two major ways of putting up applications, which includes:
Letter – modern applications follow this pattern. The greatest advantage of this method is ma, an’ applicant can express themselves more m detail regarding their ability for the position than the questioning pattern.
Application form – The advantages of this method over the letter type are:
The layout clearly indicate the information required. Extra space is given so that an applicant can actually his own views. For example why did you consider yourself suitable for the vacant position? By filling in the information required, it enables the management to avoid waste.
APPLICATION FORM LAYOUT
The relevant information of a complete application form layout are as follows:
Address of the applicant at the right hand corner including the date. At the left hand corner is the employer’s address.
Personal details like name, age, sex, marital status etc.
Educational profile and position held.
Qualifications and experience indicated.
References and final closure of the application.
We should bear in mind that application must be neatly arranged, clearly indication of information, and avoiding technical blunders that has dual meaning.
Once, people has been short listed, the next procedure is to interview’s of such candidate. This is the most crucial stage, the management must focus their attention. The purpose of this is to make a fair judgment in an unreal situation. Partial panel should be avoided so as to choose the right candidate for such position. There are series of approach to this, which could be intelligence tests or ability tests or simply aptitude tests etc.
TRAINING OF SALESMEN
There are two basic ways of training salesmen, and these are:
INDUCTION TRAINING:- Infact, induction training cannot be termed to be training itself rather than “FAMILIARISATION or INTRODUCTION” of new salemen to the Company. These varies depending on the total size of the organization. Normally, it covers such programme as how the Business came into existence, its operation and its organization structure. It also delves into the regulations concerning safety measures, staff rules like discipline, sickness payments, extra time to normal hours, methods of payment, and territory allocation. And, if the organization is large enough, salesmen should be allowed to visit the different departments of the organization within that specified period of induction programme. This type of programme enhances the interest of the new intakes and also raises the morale of the organization in general.
THE ACTUAL TRAINING:- Obviously, many organizations use previous experience as a selection criterion.
Even, where such methods are noted, it is unlikely *hat this is directly relevant to the products, markets, and administrative procedures regarding to his new employer, and hence some training will be deemed. In this training therefore, tape recorder cassettes should be put to fuller use, so as to redistribute cassetts to individual new comer’s of what they learnt.
Many companies issue training manuals to the new salesmen. This has the advantages of surviving longer period and references could be made from time to time, it has been observed in many large organizations, video are distributed to each headquarters to enable salesmen that cover such territory to refresh their memories jogging about the technique of selling. The major advantage of this method is that instead of organizing conferences and the money to be lavished in organizing it, will be eliminated.
TRAINING OBJECTIVES:- Basically, two objectives of training are involved.
Knowledge – The knowledge that may be required are: The company (it’s history, structure, policies and procedures); The products, (composition, manufacture, performance, and usage; the market (size), structure, composition, buying habits): etc.
(b) Skills – These are of two significant folds.
Technical – These are concerned with the selling techniques appropriate to various stages of the buying process. Like how to overcome an objections which may be raised by buyers. And, also, how to demonstration the product.
Behavioural – These are greatly dependent on the development of empathy between the giver and the receiver. The actual sales of salesmen depend upon the confidence they posses.
REMUNERATION OF SALESMEN
In the research Survey conducted by the Tack organization and the B.I.M. indicated that only about 18 percent of salesmen are paid a straight salary. The remaining 82 percent received commission. However, there are three modern methods of compensating salesmen and each method has its merits and demerits.
STRAIGHT COMMISSION – This method is becoming the most popular method of compensating salesforce in the western world and in Nigeria. There is no financial risk involved on the part of the company which is in a much better position to the risk than the salesmen.
There are two basics advantage of this method to the company. Firstly, if there are no sales made by the salesmen, there may not be sales expenses as a result of the method of remuneration agreement. Secondly, the salesforce of this kind, work harder and risk their time to make sales. The responsibility of control of such salesforce is being avoided by the company.
One of the most possible disadvantages of this method is that the salesforce here can oversell; and make false guarantees which may lead to the damages of the company goodwill. Some dubious salesforce in this field may provide false (information to their mother company which may be used as market intelligence.
STRAIGHT SALARIES – These are commonly found in large organization.
Company advantage – The Company is free to shift salesmen to other territories, or other account. When there is sales boom, the company enjoys higher profit without higher sales expenses. There is flexibility in sales and also in journey planning. Company disadvantages – Reversification at the time of no sales boom. When salesmen record increases, they expect their salary to increase as well. But, when this is not fulfilled, the company may lose them and some of the customers likewise.
SALARY PLUS COMMISSION OR BONUS
This is the most executive method of compensating salesmen. This is because, the salary covers specified duties performed and the commission or bonus is for extra effort made. These therefore enhances fuller co-operating between salesmen and their mother company in such areas as promotional services, and merchandising activities to their prospective customers.
This method of payment are commonly used in industrial market, else the company will be swept out of the market as a results of higher payment of the salesforce.
It should be noted that nowadays only few organizsation provides pension scheme for their salesmean. This is very necessary as to enable the company to retains their customers.
MOTIVATION OF SALESMEN
There are different methods of stimulating salesmen, depending on the structure of the organization.
By organiizing sales and social meeting periodically.
By organising contests for the sales people. The best contestant should be giving hand some award.
The mother company should be capable of communicating with their sales people regularly. This could be in form of writing or by telephone call.
Personal visit from the office are occasionally needed.
They should also be provided with sales manuals, sales literature, sampled case, and demonstrated models.
At anytime conferences are held, cassettes should be distributed to various salesmen to enable them to received feed back of what they have learnt from the conference.
EVALUATION OF SALESMEN
The evaluation of salesmen varies according to the size of the organization. Logically, there are two major methods of evaluating salesmen’s result.
BY QUANTITATIVE – This method depends on sales volume, numbefs or order secured, number of sales and service calls made, expenses incurred, and contributions from the territory to the actual profit.
BY QUALITATIVE – This method covers extent of salesmen’s product knowledge, representative of sales by quality rating, self featuring like use of time, report etc. many evaluations are based upon pasts performances or involving comparison of salesmen. Some companies ignore this system by measuring performance against prescribed account.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MOTIVATION OF SALESMEN
Salesmen get frustrated regularly and sometimes lose confidence, thereby finding it difficult to achieve sales. In most instances, they are neglected by their mother company and having irregular working hours. The personal tension arising from not going with their families.