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Sales Planning &Operations.

Table of Contents.
Introduction .......................2

Task 1- Explore the role of personal selling within the overall marketing strategy.
1.1- Explain how personal selling at Plastic Products Ltd supports the promotion
mix. ..3- 4
1.2- Compare buyer behavior and the decision making process in different
situations.4 -7
1.3- Analyse the role of sales team at Plastic Products Ltd within their marketing
strategy........7 -8

Task 2- Be able to apply the principles of the selling process to a product.

2.1/2.2-Sales presentation..8 -13

Task 3- Understand the role and objectives of sales management.

3.1- Explain how sales strategies are developed in line with corporate objectives..14-15
3.2- What factors should be taken into account when recruiting and selecting
salespeople at Plastic Products Ltd15-16
3.3- Evaluate the importance of increasing the performance of sales team through motivation
and training..16-18
3.4-Suggest and explain an appropriate organization structure of the sales dept.
at Plastic Products Ltd18-19
3.5-Explain the use of data bases in effective sales management19-20

Sales Planning &Operations.

Task 4- Be able to plan sales activity for a product or service

4.1- Develop a sales plan for one of your products.............20-22
4.2-Investigate opportunities for selling internationally...23
4.3-Investigate opportunities for using exhibition or trade fairs.23

Conclusion ...............24
References ...25

Sales Planning &Operations.

Plastic Products Ltd is a company that produces and markets its products to the catering
industry. It was established in 1974, as a result of the changes in the catering industry. The
company benefited from the growth of the fast food sector in the market through the provision of
disposable eating utensils and also from the growth in supermarkets and sales of consumer
packs through four of the large supermarket groups.
The aim of this assignment is to explore and understand the role of personal selling with regard
to Plastic Products Ltd within the overall marketing strategy, applying the principles of the selling
process, understanding the role and objectives of sales management and planning a sales
activity for a product.

Sales Planning &Operations.

Task 1: Explore the role of personal selling within the overall

marketing strategy.

Explain how personal selling at Plastic Products Ltd supports the

promotion mix.

Personal selling can be defined as one which involves the two-way flow of communication
between a buyer and seller, often face-to-face encounter, designed to influence a persons
or groups purchase decision. (Kerin 2007 et al).It is a part of companys promotion
mix/marketing mix along with advertising, sales promotion, public relations and publicity and
direct marketing.
Personal selling is much effective in making the awareness of the product towards a
purchase. It enables to explain all the aspects regarding the product to the customers and
also enables the company to gather market information, feedbacks, etc. Most important
advantage on personal selling is that even if the product may not be purchased by the
customer, the sales person gets to build a good relationship.
Personal selling involves eight steps: Pre-sale Preparation:
This step involves selection, training and motivation of salespersons. They
must be fully familiar with the product, the firm, the market and selling techniques as
well as be well informed about the competitors products and the degree of

This involves finding and identifying buyers who are most likely to buy the
product or service. There are numerous ways to qualify leads: cold calls by
telephone, email, through social networking, or personal referrals.

In this step, it is crucial for a salesperson to make a positive first
impression while introducing himself/herself, the company represented, and the
product or service being offered. It is also important that the salesperson listen
carefully to the prospect and respond appropriately.

This step is designed to grab the buyer's attention, ignite interest, create
desire, and inspire action (AIDA) by showing the product's advantages and benefits.

Sales Planning &Operations.

The salesperson has to continuously hold the customers attention throughout the

This step is used to display and demonstrate the product explaining the
utility and distinctive qualities.

Handling objections:
Almost every customer will present objections to making a purchase. A
good salesperson is not flustered by these objections and handles them in a positive,
confident manner. One approach to handling objections, is simply to acknowledge
the objection then continue with the presentation.

Closing the sale:

Although technically "closing" a sale happens when products or services
are delivered to the customer's satisfaction and payment is received, here it can be
defined as asking for the order and adequately addressing any final objections or

Post sale follow-up

This step ensures repeat business, is a good opportunity to obtain
referrals, and increases the chances that subsequent payments will be made.

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 one builds relationships and continue to gather information about how
he/she can better serve customers which is the reason for being in business in the first
place. For this, the new recruits to Plastic Products Ltd should have past experience and
can be given appropriate training.


Compare buyer behavior and the decision making process in different

situations with special reference to Plastic Products Ltd.

Since Plastic Products Ltd sells its products to the catering industry and supermarkets, we
will consider organizational buyer behavior and decision making process.

1.2.1 Organizational Buyer Behavior.

Organizational buyer behaviour is heavily influenced by derived demand. The demand for
components by a manufacturer will depend on the demand coming from their customers, the
retailers and wholesalers, which in turn comes from their individual customers.

Sales Planning &Operations.

For example, the demand for disposable eating utensils produced by Plastic Products Ltd is
dependent on the demand from their customers, i.e., the catering industry and supermarkets
which in turn are dependent on their individual customers.
If a marketer can identify the buyer behavior, he or she will be in a better position to target
products at them.
A well-developed and tested model of buyer behavior is known as the stimulus-response
model, which is summarized in the diagram below:

Figure 1. Stimulus-response model.

In the above model, marketing and other stimuli enter the customers black box and
produce certain responses. Kotler and Armstrong (2002) suggest that consumers respond in
particular ways to different stimuli after they have processed those stimuli in their minds.
Nowadays the market perspective has been changed from buyers market to the sellers
market. The best way the sellers can come out with a strategy the best it can influence the
buyers. So this study influences the companies why they have to concentrate more on
decision making process.

1.2.1 Organizational decision making process

The decision making process of an organization given by (Kotler 2008 et al) is as follows:

Recognition of a problem (need)

Sales Planning &Operations.

Determination of characteristics, specification and quantity of needed item

Search for and qualification of potential sources
Acquisition and analysis of proposal
Evaluation of proposals and selection of supplier(s)
Selection of an order routine
Performance feedback and evaluation

According to Webster (1991) as a buying situation arises, the organization creates a so called
buying centre which consists of a group of persons within the organization that will take part in
the buying decision process.

Figure 2. buying centre concept.

And according to Robinson, Faris and Wind (1967) there are three distinct types of buying
situations, so called buyclasses: Straight Rebuy, Modified Rebuy and New Task.
According to Woodside (1992) the classification of a purchase within the different
buyclasses depends primarily on the perceived importance of the actual purchase. The
buyer takes fewer decisions in a straight rebuy and the most in a new task purchase.
We will discuss these different buying situations with special reference to Plastic Products
New Tasks.
It is a buying situation in which the business buyer purchases a product or service for
the first time.
Example, In a new task buying situation a supermarket (buyer) seeks a wide variety
of information to explore alternative solutions to his purchasing problem. The greater
the cost or perceived risks related to the purchase the greater the need for
information and the larger the number of participants in the decision making unit.
This provides Plastic Products Ltd (vendor) with considerable opportunity and

Sales Planning &Operations.

challenge. The vendor is in a greater position to influence the decision making

process by the information that it provides.


Modified Rebuy.
It is a buying situation in which the supermarket (buyer) wants to replace a product or
service that the firm has been using. The decision making may involve plans to
modify the product specifications, prices, terms or suppliers. This is the case when
managers of the company believe that significant benefits such as quality
improvement or cost reduction can be achieved by making the change. The decision
making unit is however usually smaller than in new task situation and therefore
makes it relatively easier for the vendor's marketing personnel to attend effectively to
the information needs of the buyers.

Straight Rebuy.
It is a buying situation in which the supermarket (buyer) routinely reorders a product
or service without any modification due to satisfaction with Plastic Products Ltd
(supplier). The supplier is retained as long as the level of satisfaction with the
delivery, quality and price is maintained.

Analyze the role of sales teams at Plastic Products Ltd within their
marketing strategy.

Sales team play a significant role within marketing strategy of this company. A salespersons
primary objective is to sell, though there are many skills involved and their duties can be
quite diverse depending on things like the size of outlet they are involved with. Researchers
show that there is a direct and consistent correlation between the caliber of the sales force
and organizational growth.
The role of any sales team can be summarized as follows:

Find potential customers from available database.

Connect with the potential customers.
Decide the selling approach.
Administrate the sales order.
Act as a service provider.
Gather information and report relevant data.
Upgrading skills by attending sales trainings and trade shows.
Administrative responsibilities like attending sales meetings and conferences, fill in call and
expense reports etc.
The following is an analysis of the responsibilities of sales team at Plastic Products Ltd
within their marketing strategy:

Sales Planning &Operations.

They are responsible for researching and analyzing the business and the market. Using the
information gathered, the marketing plan, budget and key performance indicators are
Action plans are devised and the marketing strategy is implemented.
The marketing department measures and reports on the results of the marketing strategy.
Staff in the marketing department train staff in other departments so they are conscious of
current campaigns.
The purpose of their activity is to manage the four Ps of marketing: Product, Price,
Promotion and Place.
The aim is to stimulate demand for disposable eating utensils and to generate leads.
Leads are customers who are likely to make a purchase. They are identified by collecting
the details of people who contact the business to ask about products or services, or by
gathering details of prospective customers from online surveys etc.
After raising interest and demand for the products and services, the leads that are
generated are passed on to the sales department.
It is up to sales staff to contact people, identify their needs and help them make a
purchasing decision. Sales staff deal directly with customers and they must build a good
relationship. The role of sales staff is to make sure the business gets a return from its
investment in marketing and to turn demand into sales.

Many companies under-invest in their sales effort, treating sales like an afterthought, to be
handled after the managers solve all the manufacturing, distribution and financing issues. The
best sales forces are professional, well-compensated, supported with a strong marketing effort
and empowered to act, serving key client interests with marketing support, money and time.
They have strong personal relationships with key customers, or they learn how to build them.

Task 2: Be able to apply the principles of the selling process to a

product or service.

2.1/ 2.2

Sales Presentation.

The presentation is on Audi A7.

Sales Planning &Operations.

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Task 3: Understand the role and objectives of sales

3.1 Explain how sales strategies are developed in line with corporate
A sales strategy can be defined as a planned approach to account-management policy
formation, prospect identification and qualification, sales presentation, and order generation
aimed at achieving a firm's sales quotas or targets.
And a corporate objective is a well defined and realistic goal set by a company that often
influences its internal strategic decisions. Most corporate objective targets used by a
business will specify the time frame anticipated for their achievement and how the
company's success in doing so is to be assessed.
The sales and corporate strategies have to go hand in hand within an organization to avoid
Corporate strategy defines what the business wants to do, such as grow market share,
increase revenue, reduce costs, increase customer retention, prevent customer defection,
etc. while a sales strategy defines how the business will achieve those goals. And the
sales methodology defines the skills the sales people need to execute the strategies. All
these strategies need to be aligned and consistent in order for a company to reach success
and maintain a positive customer retention rate.
Corporate strategy is based on knowing:


To be the best known name the



To be the top provider in the market.


To increase sales by 10% per year.

Table 1.


Sales Planning &Operations.

The sales strategy comes from the corporate strategy.

Figure 3. Sales strategy.

A good corporate strategy should define the sales process. In other words, the sales
process is a function of the corporate strategy (What we want to do) since it helps
define how the corporate strategy will be carried out.
It identifies who does what, how they do it, to whom and how it gets handed off to the
next person/department, how follow-ups are handled, where information gets recorded
and logged, and all aspects of who interfaces with the customer and how they are
handled. All parties must be knowledgeable and trained on the process so they
understand their role and the roles of others.
By aligning corporate strategy with the sales strategy, one can ensure that the company
will control costs, prevent wasted overhead, avoid internal conflicts, conserve valuable
resources, and protect the most valuable asset, customers.


What factors should be taken into account when recruiting and

selecting salespeople at Plastic Products Ltd.

Recruitment involves seeking and attracting a pool of people from which qualified
candidates for job vacancies can be chosen (Lloyd L. Byars & Leslie W. Rue, 2005).


Sales Planning &Operations.

The need for recruitment would be identified through an effective HR planning process.
Plastic Products Ltd should make their recruitment decisions by carrying out HR Planning
activity. The recruitment and selection process of the company should be strategically
designed to match with the company culture and the industry they operate in.
Candidates can be chosen internally or externally. Internal recruitment uses less resources
and provides for growth within the company. External recruitment involves higher costs, but
ensures diversity and fresh thinking.
A variety of methods can be used to select the ideal candidate, including interviews, various
forms, biographical information, and standardized tests.
The selection criteria for new recruits at Plastic Products Ltd should be:

Have knowledge related to supply, production and properties of plastic produces.

Enthusiastic and energetic.
Good team player.
Good work ethics and morale.
Confident and self-motivated.
Past experience of selling fast-moving consumer goods.
Ability to build relationships.
Should be familiar with plastic products.
Knowledge of general sales principles and terms.
Ability to deal with different sales situations.

A flawed recruitment and selection process is definitely a wasteful undertaking for the


Evaluate the importance of increasing the performance of the

sales team through motivation and training.

The sales team of any organization are its most valuable asset since they are in the front
line representing the company and handling customers. Therefore, it is of utmost
importance to any organization to increase their sales force performance through
motivation and training.
Motivation is the process that produces goal-directed behavior in an individual. It drives
human performance improvement. This is especially true in the field of salesforce
management, since salespeople work with more job autonomy and frequently face
customer rejection. In order to attain the goals of the organization, it is essential that the
sales team stays highly motivated.
Motivation can be done based on the theories below:


Sales Planning &Operations.


Figure 4.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Figure 5.

Importance of training sales team:

Have knowledge about the technological changes and is able to implement them.
Respond to organizational changes.
Adapt to increase the diversity of the work force.
Supports career development.
Fulfill employee need of growth.
Prepare salespeople to meet customer expectations.
Enhanced company image and risk management.
Motivation and training not only benefits organization by providing them with skilled force, but
employees individually as well by increasing their effectiveness and efficiency (apart from other
benefits discussed above).


Suggest and explain an appropriate organization structure of the

sales department at Plastic Products Ltd.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Organizational design is the process of coordinating, structural elements of

organizations in appropriate manner. Here we consider the functional organizational
structure for the sales department at Plastic Products Ltd.

In a functional structure, a common configuration, an organization is divided into

smaller groups by areas of specialty.
Some refer to these functional areas as silos"entities that are vertical and
disconnected from each other.
Correspondingly, the company's top management team typically consists of
several functional heads (such as the chief financial officer and the chief
operating officer).
Communication generally occurs within each functional department and is
transmitted across departments through the department heads.
Functional departmentalization arguably allows for greater operational efficiency
because employees with shared skills and knowledge are grouped together by

Functional departments arguably permit greater operational efficiency because
employees with shared skills and knowledge are grouped together by functions
performed. Each group of specialists can therefore operate independently with
management acting as the point of cross-communication between functional
areas. This arrangement allows for increased specialization.

A disadvantage of this structure is that the different functional groups may not
communicate with one another, potentially decreasing flexibility and innovation.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Figure 6.

3.5 Explain the use of data bases in effective sales management.

Every sales organization should have access to a good customer relationship
management database to manage sales opportunities. A quality sales database will
serve as an effective tool to help the sales force handle accounts and understand how
many and what types of opportunities are in the sales pipeline at any given time.

Improved Sales and Marketing Information

A sales database can house a wealth of information on prospects and customers. Apart
from demographic information the sales force may have the ability to tag customers by
type or industry and indicate whether prospects are likely to close in the short or long
term. A sales database allows anyone with access to an account to review notes and
information specific to that prospect or customer.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Improved Productivity
Sales force is able to make sales calls out of a centralized database and update the
status of accounts instantaneously, this helps improve the efficiency of the entire sales
department. Database can help sales team focus efforts in sales and marketing
campaigns and can be more effective. It saves the business not only time, but reduces
costs and saves money.

Build Better Relationships

With a robust database, sales force never has to forget an important customer
milestone. Agents may even be able to set reminders of important dates in the
application so that they stay organized and on top of accounts. With prospects and
customers being a top priority for the business, a sales database can maintain those
relationships even if the agent assigned exits the company.

Task 4: Be able to plan sales activity for a product or service.

4.1 Develop a sales plan for one of your products.

Plastic Products Ltd is a company that sells disposable plastic cutlery and utensils
mainly to the catering industry.
Company management is more focused on building a business which is sustainable
and more profitable. Further they want to have the brand presence as well. The vision is
more focused on creating better values for their end users and sellers. Company is
looking for the growing opportunities with business expansion and new sales force
recruitment. Moreover the company should develop and build a competitive environment
for the target market to choose its products over the competitor brands.
The following sales plan has been devised for disposable plastic party crockery and
cutlery in Plastic Products Ltd.

Sales objective:
To increase the production and sales of disposable plastic party crockery and cutlery by
5% by the end of 2016.
To become the best known name in market providing quality plastic crockery and cutlery.
The company guarantees 100% customer satisfaction and values friendly service. It


Sales Planning &Operations.

seeks to manufacture plastic products by exceeding minimum acceptable quality

standards and by providing highest quality product at the lowest possible price.
Target market:

Main focus is on catering industry as the demand for the product will be high.

Also focuses in the growing fast food sector.

Sales forecast for the next five years :

year 1

year 2

year 3

year 4

year 5

Figure 7.


Year 1
$ 270870.00

Year 2
$ 338587.50

Year 3
$ 406305.00

Year 4
$ 474022.50

Year 5
$ 541740.20

Table 2.

Strategy and implementation:

Marketing strategy


Sales Planning &Operations.

The company will benchmark the objectives for promotion, outlet selling and personal

Pricing strategy
It will be to initially undercut our price from main competitors by 5%, using market
penetration strategy. Then pricing will be adjusted to be directly competitive with other
major competitors.

Promotion strategy
Promotion will be initially spearheaded by public relations because of its low cost, and
then through advertising once there is an increase in cash flow in acceptable figure.

Sales strategy

Will implement PUSH strategy through discounts and trade promotions.

Design of new package design that is more appealing.

Sales channels will include direct sales and personal selling.

Advertisements through e-marketing tools and social media.

Sale budget:
It is usually the keystone in planning and control of operation of a business. Sales forecast
serves as a base for the sales budget.
The total of expected sales for next five years : $ 2,031,525.20
Budget amount : $ 3,000,000.00
SWOT analysis:





Sales Planning &Operations.

- Sound
condition of

-Lack of qualified

-Poor penetration

-Growth of fast
food sector.

demand for
cutlery &
-Increase in
productivity &
sales of

-Change in
behavior about



4.2 Investigate opportunities for selling internationally.

Investing internationally increase the diversification and total return of the company.
However, although the benefits of investing internationally are widely accepted theories,
there are many risks to it.
The biggest barriers to investing in international markets are the transaction costs. It can
vary greatly depending on which foreign market that the company is investing.
Brokerage commissions are almost always higher in international markets than domestic
in addition to the frequently added additional charges such as taxes, levies etc.
Another risk inherent in foreign markets, especially in emerging markets, is liquidity risk.
Liquidity risk is the risk of not being able to sell your stock quickly enough once a sell
order is entered.
Since Plastic Products Ltd is focusing on establishing its brand in the domestic market, it
is advisable not to participate in international selling as it would involve a huge
expenditure in direct export activity in addition to the risks given above.
Although, doing international sales by staying within the country will reduce cost and
increase profitability.


Investigate opportunities for using exhibitions or trade fairs.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Participation of Plastic Products Ltd in trade shows and exhibitions is beneficial as trade
shows are generally targeted at an industry and people involved or interested in that
industry. Exhibiting at a trade show can be a great way to advertise to a target market
and create brand awareness.
Exhibitions are open to a large and sometimes diverse range of audiences (usually the
general public). This provides a platform to promote products to a broader group that
may have little or no knowledge of the companys products.
Being involved in a trade show or exhibition can provide you with opportunities to branch
out to business-to-business trading and create a customer database from the visitors to
your display booth.

In this assignment, there are four tasks. The first was in regard to the role of personal selling at
Plastic Product Ltd. The aspects of personal selling, buyer behavior and decision making
process and the role of sales team was discussed in brief. The second task was to create a
sales presentation on any product and I had chose Audi car. The presentation print out is also
attached. In the third task, we discussed the role and objectives of sales management with
regard to Plastic Products Ltd. The final task included developing a sales plan for one of the
products and to investigate the opportunities for international selling and participation in trade
fairs and exhibitions.


Sales Planning &Operations.

Online books:

Wayne Moloney (2014), Your roadmap to sales management success, Hazelbrook,

MoshPit Publishing.
Arun Kumar (2004) et al, Consumer behaviour, New Delhi, Atlantic publishers and
Available from: https://books.google.com.qa

Online journal:

Frank Q. Fu, 2015, Motivate to Improve Salesforce Performance: The Sales Training
Perspective, Performance Improvement, 54 (4), pp31-35.
Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pfi.21474/abstract

Web references:


Sales Planning &Operations.

Don Hofstrand (2009), Business development.

Available from: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/html/c5-09.html
(accessed on 6 october 2015)