Preparation of the sales force

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Sales Management

Module MK0902A

Module Title : Sales Management

Tutor : Iain Fraser

Critically discuss what is involved in preparing for sales visits with regard to both the salesperson and the sales manager.

Many professions carry the adage “If you fail to prepare, then you should prepare to fail” ; the adage is particularly true in sales, since the seller needs to beprepared to sell the best way possible. A good sell is a good deal, it implies the fact that both sides are satisfied, sellers and especially customers. A good preparation avoids an undergone selling, and when the interview is not controlled by the seller, it rapidly turns into a deadlock. Preparation might be a lack of time and drudgery to the seller, but it is definitely a way of successfulselling, especially when the seller is self-motivated. A self-motivated seller generally creates a self-motivated buyer. A big lack of preparation is easily noticed by a customer, even a “novice” one. Concerning the sales visits, it involves several stages before and during the sales process, and different types of sales. These stages will be explained in detail in our discussion. The role of thesales manager is to make sure that the sales force prepare correctly their sales visit, because there is nothing more damaging for the brand image of a company than unprepared salespeople. It is his role to make the salespeople work efficiently, both for the salespeople good and the company’s one. Indeed, both of them have financial incentives, and unprepared sale might lead to discouragement andfrustration, which means a lack of efficiency. Since I was a trainee for the past two years, it will be given examples of my previous experience to argue the commentaries, and details about the buying behaviour will be provided as well. Source :

Firstly, we are going to discuss the preparation process. The preparation process is usefulin all types of selling. Generally speaking, it consists of five stages. The first stage is the product knowledge development. Basically, the seller has to know all the features dealing with the products he wants to sell. However, knowledge of product is insufficient for a successful selling. People buy a product according to its FAB, which is Features, Advantages and Benefits. A customer looksat these three characteristics when he has to buy a product. Source : To complete successfully this task, the seller has to put himself in the customer’s position, in order to have a great understanding of what motivates the customer, so that he can prepare the most convincing questions possible. While I was working in my bank branch, my director who was my tutor aswell, provided me product knowledge “classes” once a week. He used the same technique on new employee who just joined the company. It consisted in giving some products to know at the beginning of the week, and the next week he queried me. At the end of the interrogation, he gave me tips to sell the products efficiently to the customers, and adapt them to their needs.

This stage is veryimportant since the customer already knows his need. During this step, the customer really wants to know more about the product and he is hardly looking for information. That is why the seller also has to develop his competitors’ knowledge. At this step, the customer is looking for the best product which would suit him. He is looking in different companies which one would have the best offer, and islooking to substitute products as well. The preparation of this step allows the sale representative to handle easier the objections concerning the product from the customers, which might be mentioned during the interview.

The next step of the preparation process is competitors’ knowledge development. it takes into consideration the competitors’ product strong point, so that the seller can handle...
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