Give a brief outline of the ways in which you as sales manager can contribute to the marketing planning process at Auckland Engineering.
CASE – 1 (20 Marks)
Auckland Engineering plc
Jim Withey, sales manager for Auckland Engineering plc, a well-established engineering company based in the Midlands, had been contemplating the memo he had received two days earlier from his newly appointed marketing director.
To: J Withey, sales manager
From: D C Duncan, marketing director
Date: 16 January 2008
Subject: Preparation of annual marketing plan
You will recall that, at our series of preliminary meetings to discuss future marketing plans for the company, I suggested that I was unhappy with the seemingly haphazard approach to planning. Accordingly, you will recall it was agreed between departmental heads that each would undertake to prepare a formal input to next month’s planning meeting.
At this stage, I am not seeking detailed plans for each product market, rather I am concerned that you give some thought to how your department can contribute to the planning process. Being new to the company and its product/markets, I am not entirely up to date on what has been happening to the market for our products, although as we all know our market share at 3.5 per cent is down on last year. I would particularly like to know what information ‘our department could contribute to the analysis of the situation.
To help you in your own analysis I have summarized below what I feel came out of our first planning meetings.
1) Give a brief outline of the ways in which you as sales manager can contribute to the marketing planning process at Auckland Engineering.
2) Looking at Mr. Duncan’s analysis of your previous meetings, what issues/problems do you see which are of particular relevance to the activities of the sales force?
3) How would you respond to Mr. Duncan’s comments on the promotional mix and, in particular, to his comments about the level of advertising expenditure?
4) What is the point in conducting a SWOT analysis?
CASE 2 (20 Marks)
The O’Brien Company
The O’Brien Company manufactures and markets a wide range of luggage including suitcases, handbags and briefcases. The company is organized into two divisions — consumer and industrial. The consumer division sells mainly through retail outlets whereas the industrial division markets direct to companies, who buy luggage (especially briefcases) for use by their executives.
You have recently been appointed as a salesperson for the industrial division and have been asked to visit a new potential client with a view to selling him briefcases.
The potential customer is Brian Forbes, the managing director (and owner) of a medium-sized engineering company in the Midlands with subsidiaries in Manchester, Leeds and Bristol. They employ a sales force of twenty men selling copper piping. In addition, it is estimated that the company employs around forty marketing, personnel, production and accountancy executives.
The O’Brien company markets two ranges of executive briefcase. One is made from good quality plastic, with imitation hide lining. It is available in black only and is priced at £25 for the lockable version and £22 for the non-lockable type. The other deluxe range is manufactured from leather and real hide and is priced at £95. Colours available are black, brown, dark blue and claret. Additional features are a number-coded locking device, a variable depth feature which allows the briefcase to be expanded from its usual 875 mm to 1375 mm, individual gilt initialing on each briefcase, an ink-resistant interior compartment for pens, and three pockets inside the lid to take different sized papers/documents. The plastic version has only the last of these features and is 75 mm in depth.
What are your sales objectives? What extra information would he useful?
Prepare a sales presentation for the briefcases.
Prepare a list of possible objections and your responses to them.
CASE – 3 (20 Marks)
Plastic Products Ltd
Plastic Products Ltd is a company that produces and markets plastic cups, teaspoons, knives and forks for the catering industry. The company was established in 1974 in response to the changes taking place in the catering industry. The growth of the fast-food sector of the market was seen as an opportunity to provide disposable eating utensils which would save on manpower and allow the speedy provision of utensils for fast customer flow. In addition, Plastic Products has benefited from the growth in supermarkets and sells consumer packs’ through four of the large supermarket groups.
The expansion of sales and outlets has led Jim Spencer, the sales manager, to recommend to Bill Preedy, the general manager, that the present sales force of two regional representatives he increased to four.
Spencer believes that the new recruits should have experience of selling fast-moving consumer goods since essentially that is what his products are.
Preedy believes that the new recruits should he familiar with plastic products since that is what they are selling. He favors recruiting from within the plastics industry, since such people are familiar with the supply, production and properties of plastic and are likely to talk the same language as other people working at the firm.
What general factors should be taken into account when recruiting salesmen?
Do you agree with Spencer or Preedy or neither?
Distinguish between the job description and the personnel specification. For an industry of your choice, write a suitable job description and personnel specification for a salesperson.
Discuss the role of psychological testing in the selection process for salespeople.
CASE – 4 (20 Marks)
MacLaren Tyres Ltd
MacLaren Tyres is a company involved in the import and marketing of car tyres manufactured in the Far East. David MacLaren established the business in 1983 when a friend living in Singapore told him of the supply of tyres from that area which substantially undercut European prices. Although Far Eastern tyres were not as long lasting as European (average 18,000 miles compared with 25,000), they were produced to a high standard which meant that problems like weak spots, cracks and leaks were no more serious than with European tyres.
MacLaren believed that a viable target market existed for the sale of these tyres in the UK. He was of the opinion that a substantial number of people were interested primarily in the purchase price of tyres. This price-sensitive target market could roughly be described as the mid-lower income, working-class family man who owned a second-hand car which was over three years old.
1 Evaluate the performance of each of MacLaren’s salespeople.
2 What further information is needed to produce a more complete appraisal? 3 What action would you take?
4 What is a sales budget? Discuss the importance of the sales budget in the corporate budgetary process.
5 Quantitative measures of the performance of sales representatives are more likely to mislead than guide evaluation. Do you agree?
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