Personal Selling Strategies

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FORMULATING PERSONAL-SELLING STRATEGY

• Sales Management achieves personal-selling objectives through personal-selling strategy

• Key decisions in personal – selling strategy are : a) The kind of sales force required and
b) The size of sales force required

• The decision on the kind of salespersons defines the role that sales personnel play in their contacts with customers & prospects. The decision on the size of the sales force dictates deployment of sales personnel as well the frequencies & intensities of their contacts with customers & prospects

• Personal selling objectives & personal setting strategies vary with the kind of competitive setting prevailing in the industry.

• When the qualitative personal selling objectives change, changes are required in the kind of sales force.

• When quantitative personal selling objectives change, changes are usually required in the size of the sales force

COMPETITIVE SETTINGS

• Individual companies operate in different competitive settings that define the nature & intensity of competition the sales force will face in the market

• Economists have identified 4 basic kinds of competitive market settings. They are : Pure or perfect competition
Monopolistic competition
Oligopolistic competition
No direct competition

Pure Competition

• A market setting characterized by :

1) a large number of buyers & sellers, none powerful enough to control or influence the prevailing market price

2) No single buyer or seller is large enough to appreciably affect the product’s demand or supply

3) All sellers’ products are identical, so buyers are indifferent as to which seller they buy from

4) All buyers are always fully informed about all the sellers’ products & prices

5) No artificial restraints on prices exist

• If these assumptions represented the real world in an industry, then no company would bother itself with any marketing strategies because

1) Each seller would be too small to gain business at the expense of others through price cutting, if it did cut price, the others would immediately match the cut

2) Product differentiation will be ruled out as all products are identical

3) No seller would gain by promoting through advertising or personal selling as all buyers buy based on price & are already fully informed

4) As sellers & buyers are in direct contact, marketing channels & distribution will not be required

• The real world knows no industries operating under such conditions

Monopolistic Competition

• A competitive setting characterized by :

1) A large number of sellers of a generic product but each seller’s brand is in some way differentiated from every other brand

2) Most ultimate consumers appear convinced that different brands of the same generic product are not exactly alike. This provides marketers with opportunities to build brand preferences among buyers

3) Most ultimate consumers are not fully informed about the offerings of competing sellers

4) It is easy for competitors to enter the industry

• Most modern marketers operate in similar competitive settings that provide marketing opportunities & clearly require skill in planning & implementing an overall marketing strategy

• Sellers differentiate their brands through individualizing one or several components of the marketing mix

• Advertising differentiates the brand in the minds of ultimate consumers, personal selling ensures the desired distribution intensity & that middlemen provide the needed push. An unusual distribution method or innovative pricing can also help differentiate the brand

Oligopolistic Competition

• the number of competitors is small, they are individually identified & known to each other

• it is very difficult for new competitors...
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