Sales and Distribution Management

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Q1.

Different companies have different strategies when implementing sales programs. A strategy used by McDonnell-Cummins is by providing compensation. As a B2B company, Linda is required to do direct marketing in order to introduce their products to large consumer goods companies. Therefore, as a motivation, offering an incentive in the form of compensation for staff such as providing a new car and expense account is to enforce desirable sales performance.

At McDonnell-Cummins Company, they hired Linda Stephens who has a background in chemical engineering as a sales engineer. This might not be in relation to sales; however, having that background will help Linda as she goes into a line that requires her to sell specialty chemicals, plastics and polymer products to large consumer goods companies as she has knowledge in chemical engineering; therefore, making her qualification relevant to the job. Where Linda may lack knowledge and experience in the sales area, McDonnell-Cummins provides intensive training for three months. (Bhasin, H., 2010)

These intensive trainings, which include classroom lectures and discussions, will help to provide knowledge and training needed to carry out the job at hand as any questions and problems can be examined and dealt with beforehand. Many companies now provide training for their staff to turn them into top sales personnel. These trainings have become essential to equip employee with sales, management and leadership skills. With the appropriate training provided, necessary skills can be developed in order to carry out the task required with excellence. This in turn will provide profitability for a company and thus is an approach adopted by McDonnell-Cummins to better prepare their staff prior to sending them out into the field.

Other than that, laboratory demonstration of products, videotapes and reading materials are also provided as part of their training. These help the sales personnel to not only be knowledgeable about the products they are required to sell, but also allows them to be familiarized with the products on a more personal and specific level in which gives them proper insight and information. On top of that, it adds value, as sales personnel will be able to speak with confidence for they experience demonstration of products firsthand.

Another good activity carried out by McDonnell-Cummins is putting their staff through several examinations. This allows them to evaluate performance level of their staff and detect their level of comprehension. This strategy allows the company to identify if their staff is ready and able to carry out their tasks as well as understand their capabilities and weaknesses.

Q2.

Prior to her sales call at Gamble & Simpson, Linda had identified her potential prospect to increase sales. Linda had checked by qualifying if he was a true prospect by obtaining a meeting with Mr. Constantin, someone from the purchasing department, who she would have thought would have authority to make purchasing decisions. Other than that, she had learnt the name of her prospect by checking the call reports done by the former sales engineer, which means she made the effort to plan before her meeting; therefore, allowing to present herself in a prepared and professional manner.

Although Linda may have been apprehensive, she was well prepared for her first meeting for she had taken the initiative to prepare herself before her sales call. Unfortunately, Linda had not anticipated that more than one person would be involved in making the purchasing decisions; consequently, Linda had left Gamble & Simpson without Mr. Constantine making a purchase. She did, however, manage to gain commitment as he indicated talking to the people from research and development department once he gets a chance to read the brochures, whereby further enquires would be made later on should it be necessary.

This does not necessarily show that Linda’s level of...
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