Characteristics to look for when hiring a new sales representative

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A sale representative is a person who represents the company, highlights, and sells products. He/she must have a vast knowledge on the products, which the company he/she is working with deals with. For instance if a sales representative works for a pharmaceutical company, he/she must have excellent understanding of science, chemistry, biology and some medical terms. However, there are some fundamental characteristics required of a sales representative and they are the main ones to look for when hiring a new sales representative. They include:

Creativity in sales is one of the magic keys to success. A good sales person must have the ability to come up with great ideas on how to sell the company's products. He/she must be creative enough to make a customer to buy from him/her and not from another company. The creativity may be in form of promotions, after sales service, e.g. delivery. Presentation of a product is paramount and it determines which sales representative is to succeed in selling and who will not.

Experience in dealing with a certain line of products is essential when hiring a new sales representative. This is because some jobs require great expertise due to their complexity e.g. selling machines.

Professionalism

A good sales person must be professional, meaning that he/she has enough knowledge of the product. A customer always wants to buy a product from a person who knows what he/she is selling. A good sales representative must be able to manage big projects and run them efficiently and in a manner that makes customers to like the company. Professionalism also assumes well-honed organizational skills that make all contacts with the client a satisfying experience rather than an annoyance.

Work ethic

A good sale representative must have effective and efficient work ethics, which he uses in his everyday routine. This includes a regular schedule, standard operating procedures for the repetitive tasks performed, a simple but effective record-keeping system, and the self-discipline.

Desire

A good sale representative must have the desire to succeed in both selling the product and satisfying the customer.

Attitude

The perspective with which a person views matters contributes largely to the achievements of the person. A good sales person must have a good attitude towards the company and the products he/she is dealing with.

Resilience

A good sales representative must be able to overcome heart-breaking occurrences e.g. losing a customer to a competitor, not being able to meet a certain target among others. This is vital because it keeps him going on, no matter what he faces

Flexibility

A good sales representative must be able to change to emerging trends in the market, e.g. new product presentation ways, new advertising channels, among other trends. Every sales professional must know that success in selling is not simply a matter of following a checklist of do's and don'ts. He/she must be flexible, that is, must develop an outstanding ability to read the particular needs, preferences, and personal idiosyncrasies of your client, and then tailor your interaction, presentation, and closing tactics to custom-fit that client.

Commitment

A good sales representative must be committed to his work. He must work strictly according to the requirements of the job and hence bringing satisfaction to the customer. He should be a good timekeeper and always be at the right place at the right time so as not to inconvenience the customer.

These are the most fundamental characteristics that one should look for in a person when hiring a sales representative.

Reference:

Jeff, T. (2009). Sales Management. New York: Pearson Education.

QUESTION 3:

Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face-to-face or web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches programmed and played over the phone via automatic dialing.

CATEGORIES OF TELEMARKETTING

There are two major categories of telemarketing, which are business to business, and business to customer.

The business to business, is whereby a business communicates with another business about product, services or supplies whereas business to customer is whereby a business communicates with a customer concerning a product which a customer may wish to purchase both of which are via electronic means.

Telemarketing can be either from the office or from home. There may be a live operator or a recorded message (which is also known as automated marketing) using voice broadcasting.

In effective telemarketing, an operator fist takes the needs of a customer, analyses them then finds the right product for the customer, which obviously best fits the needs of the customer and then contacts the customer persuading him/her to make a purchase.

An operator identifies a potential customer by his/her interest in a product, searche made by the prospective customer, or online forms filled by clients.

However, telemarketing can be harmful to the public due to high chances of fraud. Due to this, it is often under regulation by the government and legal authorities. For instance in America, it is restricted at the federal level by the telephone consumer protection The Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

EFECTIVE TELEMARKETING TECHNIQUES

When telemarketing carried on rightly and professionally, it can prove to be a valuable asset in marketing. Some of the important aspects that ensure the effectiveness of telemarketing include:

Pre-Call Planning and Preparation - A telemarketer must set out the objectives of a communication and must try to achieve it during a telecommunicating session

Effective Communication -A telemarketer must be able to grab the attention of the listener and must be able to guide the listener; therefore, a telemarketer must be polite and professional.

Questioning the Customer - A telemarketer should ask straight, precise questions hence avoiding confusion to the customer.

A telemarketer should be sincere when explaining about a product and avoid misleading the customer.

Explain the Product Quality - An effective telemarketer should refrain from using technical jargon, which might be taxing to the customer. He/she must use simple language.

Avoid Unnecessary Conversation - A telemarketer should avoid irrelevant conversation, which does not go towards meeting the objectives he/she wants to achieve. An effective telemarketer should avoid harassing the customer and should not be too pushy after failing to reach a consensus.

Advantages of telemarketing

If used well it has the potential to reach a large number of people and it is cost effective since it is cheaper than physical movement of marketers.

Disadvantages of telemarketing

Telemarketing has been negatively associated with various swindles and frauds hence it suffers public distrust. It is also associated with overpriced product and services hence it is not an avenue considered by many prospective customers. Most people consider telemarketing calls are a nuisance, especially when they not done at the right time. Telemarketing usually has deceptive messages hence do not give the correct description of the product or service.

Reference:

Lancaster, G & Massingham. L. (2010). Essentials of Marketing Management. New York: Taylor & Francis. Pp. 341-343.

QUESTION 4:

Motivating sales representative

Sales representative play a crucial role in selling of products. Underperformance of a sales representative may lead to the reduction in the sales volume hence reducing the profitability of a company. Motivating them on the other hand will ensure the increased productivity, which translates to increased profits. Although different workers require different methods of motivations, it is up to the manager to device ways, which will effectively motivate the workers and enhance healthy competition among them. It is imperative to understand that the sales personnel are assets to the company and motivating them is investing in the business (Lauby, 2005).

Setting clear expectations and attainable goals

Clearly, stating the job description of the sales representative and what is expected of them will motivate them and avoid conflict of duties or expectations. Although the expectations and goals of the representative should also be attainable, they should be able to stretch the sales representative in order to maximize sales. The goals should be set in coordination with the sales representative so as not to make them feel left out when making decisions about them. This ensures they feel that they own the goals.

Provide extra training and refresher courses

The sales representative may not be able to adapt to changing market and emerging expectations. Sending him/her to extra training may do him good as well as the company. Investing in the employee's professional growth is investing in the business, so providing the sale representative with the proper training and encouraging them to attend tradeshows and seminars, taking classes, and pursuing other avenues of professional development will have a good impact on the company

Offer a base salary in addition to commission.

Offering a basic salary will allow a manager to be able to control the sales representative since he/she has an obligation to the manager. Making the representative to work on commission alone will tend to overwork the worker, which will lead to fatigue hence leading to poor output in the end. The manager should Strike the right balance between a base salary and rate of commission

Offer competitive benefits.

Other than payment, the manager should come up with other benefits that will motivate the worker, such as a good health package, health insurance, retirement benefits.

Creating good commission terms

A good commission term is one which makes a worker to have the zeal to work more hence assuring himself of more money. In this manner, the company will have an increased sales volume and hence more profit.

Maintaining an outdoor policy

An outdoor policy will enhance communication between the manager and the sales representative. The representative will be able to air his/her grievances to the manager hence will know that priority is given to his/her problems. The availability of the manager for consultation should be paramount.

Overall, the manager should keep in mind that the sales representative is answerable to him/her and therefore should exert his/her authority when needed to. Maintaining a good working environment is the key to motivating and meeting laid out goals.

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