More often and in most companies, Sales is a process of meeting only the targeted numbers and sales revenue budgeted. This is okay when the markets are monopolistic and non-dynamic (are there any left like that?), but in today’s business scenario, we do not need only ‘feet on the street’! We need sales personnel who can extract value from available limited market resources. No longer is Sales a mechanical job of matching and working with the law of probability vis-a-vis Sales efforts/ calls.
Implementation of the business plan – the Marketing strategy – is the core center of Marketing Success. Primarily, you should know what are the externals you will be dealing with. Market forces change with great accuracy and only an ‘observant’ Sales manager can understand these dynamic changes well in advance. Let us look at these externals, as listed below:
1. Industry you are operating in – this ‘external’ matters a lot because each Industry Practice has its own variables influencing the buyer behavior. What will work in Technology sales distribution will not necessarily meet the requirements of FMCG sales distribution. The lead time to close sales in technology sector is lengthy while in the FMCG industry it is quick, vacillating and dynamic. Both require effective Sales personnel though the mind set of these personnel will vary a lot based on the Industry Practice they operate in.
2. Markets are specific – I realized very early in my Sales career, the market forces are dependent on the local society culture/ market practice when it comes to decision-making and purchase patterns. For eg., In the Middle East Countries’ markets, buyers are not ‘only’ price-sensitive but they are very feature specific too when it comes to buying Photocopiers or any other Office automation product I sold. Here, the markets are global, wide open and the buying options are too many making it a very competitive market ! It requires lot more sales skills other than only persuasion to win sales orders. While in India, Price alone was a decisive force then.
3. Customers and their wants – In my opinion, in Mumbai, customers are co-operative while in Chennai the customers are conservative. This has not changed much despite the globalization movement, advancement in availability of buying opportunities or with more MNC companies opening up their branch offices ( and with few opening their Head Offices) in Chennai. It has not changed because of the local culture and resultant mind-set causing a typical buyer behavior. In Chennai, the selling cycle is longer and price-sensitivity is more emphasized upon in sales negotiations. Ideally as a good fit, local market sales experience should be considered while hiring sales people in specific markets to ensure customer satisfaction and sales achievement !
In hiring Sales people, it is essential to be long-sighted but the hiring manager has to know he cannot delay and wait for the ideal Sales personnel to join at all times. Short-term sales goals should not be overlooked while adhering to the practice of recruiting the best sales force. In such recruitment drives, it is mandatory to work with functional experts who are well versed with the Industry Practices they are catering to. Negotiation is a very dynamic process – whether it be in selling or in buying – and the market opportunities are dynamic too. Hire the right people ! Contact Now – Rambuna Consultants – for recruiting at all positions in Sales & Marketing ! Good Day !