Salesman where everything in sales is unprincipled exploitation and you lose your soul doing it! Personal
selling is the most expensive and powerful communication strategy a marketer can employ. The basic
objectives of personal selling are:
1. To keep a current customer happy and loyal, particularly highly profitable customers.
2. To persuade a current customer to buy more.
3. To persuade a potential customer to buy a new product or service.
4. To feed back ideas on customer needs, improved product positioning, and the success of company
and competitor marketing tactics.
The most important objective of the salesforce is to help achieve the financial and marketing goals. For
example, if the firm’s primary goal and strategy is to build market share in a particular market segment,
then the primary sales tasks will be sales prospecting, supplying high levels of service, and providing
feedback from the market segment. If the objective is to protect and develop existing business, salespeople
should spend more service time with existing accounts, particularly those that appear to have been targeted
by competitors. When a company has the dual objectives of developing new business and expanding its
existing business, it often employs separate, highly-skilled developmental salespeople to achieve its first
objective and a regular customer support salesforce to achieve its second objective. Advertising agencies,
for instance, often use a new-business salesforce to identify and develop clients and then assign an account
team to service the client and maintain a productive relationship between the client and the agency.
Some salesforces spend all of their time selling to distributors. An important objective of such a salesforce
is to motivate the distributor, implement various selling programs, and maintain service levels. On
important accounts, these trade salespeople often make calls on a distributor’s customer to help develop
new business or handle specific usage and service problems. A salesforce that calls on retail accounts often
has the multiple objectives of introducing new product lines, making sure merchandising displays are put in
place, increasing the amount and quality of shelf space given to their product, and encouraging the account
to cooperate with promotion programs. As discussed in Module 5, the customer focus chapter, these are
increasingly becoming team-managed activities where the major national retail account is treated as a
marketing channel segment that needs to be team managed.
Typical functions of a field salesforce
A list of some of the varied activities that field salespeople may undertake in a day is given in the table
below. Note that much of a salesperson’s time is spent not in contact with the customer. A company
considers salesforce efficiency to be very high if salespeople spend 50 percent or more of their time
actually selling. Additionally, high-performing salespeople often go beyond typical functions in ways that
increase their sales and their efficiency. For instance, the list does not include creative activities such as
buying a gift for a customer’s secretary who has been helpful or writing a spreadsheet program to monitor
expenses. Yet these types of activities can help a good salesperson become a super salesperson.