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INTB 2200 (27)

Chapter 27.docx

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International Business
INTB 2200
Luming Wang

Chapter 27: Solving Sales Force problems by managing sales force in rural areas Managing the Rural Sales Force In tune with the special requirements which the rural sales force has to meet, the task of sales force management too carries certain added dimensions in the rural context. In selecting the salesmen, in giving them orientation, in motivating them and in developing them the sales manager has to adapt to the unique requirements of rural selling. For example, while providing orientation to the newly recruited rural salesmen, the sales manager may have to devote a longer time. And mere classroom training will not meet the requirements of orientation of rural salesmen. The salesmen need comprehensive on the job coaching in selected village markets. And they need to be educated about the rural marketing environment in addition to being trained in salesmanship and selling techniques. The rural sales manager must also support his salesmen with non-conventional means of market promotion suitable to the rural consumers. Rural salesmen also need more intensive sales training & as they have to handle a variety of products. In short, sales force management in the rural context becomes an exacting job, especially when the firm has big stakes in rural marketing and when it operates on a nation wide basis. For example, Hindustan Lever's rural salesmen have to cover 70,000 rural locations. Administering such a large and scattered sales force, supervising them, supporting them in sales calls, coaching them on the job, attending to their official and personal problems and above all, motivating them for better results in an exacting task for the sales manger. 4. Marketing Communication In Rural Markets Constraints in Marketing Communication in the Rural Context Marketing communication, and promotion too, poses problems in rural markets. There are many constraints emanating from the profile of the audience and the availability of media. The literacy rate among the rural consumers being low, the printed word has limited use in the rural context. In addition to the low level of literacy, the tradition bound nature of the rural people, their cultural barriers and taboos and there overall economic backwardness adds to the difficulty of the communication task. The situation is further compounded by the linguistic diversity. Rural communication has to necessarily be in the local language and idiom. The constraints of media further compound the difficulty. It has been estimated that all organised media put together can reach only 30 per cent of the rural population of India TV is an ideal medium for communicating with the rural masses. But its reach in the rural areas is limited even today. As regards the print media, the various publications reach only 18 per cent of the rural population. Even in areas reached, the circulation is limited. And as already mentioned, the low literacy level of the rural population acts as a further inhibitor in the use of the print media in rural communication. Cinema is relatively more accessible. It has been estimated that 33 per cent of the total cinema earnings in the country come from rural India. Rural communication has also become quite expensive. For rural communication to be effective, repeat expo
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