The role of Personal Selling in Direct Sales Organizations Thomas N. Ingram 1992 Jialin & Kewrin
The purpose of this article The framework for defining the role of personal selling in direct sales organizations • Marketing Developments • Strategic roles of personal selling • Personal selling tactical implications
Marketing developments • Market Fragmentation • Globalization • Multiple channels approaches • Timing & Speed • Trust- based Relationship Selling
Marketing fragmentation = to define market segments into sub-segments and it forces direct sales organizations to think about two basic options: • Ownership through leadership • Expeditionary marketing
Expeditionary marketing • To lead and not to follow their customers in terms of new product ideas and the implementation of new ways for consumers to buy. • Example: Mary Kay cosmetics
Globalization • The personal selling dimension is particularly appropriate for the development of non-domestic markets when compared to other elements of the promotional mix
Example: Time life Books Because of….. • the language barriers • cultural differences • ser-up time is minimal • sunk channel costs are low
Multiple channel approaches • Market fragmentation and globalization • To make it easy for shoppers to buy where they want to
Mary Kay Cosmetics -Direct mail -Telephone ordering system
Timing and speed • The unexpected available Eastern market • The booming Asian market example: Avon in 1985
Trust-basted relationship selling • Benefits for DSO • An important issue for sales success • Has to take responsibility for what transpires during the consumer and salesperson interactions • Has to invest in training and field guidance must be made
Strategic roles of personal selling • Adding value with information • Customer service activities • Revenue generation • Change processes
Corporate growth orientation and personal selling • Intensive growth • Diversification growth • Acquisition
Intensive growth: • focuses on the development of existing business • extremely active sales function • the amount of selling effort should be intensified for existing products • training should be priority • motivational programs
Generic strategy and personal selling • Low-cost supplier: selling on the basis of a low price • Differentiation: perceived uniqueness • Niche strategies: the selection of a particular target market
Personal selling tactical implications Trust-based selling “To achieve trust-based relationships with customers, salespeople must be candid, dependable, competent, customer-oriented, and likable (Hawes et al. 1989)”.
Benefits of Trust-based selling for a direct sales force • The initial generation of profitable revenue • A potential lifetime revenue stream • The referral of prospects from the satisfied customer base.
Trust-based sales roles Wrap-around marketing “The customers must be pre-sold, sold, and then, in effect, post-sold”.
Tactical roles • Counselor/ teacher; experts, listeners and presenters • Ombudsman; customer oriented problem solver
Conclusion DS organizations are well-positioned: • to capitalize on fast developing and fragmenting markets • to realize the benefits of globalization • to blend multiple sales channels, with the possibility that personal selling could adopt different roles over time to match market opportunities
By focusing more on generating revenue through long-term trust-based relationships with customers