American Journal of Business Education Third Quarter 2016

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American Journal of Busi ness Education Third Quarter 2016 Volume 9 Number 3. salesperson strategically tied to other significant project elements which results in a comprehensive project Doing. so also was an attempt to have the student more effectively learn the material by experiencing mult iple stages of. Kolb s experiential learning cycle Kolb Fry 1974 Kolb 1984 as will be described later. Deeter Sch melz Kennedy 2011 examined indiv idual co mponents of selling classes The co mprehensive sales. project described here offers the advantage in that it comb ines many learning outcomes and components of the. typical advanced selling course into a unified cours e long project. The Advanced Selling course on our campuses are designed as the second in a series to teach students advanced. selling concepts and strategies currently used in the marketplace Focused on helping students add depth to their. skill set and increase their marketability the course covers most topics described by Loe Inks 2014 such as. customer relat ionship building contract negotiations value analysis and time territory management A variety of. teaching techniques are used including case studies group exercises role plays and guest speakers All students. enrolled in the course have already taken courses in Principles of Marketing and Fundamentals of Selling. Sales Project Objectives, The objectives of the advanced selling project which are consistent with important objectives identified by Michaels. Marshall 2002 are the following, To improve students skills in key basic salesperson abilities prospect for customers qualify. prospects present the sales message close the sale and service the account As early as 1950 when. colleges were just starting to add selling courses academic researchers Beach Wales 1950 were. developing educational objectives for the sales course tantamount to basic selling skills While it is. important to develop advanced selling skills the basic selling skills should never be overlooked e g. Pelham and Krav itz 2013 In one study for example salespeople who exhib ited an effective. customer orientation i e an advanced selling skill without also having proper basic selling skills. were found not to be effective at selling Wachner et al 2009. Similar to Michaels Marshall 2002 Rentz et al 2002 identified five key salesperson abilities prospect for. customers qualify prospects present the sales message close the sale and service the account While students have. started learning about and developing these skills in the basic selling course through lectures assignments guest. speakers and role playing students in the advanced sales class still need more progress We hypothesize that such. development will occur in the project described here by having students find and qualify prospects for the ride day. secure that ride day by effectively p resenting their sales message selling to the practicing salesperson why the. salesperson should agree to the ride day and service the account follo wing up after the agreement to the ride day. and after the ride day, To help students learn about the differences in selling jobs in various industries and specific. companies There are vastly different kinds of selling jobs available in terms of types of activities. performed on a usual basis as well as differences based on the industry and specific company. Castleberry Tanner 2014 Avlonitis and Panagopoulos 2006 While most advanced selling classes. have numerous guest speakers the proposed sales project will allow selling students to investigate the. companies and the industries more fully in which they are most interested Then sharing that. informat ion with others in the course will increase class exposure to more industries companies types. of sales jobs, To improve students ability to critically evaluate selling opportunities As students interview for. selling jobs they often ask instructors and others their opinions of a particular co mpany industry. Smith 2011 Due to the structure of the assignments the proposed sales project will help students. develop skills in evaluating industries companies and specific sales job themselves Students will. learn where to gather information and how to evaluate that information to make an informed decision. Copyright by author s CC B Y 120 The Clute Institute. American Journal of Busi ness Education Third Quarter 2016 Volume 9 Number 3. THE SALES PROJECT,Preliminary Steps, The first step for students is the selection of the industry they would like to research It is strongly recommended.
that students choose an industry in wh ich they might like to work upon graduation For students having difficulty in. even knowing what industries exist NAICS links are provided http www naics com search htm Next students. select a specific co mpany within their chosen industry To find enough information to co mplete the pro ject. successfully students are encouraged to select a for pro fit organization that sells a product or service Furthermore. students are informed that data collection will be much easier if the organization is publicly traded on a major stock. exchange The remainder of the project consists of five parts described below. Project Part 1 Industry Analysis, Students using at least four credible sources write an industry analysis of not more than five pages which answers. each of the following questions, 1 What is the name of the industry and how is it defined. 2 What types of companies are included in the industry and what types of products or services are sold. What types of organizations do they typically sell to i e who are their target market customers. 3 What are the industry financial trends over the last three years specific revenue dollars and percentage. growth or decline for each year Graphs wh ich are p referab le to spreadsheets or text should be. labeled clearly, 4 What is the analysts exp lanation for any trends revenues increased decreased or flat and what do. the analysts predict the future trends will be, 5 Who are the key competitors within the industry and what share of the market do they each hold. 6 How have the key competitors sales and profits trended in the past few years co mpared to the industry. please supply specific data, At this point students are encouraged to note that in the SWOT analysis Project Part 4 they will need to.
understand the key strengths and weaknesses of the key competitors in the industry compared to their selected. company so they may wish to capture some of this information while they are doing the industry research. Project Part 2 Company Sales Analysis, Students using at least four credib le sources write a sales analysis of not more than five pages that answers each of. the following questions, 1 Analyze the company s financial sales and profit results over the last three reported years. comparing sales revenue and profits Provide as much detail as possible e g the three year financial. analysis by total revenue and profit as well as by product segment and geographic area if available. and applicable Identify and discuss the trends and the causes for these trends The financial. informat ion can generally be found in the company s annual report The product and geography. breakouts are usually found in the latter part of the financial section of the annual report. 2 What products and or services does the company sell. 3 How does the company segment or structure their product line. 4 What geographies does the company cover, 5 What markets does the company seem to be targeting. 6 How would you describe the company s marketing strategy. 7 What can you tell about the company s sales model and coverage model For examp le Do they use. a direct sales force inside sales business partners etc If they use mu ltiple sales channels can you. tell how they approach their markets by channel, 8 What can you tell about the company s growth strategy going forward. 9 Provide any other information you deem appropriate to include. Copyright by author s CC B Y 121 The Clute Institute. American Journal of Busi ness Education Third Quarter 2016 Volume 9 Number 3. To keep the project on track the first draft of the financial analysis item 1 above can be assigned as a homework. task that is due early in the course Th is homework assignment can be discussed in class at that time and be part of. the lecture on financial issues in selling,Project Part 3 SWOT Sales Analysis.
Students complete a one page chart examining how their chosen company is currently positioned for future sales. success In other words students analyze what they find to be the company s Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities. and Threats in relation to how they are cu rrently poised to co mpete for sales Note that this is not a general SWOT. analysis for the firm as a whole th is SWOT is specific to the sales point of view A temp late as well as an example. of this SWOT are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively. Exhibit 1 SWOT Template, Sale Specific SWOT Template Types of questions to answer. S ubject The creation of ABC s own distributor company to target additional end user sectors. Strengths examples of questions that would be answered Weaknesses examples of questions that would be answered. Advantages of this proposition Disadvantages of this proposition. Capabilities to accomplish it Gaps in capabilities to accomplish it. Competitive advantages Lack of competitive strength. USPs unique selling points Reputation presence and reach. Resources Assets People Financials, Experience knowledge data Own known vulnerabilities. Financial reserves likely returns Timescales deadlines and pressures. M arketing reach distribution awareness Cash flow start up cash drain. Innovative aspects Continuity supply chain robustness. Location and geographical Effects on core activities distraction. Price value quality Reliability of data plan predictability. Accreditations qualifications certifications M orale commitment leadership. Processes systems IT communications Accreditations etc. Cultural attitudinal behavioral Processes and systems etc. M anagement cover succession M anagement cover succession. Opportunities examples of questions that would be answered Threats examples of questions that would be answered. M arket developments Political effects,Competitors vulnerabilities Legislative effects. Industry or lifestyle trends Environmental effects. Technology development and innovation IT developments. Global influences Competitor intentions various,New markets vertical horizontal M arket demand. Niche target markets New technologies services ideas. Geographical export import Vital contracts and partners. New USPs Sustaining internal capabilities, Tactics surprise major contracts etc Obstacles faced.
Business and product development Insurmountable weaknesses. Information and research Loss of key staff, Partnerships agencies distribution Sustainable financial backing. Volumes production economies Economy home abroad, Seasonal weather fashion influences Seasonality weather effects. The template shown here is to give students an idea of what kind of information might be analyzed and included in each portion. of the sales specific SWOT, Copyright by author s CC B Y 122 The Clute Institute. American Journal of Busi ness Education Third Quarter 2016 Volume 9 Number 3. Exhibit 2 Sales Specific SWOT Analysis An Example, S ubject The creation of ABC s own distributor company to target additional end user sectors. Strengths Weaknesses, End user sales control and direction Customer lists not tested.
Right products quality and reliability Some gaps in range for certain sectors. Superior product performance vs competitors We would be a small player. Better product life and durability No direct marketing experience. Spare manufacturing capacity We cannot supply end users abroad. Some staff have experience of end user sector Need more sales people. Have customer lists Limited budget, Direct delivery capability No pilot or trial done yet. Product innovations ongoing Don t have a detailed plan yet. Can serve from existing sites Delivery staff needs training. Products have required accreditations Customer service staff needs training. Processes and IT should cope Processes and systems etc. M anagement is committed and confident M anagement coverage insufficient. Opportunities Threats, Could develop new products Legislation could impact negatively. Local competitors have poor products Environmental effects would favor larger competitors. Profit margins will be good Existing core business distribution risk. End users respond to new ideas M arket demand very seasonal. Could extend to overseas Retention of key staff critical. New specialist applications Could distract from core business. Can surprise competitors Possible negative publicity. Support core business economies Vulnerable to reactive attack by major competitors. Could seek better supplier deals, This analysis depicted in chart form should demonstrate that the student has fully analy zed many aspects of the. company s sales operation strategy and results Bullet points listed by the student should be specific and have. enough verbiage to be understandable on their own,Project Part 4 Ride Day Report. Each student schedules a ride day with a professional salesperson not a sales manager in the industry chosen and. prepares a written report of no more than five pages The ride day is intended to be at. typical advanced selling course into a unified course long project The Advanced Selling course on our campuses are designed as the second in a series to teach students advanced selling concepts and strategies currently used in the marketplace Focused on helping students add depth to their

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