1.0 The Role of Personal Selling Within the Overall Marketing Strategy
For any business to succeed, selling has to take its major part. This is made possible through marketing strategies which allow the business to utilize footholds and pathways on a limited budget in an effective manner. Therefore, marketing strategy is the process of designing a marketing plan that assists the organization to meet its marketing objectives through messages that can be heard. It is thus important for marketers to understand the selling process, sales management, and sales planning to apply them in different markets and environments.
- Personal Selling and the Promotion Mix
Personal selling is a crucial element of the overall marketing strategy of an organization. It is the demonstration of persuasive messages through selling to potential clients and may take place through email, telephone conversations, or personal correspondence (Shimp and Andrews, 2013, p. 84). It is done with the sole intention of promoting sales as well as creating permanent relationships with potential buyers and existing customers, which ends with an attempt to close a sale. Personal selling supports the marketing activity by equipping the marketer with the target market buyer behavior to create a positive impact on the customer (Kotler et al. 2014, p. 178). Personal selling is reinforced by sales promotion, public relations, and advertising to ensure that the sales team conveys to customers the message.
A sales force chooses to sort out their real audience in order to understand what holds real meaning to the audience (Kotler, Keller, Ancarani and Costabile 2014, p. 25). Through personal selling, the sales team also seek to understand what that audience cares about to ascertain how that relates to what they are offering to craft a message that would meet consumers’ levels of needs. Further, sales people are tasked with the role of questioning and finding the root cause of a problem with regard to the needs of the consumer. The sales force also works to diffuse the competitive force in a sales territory or quota to increase and defend the market share of a company’s product. This is done through conducting a SWOT analysis of both their organization as well as their competitor’s distribution and sales team assigned to the territory in question and the impact they may have on the company’s marketing objectives. It is also the role of a sales team to note the trends in market and adjust to them accordingly. For instance, companies are embracing the social media as a tool for interacting with consumers, whereby personal selling, advertising, sales promotion is carried out to a large number of consumers.
It is through personal selling that salespeople create product awareness by educating clients on new product offerings, especially in B2B selling. Salespeople discuss their offerings to show attendees in industry trade shows and fairs. Further, controlled word-of-mouth marketing is used as part of personal selling to gain customers in the consumer markets for new products. To achieve marketing objectives, personal selling is used to create interest through face-to-face communication with potential customers to get them to experience a brand for the first time. Therefore, it is during the first encounter with a potential client, salespeople use personal selling to create interest and build product awareness.
Further, to increase the chances of a sale, salespeople use personal selling to convey product information to the customer. For instance, if a salesperson wants to sell equipment to a restaurant, they would have to provide the clients with information to support their products in the form of brochures and pamphlets specifying how each equipment would be worth and beneficial to the restaurant business. Such an act would also stimulate demand by convincing customers to make the purchase (Shimp and Andrews, 2013, p. 92). Moreover, personal selling assists in the achievement of marketing objectives by reinforcing a brand by building a long-term relationship with clients as salespeople seek to follow up on their clients thereby strengthen their knowledge on the new offerings in the market.
- Buyer Behavior and the Decision Making Process
In a bid to meet their purchase needs, consumers make different decisions in a series of a complex process depending on their opinion about the product. It involves evaluating, comparing, selecting and ultimately purchasing a particular product from a list of many products. Different consumers approach purchasing differently. For instance, in B2B situation, buying decision are made in advance as opposed to B2C where buying may be on impulse. In B2B, a business plans a staff trip in advance, books the tickets and accommodation while in a B2C situation, a person may get a call from friends that they are on vacation and decide to follow them (Solomon, Dahl, White, Zaichkowsky and Polegato 2014, p. 83).
Since B2B sales are risky, they take longer to complete as compared to B2C sales, therefore, consumers are more concerned with factors, for instance efficiency, reliability, and safety of the product they are purchasing. Moreover, the clients may also request for a tailor-made product as opposed to B2C situation whereby the consumer in most cases has to take what is offered into the market. B2B consumers also demand that the products they are willing to buy meet certain strict standards as opposed to B2C consumers. This is evident in the fast food industry whereby companies take only a certain standard of their supplies and ingredients and may go great extents to taste different types of products before settling on a particular one. Further, in B2B situation, Consumers seek more information before making a purchase as opposed to B2C situation whereby buying behavior may be impulse or influenced by stimuli.
Consumers make impromptu decisions in their buying process as they see products they may want, such as lip moisturizers or magazines. These decisions are made with no thought at all and are usually made on low-priced products. However, when purchasing a luxury item, the consumer has to think through the process and pick from a pool of choices, therefore, an extensive decision-making process is required. Consumers review products, ask opinions from different people and experts before buying a luxury item, such as a high-end television set. The process is longer as the consumer invests a great deal of money as compared to purchasing other products. When purchasing routine goods, consumers spend very little making decisions since they buy these products frequently. Consumers do not need to consult their friends or read reviews when seeking to purchase a packet of milk as the process is not complex. The process is similar to buying of staples whereby the consumer is well informed about the product, therefore, the purchase behavior involves no effort as it is out of habit.
Moreover, the consumer buying behavior changes depending on the economic times. During a recession, consumers are careful in what they purchase as opposed to boom time. For instance, during a recession, the relative importance of food goes up as consumers eat less in restaurants but more at home. Conversely, the buying behavior is quicker in online purchases as the consumer compares different products on their features and characteristics to choose from as compared to physical purchasing where they have to gather information through personal contacts and reviews (Solomon et al. 2014, p. 92).
- The Role of Sales Teams within Marketing Strategy
Organizations define the roles of their sales teams to show their products’ strengths thus seek to achieve the sales performance. The sales team, therefore, uses various means to contact potential and existing customers, such as online communication, one-to-many, one-to-one, and through telephone conversations. Online communications use campaign strategies with the lowest possible risk and cost investment to achieve higher returns by maximizing sales potential. Online marketing is relatively cheaper compared to the other means of communication, therefore, making it an effective tool for the sales team. It enables consumers in different locations to research and buy products at their own convenience and can be communicated virtually to everyone in the world.
B2B is efficient in directly influencing consumers even in circumstances where a company does not sell products to the consumers. This happens in complementary products, such as micro-processing chips and computers. The company producing the chips may influence a consumer to buy computers that contain such chips even if the manufacturer has replaced them. For instance, Intel demands that computer companies that purchase their products to affix an Intel sticker as a way of communicating to its customers thereby effectively creating derived demand for its products.
Presentations and in-store demonstrations are effective in showing consumers the benefits and features of a product. They serve to convince a potential consumer that the product can meet their need or want. Further, demonstrations are effective in debugging objections and misconceptions consumers may hold about a product. This is done by showing consumers the real value of a product thereby casting doubts the consumer may have held about the product and convincing them to make the purchase. On the other hand, telephone conversation to consumers is used as an effective tool for purchase follow-up to ascertain whether the product has met client’s need and obtain feedback on where improvement is needed.
Online shopping has allowed for a shift in the balance of power to customers’ favor as they are able to compare different products thereby evaluate the possible alternatives without salespeople’s influence. This cuts the cost of reaching clients in addition to giving salespeople a valid and accurate data on the needs of consumers depending on their searches online. Toñita, Delleart and Ruyter (2004) assert that consumers prefer online shopping due to their past experiences, trust to online shopping, product characteristics, situational factors, and their personality. This gives salespeople the hint on who to target when seeking to sell their product over the internet, for instance, young consumers are the best to target because they are always on their tablets and smartphones.
Persuasion of customers through the telephone is an effective method of building loyal and long-term relationships with clients since the salesperson acts as a problem solver and advisor to the client. It also assists the sales force to learn about competing brands and emerging customer needs (Pickton and Broderick, 2001, p. 92). On the other hand, one-to-many communication reaches many potential customers at a time thus offering the sales force the best value for money. This method of communication is effective for building an efficient B2C brand name as it evokes clients’ interests. One-to-one communication is a cheap and highly effective means of communicating company products to clients, especially business clients. It provides valuable information to clients that assists in generating interests in B2B customers.
2.0 Application of the Principles of the Selling Process
2.1 Sales Presentation
Sales presentations are meant to communicate to potential consumers whenever one gets the floor to express their products. However, it is a one-way communication but with a room for questions after it is completed and the sales person has made their selling proposition. It is done through building a series of arguments and claims as one tries to tell potential clients what they are planning to do and how they are going to benefit from the sale as well as how the product would meet their need or want. For instance, if HTC Corporation wants to venture into the Californian market, the sales force would have to make a presentation to clients to convince them to make the purchase.
A sales presentation for a new HTC phone to a target market in California would entail an introduction, body, and a conclusion as a call to action. The introduction would start with a greeting to the audience and an introduction of the HTC sales team. The team would be trying to sell the new HTC one M9 and the sales manager in charge of mobile devices would lead the presentation assisted by two sales executives. HTC is a Taiwanese multinational that specializes in manufacturing tablets and smartphones whose slogan is “Here’s to Change”. It was founded in 1997 in New Taipei City in Taiwan and operates in the telecommunications equipment industry. Interbrand ranked the company at #98 in its 2011 Best Global Brand rankings.
The presentation would target the young generation who are stylish and want to keep abreast with the latest technology. The HTC One M9 targets to compete with other high-end products from Samsung Group, Microsoft, and Apple, Inc. The main promotional materials will include, YouTube, social media platforms as well as the traditional media and screen presentations along the streets of Californian towns. Customers should choose the phone for its sleek design, functionality and features. The phones are available in all leading HTC and mobile device outlets thus they should take advantage of the discounts on offer and purchase the phone before discounted stocks last.
The team would be better-off using stories to captivate the audience, further influence them, create rapport as well as mitigate any chances of objection by the prospective clients. The team would benefit by keeping track of the stories they are about to tell the consumers during the presentation, for instance, a success story about HTC’s products that educate the prospects on the results the product is bound to produce. This would be geared toward having the prospects to buy benefits and reap from such benefits.
The team may also make use of helping scripts as a way of persuading the prospects at the right time to allow the prospect to give information on what they may expect from a product. Moreover, the team should seek to pre-frame for referrals, especially if the prospect receives value for the product. The sales presentation should make the prospects imagine what it would like to own a HTC One M9 phone and enjoy the experience.
2.2 The Sales Presentation
Good morning, all. We are pleased to see you today. I am the sales manager in charge of mobile devices at HTC Corporation and this presentation is about our company and its new mobile phone HTC One M9 as our innovative product. To start with, the sales manager will introduce our company. Followed by our sales representative, Ms. Lucho to show you the M9 product as well as its special features. Lastly, Isaiah Ping, the other sales executive will take you through our advertising campaign. We encourage you to ask any questions at the end of the presentation. HTC is a Taiwanese multinational that specializes in manufacturing tablets and smartphones whose slogan is “Here’s to Change”. It was founded in 1997 in Taiyuan City before moving its headquarters in New Taipei City, Taiwan and operates in the telecommunications equipment industry. Interbrand ranked the company at #98 in its 2011 Best Global Brand rankings.
The One M9 is designed for premium clients and comes with a powerful Snapdragon 810 chipset as well as a 20-megapixel camera. Its design is adorable and the customer an option to choose from different ranges of colors. The price is pocket-friendly and with its quality, it is the best choice for any consumer. From the advertising campaign, looking at the poster we have different colors and as you can see consumers using the M9 seem very happy and content. This is also suggested by the television campaign commercial as the people try out the new experience in the technological market. If you want to get more information about the company or its products, feel free to contact us through the numbers in the brochures. Thank you for coming today have a wonderful time.
You are welcome to purchase our product and I am sure after the experience you will recommend a friend or a family member. All the product features are listed and illustrated in the brochures and for purchases, find an attached order form, fill it and present it to our staff and you will get the M9 at a 15 percent discount. Thanks a lot, have you any questions?
The objectives of sales management are executed by sales managers and their team, and include, contribution to profits, sales volume, and continuous growth. The role of the sales management is to provide products that meet consumer expectations and are socially responsible. The sales management objectives are set depending on where the organization stands and its vision and involve a collaborative effort with the top management to come up with a target estimate.
The basic role of sales management is to effect sales through a satisfactory transfer of merchandize or ownership to both the seller and buyer at the minimum cost possible. This is done with the goal of maximizing profits. However, the effectiveness of sales management is dependent on the role played by the other departments, such as finance and accounting, advertising, and research as synergy between different departments is essential for the success of an organization.
2.3 Sales Strategy Development
Marketers develop strategies for their organizations through marketing plans and sales strategies. Marketing plans seek to summarize the how much, when, where, what, and who questions of a firm’s sales and marketing activities for a given year. It describes the market environment of a firm as well as the state of its distribution channels and products. It also gives a detail of the firm’s SWOT analysis, in addition to the major issues the company faces. It has a goals and objectives section which details the firm’s financial and marketing objectives. It also gives a summary of the marketing strategy statement, competition environment, positioning, and the target buyer description.
Marketing plans play the crucial role of giving an organization’s marketing effort with an appropriate direction thereby ensuring that the organization meets its defined specific tasks. Further, plans assist the sales team to pinpoint the necessary prerequisites to planned organizational activities. Marketing plans also work to provide the area of responsibility to the sales team as well as enable the team gain insight into new markets that need exploitation or that which had been overlooked in the past. Through marketing plans, an organization’s sales force is able to build a clear guideline to enable for evaluation of alternative marketing methods to ascertain their effectiveness.
Moreover, marketing plans enable an organization to raise the necessary funds for capital expenditure in addition to saving the organization precious time being taken up by useless marketing activities. Marketing plans are also important in ensure that budgets allocated to marketing are spent effectively thereby saving the organization time and money. Since marketing plans are the tools that companies use to communicate to their clients, they represent an effective way of generating more prospects. They also spell out the chief factors that are probable to affect the success of an organization, for instance, new marketing territory, or a strong new competitor thereby help an organization set the best strategy to counter such threats.
Sales strategies are meant to give a company’s brands and products a competitive edge through positioning. They assist the sales force focus on their target market consumers through a meaningful and relevant communication of consumer problem solutions. Sales strategies provide methods and steps necessary for consumers in various stages. For potential clients, the sales team has to communicate an introduction of a brand into the market. Existing customers need to hear about the new features in the products as well as the benefits they will achieve by being loyal to the brands (Rapp and Panagopoulos, 2012, p. 302).
Sales strategies enable an organization to plan for its sales activities, for instance, company’s imminent competitive resources and difference, and methods of reaching prospects. These strategies enable a company to realize client loyalty through understanding of their needs as well as reduce the sales cycle following external recommendations. Strategies act as tools for outperforming competitors through rolling out the best solutions to clients. Further, strategies enable a sales team to work closely with customers to get to understand their needs and wants thus offer them the best solution.
3.1 The Importance of Recruitment and Selection Procedures
Skills, expertise, and sales knowledge are important to any organization, especially the sales force. The most successful salespersons should have expertise in customer focus to be able to understand the customer needs. It is crucial to listen to consumers and respond appropriately to their questions. Sales skills are important in building lasting relationships with clients as well as persistence and tenacity. The sales force should be able to overcome rejection and handle sales objectives bravely thus bounce back and close the sale. The expertise and knowledge of marketing should make a marketing executive innovative and flexible and experience makes them realistic and goal-driven (Breaugh 2014, p. 29).
The skills and expertise a salesperson should possess include working as a strategist whereby they roll out strategies that enable the company become a market leader. The sales person controls the route and time planning since the rest of the resources in the marketing mix matrix are beyond their reach and cannot make decisions on them. They also use their timing of price changes to the advantage of the company thereby acting as market predictors to ensure that the company does not suffer losses. Salespeople also change the strategies to ensure the products penetrate the market and reach even the most aggressive of all customers.
Salespeople use their expertise and knowledge to act as change agents in their market territory or quota. They work to introduce products into the market territory and working to influence the opinion leaders to purchase and recommend the products to other users. Salespeople should possess the skill and expertise of listening to customers in a sincere manner and without an agenda. The buying process is meant for the consumer, who should be given the time to decide on what they want to purchase according to their needs and wants although the salesperson can play the role of an advisor. Salespeople thus, should use their expertise to serve their clients by ascertaining what the clients want as well as their expectations on the company offerings.
Recruitment in the sales department involves an identification and encouragement of prospective sales team to apply for the job and is meant to attract as many applicants as possible. Selection, on the other hand, entails choosing the right salespeople from the many applicants by disqualifying the unsuccessful. Consequently, technology has changed the way recruitment and selection of personnel are done in organizations. There is various career hosting sites where managers can source for new sales teams and can even contact recruiting companies that select employees on behalf of a firm. This saves companies the time and spend advertising and recruiting talent thus source directly, therefore, a position can be vacant in one day and filled the next morning.
In sales, managers are increasingly filling vacant positions using internal and external sourcing of capable Salesforce. In internal sourcing, jobs are advertised within the organization to the existing employees. The method is advantageous to an organization since little to no training is required, it enhances parity and loyalty within the sales force, reduces the cost and time spend on advertising and checking the background of the selected candidates. External sourcing is done using trade publication advertisements, newspapers ads, and job boards to source for a new sales force. It presents the organization with new talent, which brings a totally different perspective in sales approach.
3.2 The Role of Motivation, Remuneration and Training in Sales Management
Managers use both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to their sales staff to ensure that they achieve more orders. Extrinsic motivation is done through compensations, such as increases in the sales commission rates. However, this kind of motivation can at times lead to unsatisfactory results, especially when a salesperson reaches their maximum potential, therefore, not reliable and sustainable. This thus calls for intrinsic motivators, which seeks to bring out an executive’s internalized commitment to success (Breaugh 2014, p. 82). The manager takes the role of a coach and a mentor to the sales executives and provides training, resources, and tools necessary to close a sale. Managers adopt this approach through coherent communication in a friendly and transparent manner. Such motivation provides the sales staff with the confidence to engage customers in the selling process.
Incentive systems are common ways of motivating employees in the sales department, whereby reward is tied to performance. The performance may be individual or team-based and are sometimes referred to as merit pay, which is done to reinforce the performance of the employees. Alternatively, individual bonuses are awarded to salespersons who show excellent performance in their work. For instance, an organization may set a policy whereby if an employee attains a certain sales target a lump sum bonus is awarded. This works to motivate the sales team just in the same way sales commissions work, by seeking to reward employees based on the percentage of the sales volume attained.
However, sales commissions may work against getting new prospects as the salesperson ignores customers who are sluggish in making a quick purchase. It thus motivates the salespeople to focus on the benefit they are going to make instead of focusing on meeting consumer needs and wants. The sales department also uses team bonuses to motivate the taskforce to improve and meet the organization’s sales objectives. This offers salespeople the room to cooperate and share ideas for the better of the organization as well as themselves. These incentives become effective when employees have the ability to influence the general performance of the sales team.
As sales managers try to recognize employees for their performance, training and passing of skills becomes important for the success of the sales and marketing department. The Salesforce is imparted with the right knowledge to negotiate with clients as well as listening skills, which involve focusing on the customer and avoiding making unwarranted suggestions that may mislead the consumer. The salespeople are trained to identify a prospective customer and immediately know what they want, instead of what the salesperson is trying to sell. This allows the taskforce to sell the consumer a solution to their need and not just close a sale to get the bonus or commission. Further, finding the right prospect is the ultimate goal of sales and this is achieved through tireless effort of mastering the art of selling. By knowing the need of the customer, a salesperson would be able to explain the benefits of the product to the client. The sales team should gain expertise and knowledge in dealing with objections.
3.3 Organization of the Sales Activity and Control Sales Output
The management process behind the organization of sales activities involves setting goals for the sales force, control and evaluation of results, implementing the sales program, as well as planning, budgeting, and organizing a way in which the organization is to meet the sales goals. The goals are achieved through the marketing mix, which coordinates the objectives from the key marketing mix components (Johnston and Marshall, 2013, p. 102). The sales manager should design a strategy to achieve the stated market share by determining the specific needs of customers and differentiate the existing from the new market.
Sales management involves an adoption of a consultative approach to sales and market to ensure that customer needs are identified and responded to accordingly. The management process also involves assisting the sales team to shift toward a value adding and consultative selling model to generate opportunities and foster sales growth. The process also ensures that the sales force gains the much needed knowledge to blend the consumers, processes, and products to create an apparent effect. The process entails coaching the sales team, sales planning, motivational tools, data driven selling, negotiation, customer relationship management, and accurate forecasting of sales.
Technology has changed the process of sales management, especially in collaborative customer relationship management which fosters customer collaboration thereby building loyalty. Technology has played a key role in outsourcing sales and marketing functions through e-commerce and marketing agencies. Further, technology has been crucial in operationalizing e-care as well as adding value to direct selling.
3.4 The Use of Databases in Effective Sales Management
Companies are increasingly investing in database marketing through active programs involving increased sales, loyalty, marketing tactics to create retention, customer segmentation, and profitability analysis. Databases are used in marketing to create a credible and accurate system for determining the profitability of each client on different time intervals (Han, Kamber and Pei, 2011 p. 138). It also seeks to collect accurate and relevant data about their clients through the creation of customer profiles. Databases also assist in segmenting customers on the basis of profitability. The segments provide the sales team with tactics to apply on each through behavior modification to increase sales, improve profits and lower the costs as well as boost customer retention.
The point of payment systems used by supermarkets make it easier and faster to serve customers, therefore, maintain their loyalty. Customer search tracking as used by online companies assist in turning data into knowledge thus ensuring that the appropriate client and prospect segmentation scheme is developed, understood and changed into knowledge for use by the organization in segmenting the market.
4.1 Sales Plan for a Product or Service
Product Sales Plan for HTC One M9
HTC One M9 is a new smartphone from HTC Corporation which runs on android operating system and is pocket-friendly to the premium consumer. The consumer would enjoy high-quality features from this smartphone. The phone is expected to attract the attention of the technology savvy young adults due to its improved features, for example, 32 GB internal storage, 20MP rear camera and a 2.1MP front camera for taking “selfies”. It also features a MediaTek MT6795T octa-core CPU to enhance its functionality.
Unique Selling Proposition
The smartphone has powerful features ad specifications and in addition to its sleek and stylish look the customer will definitely get attracted to it. Its functionality is top class as it cuts at the top of the trend. The functionality, low pricing as compared to competitors, such as Apple and Samsung, and capability of the phone is its core selling value.
The aim of the company is to produce high-quality products that meet the needs of its customers through the high productivity of large scale production. The company seeks to modify its plants to meet the sales demand of the customers. The product will be mass produced in China and Taiwan then shipped to other countries in retail stores where customers can find the product with ease.
The production is scheduled for three months since the design is ready. The timescale is a crucial instrument in the production of HTC One M9 for it minimizes the production cost and time as it specifies what is to be made. The timescale will involve a time frame for the product promotion as the sales team work closely to meet consumer demands.
The campaign will entail salespersons, presentation materials. Equipment and materials for making the product are also included in the resources.
The company’s market share in the United States stands at 1.6 percent, representing a significant drop in the market share due to stiff competition from Samsung and Apple. The HTC One flagship is meant to target the young adult in California who is technology savvy and is adventurous thus the camera is ideal for them. Further, the phone offers a competitive price when compared to the IPhone and Samsung smartphones.
The strategy will be based on the market segments with a target for premium consumers with sales representatives carrying out the task of generating market awareness and sales.
The product is expected to fetch good revenue from the American and European markets and surpass its predecessors in its line of production in HTC One brand.
The team will use sales reps, websites, agents, distributors as well as sell directly to the target market.
The sales force would work to provide the area of responsibility to the consumers as well as enable the sales team to gain insight into new markets that need exploitation or that which had been overlooked in the past, such as California. Through marketing plans, an organization’s sales force would be able to build a clear guideline to enable for evaluation of alternative marketing methods to ascertain their effectiveness.
4.2 Opportunities for Selling Internationally
When companies want to go international with their products, they should start small with low risk and investment to allow them learn the market gradually and adapt to the culture of the new market. They should then expand slowly as they adapt to changes as well as challenges as they iterate and integrate into the system (Erevelles and Fukawa, 2013, p. 13). A company, such as HTC should take advantage of the emerging markets in Africa, Latin America and China to sell its products there and establish a sizable following and loyalty. For developed markets like Europe and North America, it should use e-commerce as most of the consumers seek most of their purchase information online.
The company should identify the region it intends to expand into and research on the political, market, cultural, and technological risk factors and opportunities. It would be necessary to track the international traffic to ascertain any barriers that may prevent the products from reaching the target consumers (Hollensen, 2015, p. 182). A market research is crucial to ascertain the success of the product in the market as is an export strategy. An international sales team and internet selling would be an important way of exploiting international markets.
By taking advantage of international opportunities, a company is likely to increase its channels easily and quickly as it would need little resources to learn the new marketplace regulations and procedures. Further, the need to source new items would be reduced, therefore, allowing the company to get the best from its time investment as well as channel advisor fees. The international opportunities available to the sales team would enable the company to establish its market position in the development stages in the new region. Another opportunity for going international would be the benefit of exchange rates, especially if the currency of the country a company is trading with is stronger than the dollar, for instance in the Euro zone.
In order to take advantage of the international opportunities, the sales team should acquaint itself with the cross border and international trade regulations in the market country to ensure that no regulations are broken or unnecessary fines incurred. It would also be advisable to establish bank accounts as well as a shipping address for returns in the host market countries. The sales team should also establish a relationship with a shipper in the host country and determine the host country’s taxes and value added tax. Further, the sales team should take advantage of the international listing by Amazon, which is increasingly advancing to the emerging economies, such as China, India, and Africa.
The international market is bound to respond well to the HTC One M9, especially in China where the phone was launched in Beijing with a phone specially made for the Chinese market and going by the flagship, HTC One M9+. The phone would be expected to attract the attention of the technology savvy young adults due to its improved features, such as 32 GB internal storage, 20MP rear camera and a 2.1 front camera for taking “selfies”. It also features a MediaTek MT6795T octa-core CPU to enhance its functionality.
4.3 Opportunities for Using Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
Companies rely on trade fairs and exhibitions to promote their products and services. These are sector and time-defined marketing events for showcasing a company’s products and other offerings to a targeted population and participants (Kotler et al. 2014, p. 163). These trade fairs and exhibitions would offer participants the opportunity to sample HTC products by providing a quick preview of the marketplace. They would also assist the company to reduce the uncertainties of any unknown international market. The sales people would also create contacts with potential buyers as well as business partners thus boosting loyalty to the HTC brand. Another opportunity presented by exhibitions and trade fairs is a marketing instrument to boost the complex products the company may feel are not clearly understood by the consumers thus giving them a glimpse of the products.
However, trade show and exhibitions are aimed at consumers and an industry involved and interested in a particular industry. Exhibitions offer a great way of advertising to a target group of consumers as well as create product awareness. Therefore, exhibitions would present HTC Corporation with great business opportunities as they are open to a large and diverse range of clientele thereby proving the company with a platform for promoting is products to wider group of consumers who may possess little to no knowledge of HTC brands. Further, depending on the business type, market and product testing may be done at exhibitions and trade shows to seek for the general as well as industry opinion on the corporation’s offering.
Trade fairs and exhibitions would provide HTC Corporation a chance to venture into business-to-business trading and build a clientele database from the potential buyers who frequent the HTC display booth. There are looming opportunities in terms of meeting prospects and marketing the corporation’s products and services. However, expensive trade fairs and exhibitions may turn out to be, they are a great source of sales returns and contacts, especially when there are clients who are specifically looking for the specific product HTC is offering on the trade fair. Moreover, exhibitions would serve as a place that allows HTC sales team to gather sales leads and conversion of leads into business. This functions as the starting point for the business and as a salesperson keeps on contacting the leads created during an exhibition, consumers become aware that the salesperson is interested in doing business with them.
Meeting new prospects at a trade fair presents the much needed opportunity for closing a sale. The salespersons get the opportunity to display their companies’ products in addition to providing prospective consumers with flyers and business cards for later conversation and sales. Exhibitions and trade fairs offer companies, such as HTC with an opportunity to showcase their products through demonstrations, which attract prospective clients by improving visibility and position. Further, the salespeople may seek to demonstrate HTC products on the stands of their retail agents and suppliers at certain fairs that would give the company exposure without having to book for a stand.