Alternative Assignment #2
The assignment involves analyzing the actions of a sales person. This individual can be involved in a retail selling environment or business-to-business. The analysis can be conducted on someone you know (a friend or relative) or someone you encounter who is willing to assist you in the completion of this project.
As a foundation for this assignment, you will need to identify the product (or service) being sold, as well as perform a thorough analysis of the parent company. For example, how large is the parent company? Where is it headquartered? How many employees? Are its operations centralized or decentralized? Is the company privately held or is it public? What are the organization’s annual sales?
The sales function should be main focus. How are the sales people within the organization recruited and trained? Is the training conducted at the home office (headquarters) or does it take place in the field? Perhaps it is both. If the company is national, what are its sales regions or territories? How are the sales representatives managed—or what is the reporting structure like?
What features and benefits does the product provide? Who are the company’s competitors? And who has what share of the market?
How long is a person typically left in one position before being considered for advancement? Does the sales person earn a basic salary or is it some combination of base plus a commission? Are there “perks” involved or formalized bonuses?
Regarding the sale itself, how does the process work? Are leads provided to the sales representative or are leads generated by cold calling? What ratio of leads are actually turned into prospects and then again into customers? How many calls are typically involved before the close is completed?
What about job satisfaction? Is the person you interviewed happy with their job? Is there pressure to meet certain sales goals and are those goals realistic? What has been the sales person’s biggest single challenge thus far and what was the outcome?
While not every question needs to be answered, most should be. The assignment will require some library search time as well as time spent with the person you are interviewing. The assignment will be graded on the thoroughness of your work as well as how well it demonstrates an understanding of the sales process within the company. It will also be evaluated on grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. Please incorporate readability enhancement tools where appropriate. It should not be over 3 type-written, single-spaced pages in length.
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