Feedback and Opportunity – Sales

A feedback mechanism that enables the strategy conscious sales professional to maintain an effective position in the face of every contingency because it shows, every time it’s used where you are shaky and where an alternative position may be needed. Because they enable you to test and reposition yourself in the face of change, you should always consider red flags positive, not negative. Ideally, they serve not only as road hazard signals but as signposts to opportunities that you might have overlooked without them. The best salespeople understand that a strategic analysis without red flags is one without opportunities. Like

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Inter Firm Rivalry

Intensity of competition differs from one market to another. This is true for both foreign and domestic markets. Mumbai, for example witnesses bloody competitive wars than any other town in the country. Being the largest consuming market, it is logical for any firm in any product group to compete for a share of the Mumbaikar’s wallet and mind. At the national level the Indian market is far less competitive than the US, Canadian, Hong Kong or Singapore markets. We need to take a closer look at these markets to understand factors contributing to intensity in competition. Competition motivates firms to

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Customers Perception of Competitors

The real test of the strength of the competitor is how well he and his products are perceived by target customers. If the customer’s perceptions are negative and he feels that he has to buy the competitor’s product only because of limited choice, then it is perhaps a very comfortable position for any new entrant. For example, until the launch of Maruti, one often heard the customer express a sense of resignation when he said that he had no alternative but to buy an obsolete model of Premier or Ambassador or a high priced car.  In a way, he was

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Stages of Competition

As one scans the industry, one sees that firms compete for opportunity and also for resources and competencies.  They also compete to protect their existing markets. The dynamics and rules differ for each of these three stages of competition. The firm’s performance at each level influences, and is influenced by performance of others at each stage. A winner is a firm that wins at each stage. Competition for opportunity involves envisioning the future. The more ambitious the management and leader, the more enlarged is the range of opportunities. This vision for the future also provides a sense of purpose to

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Marketing as a Concept

Marketing means, understanding and responding to customer needs. The concept of marketing is essentially, a concept of customer orientation. For a long time it has been preached by all, Mahatma Gandhi said that the customer is king. What this implies is that products /services are brought not merely because of their quality, packaging or brand name, but because they satisfy a specific need of a customer. It also implies that organizations have to provide services to their customer and that too without any obligation. In other words, marketing means understanding and responding to customer needs, a prerequisite for any organization’s

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Coaches (Sales Objectives)

The role of a coach is to guide you in the sale by giving you information that you need in order to manage it to a satisfactory close, one that guarantees you not only the order, but also satisfied customers, solid references and repeat business. A coach can help you clarify the validity of your single sales objective, identify and meet the people who are filling the other buying influence roles for that objective and assess the buying situation so that you’re most effectively positioned with each one. To close any complex sale, you should develop at least one coach.

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Marketing in India

High Volatility in Market – Indian market has become highly volatile. Though over last five years there has been an exponential growth in demand for all products and services, the latter part of 2008 suddenly saw demand for products and services declining. Volatility in prices was also one of the visible phenomena of 2008. Market forecasting therefore has increasingly become a challenge for the marketer. The definitions of long and short term seem to have also undergone a change. In such a situation, marketing planning becomes more complex and difficult. Managing inventories in the distribution channels in short term is

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Customer Value

It is important to understand two terms here namely Value and Values. Value refers to preferential judgment while Values refer to the decision criteria that shapes this preference. For example, when a housewife chooses a brand of microwave oven or a detergent she is communicating that the brand is more valuable than others. But what has made her choose that brand? Research shows that the following factors collectively influence a consumer’s decision to buy a durable product like microwave oven and hence may be termed as Values that customers look for: Personal The demographics and lifestyle of the customers are

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Critical Factors in Selling

In using that checkpoint we urge you not to guess about a given individual’s degree of influence, but to consider the impact of organizational and personal factors that can serve to heighten or diminish influence. Here are some of the factors that we have found to be important; Organizational impact: Where in the buying organization is your proposal likely to have the most immediate and /or lasting impact? The answer to that question should point you to those levels in the organization where the degree of influence will probably be strongest. Those levels, moreover, will relate roughly to the focus

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Marketing Mix

One of the major objectives of any organization is to become a market leader. This applies not only to companies, but even to non-profit making organizations like educational institutions, hospitals, management institutes etc. To be able to achieve this objective, it is important that these organizations be able to assemble their marketing offer, called marketing mix, in a way that it gives them a competitive edge. The concept of marketing mix involves a deliberate and careful choice of strategies and policies for organization, product, price and promotion and place. Individually each of them is important, but when all the four

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Selling – Long Term Strategy

The tendency to ignore preparation by salespeople is the only one factor in their undoing. Another is a tendency to focus exclusively on the individual sale and to ignore the account. It is the selling event that occupies the bulk of most representatives’ attention.   There is nothing wrong with attending carefully to the selling event – whether it’s a phone call, an introductory  letter, or the sales call itself – but such attention  can create real problems if it leads you to ignore the larger picture. In a complex sale arena, you have short term and long term objectives. In

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The Sales funnel

You can sell to a customer who perceives the sale as a loss, but you’re risking your own neck as much as the customer’s when you do so. Our fifth key element carries that observation to its logical conclusion by introducing a concept we call ideal customer. Its function is to help you identify your real best prospects and separate them from the ones which will prove to be liabilities. Selling to everyone indiscriminately is bound to create bad matches and bad orders. Judging your actual customers against an ideal customer profile will keep those orders to a minimum, and

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