N202 Business Management

N202 Business Management

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N202 Business Management

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N202 Business Management

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Course Code: N202
University: University Of Southampton

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Country: United Kingdom

Question: 

1. Understand the tools and techniques of internal sales promotion and merchandising1.2 Review and evaluate internal merchandising materials of your selected organisation1.3 Evaluate promotional activities for different scenarios, making recommendations for improvement for your selected organisation
Be able to evaluate the role of staff in maximising sales
2.1Evaluate personal selling techniques, making recommendations for improvement for the selected organisation 2.2 Discuss the influence of operational design on sales revenue for the selected organisation 2.3 Justify key principles that should be included in a sales training programme for the selected organisation 

Answer:

Introduction
The predominant purpose of businesses is to identify customer needs, fulfill those needs by selling a particular product or service and creating value in this entire process. Hence effective sales management plays a critical role in the success of a business (Ingram et. al., 2015). Sales process for a business includes the number of steps that any product or service encounters in order to finally reach its end consumers. Sales management, in simplest of the terms, refers to the strategies adopted by a business to manage its sales process. There are several stakeholders to sales management including vendors, dealers, government, sales personnel, after sale service executives and marketers (Tanner et. al., 2014). This report throws light upon the sales process, merchandizing tools and the role played by several stakeholders in order to efficiently manage the sales process as McDonalds.
McDonalds is a leading fast food chain that specializes in making burgers and fries. Since its inception in 1940, the brand has today expanded across over 100 countries and continues to serve through more than 36900 outlets today. McDonald’s sales process is designed in a manner that leads to reduced wait time for customers, high quality food offered to customers and increased sales (Sardar & Talat, 2015). This report highlights upon this effective sales management of the brand. Recommendations have been made to improve upon the same.
Importance of sales management
For any business, sales management plays a key role in ensuring that the products or service offered by the business reach its end consumers in the more proficient manner. A competent sales management strategy gives businesses a competitive advantage and leads to improved brand positioning of the business (Donaldson, 2015). Sales management is a lot more than simply reaching out to customers and selling the product. It begins with identifying customer needs, developing the right product for the business’s target audience, setting the most appropriate price for the products, distributing the product through competent channels, marketing the product in a creative and unique manner and providing a skillful after sale service to customers (Lancaster & Massingham, 2017). Sales management is also important because it entails a number of stakeholders or sales personnel who directly communicate with the customers on a daily basis. The proficiency of the sales management process aims to reach out to customers in a manner that leads to increased sales of the brand. A flawed sales process can lead to a wrong understanding of customer needs to begin with or can slower the process of the business’s products reaching its customers (Aydin & Kaya, 2016).
McDonalds belongs to the fast food business. The sales process of such an industry is relatively faster because the shelf life of the product is very less. A great burger must begin to be prepared only when the customer asks for it. A longer wait time can make customer impatient and hence reduce demand. The pricing strategy adopted by the brand also makes a world of difference in ensuring consistent demand for the product. The hospitality sector that McDonald’s belongs in depends largely on customer service. It becomes critical for the success of such a business that customers feel that their buying experience is effective and efficient. The current sales management strategies adopted by the brand are as below:
Internal merchandizing materials
Merchandizing tools include a variety of materials that are ideally used to positively influence customer’s buying behavior (Bolander & Richards, 2018). Various retailers use these merchandizes in their outlets in order to guide customer’s buying behavior to suit the needs of the brand. There are several merchandizing materials used by McDonalds.
Electronic signage
McDonald’s has several electronic sign boards placed inside their outlets. These signboards have several contests that customers can participate in. The sign boards are designed to engage customers at the store. The advantage of these sign boards is to keep customers occupied and engaged. However, the disadvantage is that they are expensive than print signage.
Sales materials
McDonalds’s menu cards are distributed in the form of catalogues near the restaurant. These menus have an added advantage for customers because they can have a clear idea about the restaurant’s offerings before visiting the restaurant. Billboards and hoardings of McDonalds are placed across different parts of the world which promote new offers of McDonald’s and help the brand in establishing a positive brand image.
Return gifts given on birthday celebrations
McDonald’s has also opened its space for birthday celebration of various children. These birthday celebrations create a positive atmosphere at the outlet and aims to attract more customers towards the brand. Whenever McDonald’s hosts a party, all the guests get a small return gift from the brand. These promotional merchandizes are advertising gimmicks used to enhance the brand’s awareness among customers.
Interior décor of outlets
The interiors of the store are highly inviting. The red and yellow color of the brand signifies liveliness and enthusiasm. Both the colors selected are bright and hence reflect upon positive energy. The brand’s mascot Ronald McDonald is placed at all of its outlets. The mascot acts as an influencer is because the wide reach and competent promotion strategies adopted by the brand have also made the mascot of the brand very famous in the entire process. Young children love to get their pictures clicked with the mascot placed at every McDonald’s store.
There are several posters that are placed throughout the outlet with images of food and people enjoying that food. Even the large menu placed above the billing counter contains high resolution pictures of the burgers and fries served at the outlet. Such efforts automatically tend to lure a customer towards buying a particular product. McDonald’s often provides the space for children parties. One of the major reason for doing this is because organizing a party brings a lot of happy children in the place. They enjoy themselves and hence create spread that same positivity and happiness among others leading to a positive brand positioning of McDonald’s.
Promotional activities
Promotional activities are often conducted by brands in order to lead to enhanced reach and increased sales (González-Benito, 2015). These promotional activities must be creative and unique for improved sales efficiency. Several promotional activities conducted by McDonalds are as below:
Coupons
Coupons are distributed by the brand to several customers which offer a certain discount. These coupons or gift cards can be bought for friends. There are various contests conducted by McDonald’s and the winner of these contest gets coupons. The advantages of these coupons is that they increase footfall in the restaurant. The coupons are offered in such a manner that they do not largely impact the cost to company.
Events
McDonalds aims to sponsor various leading events taking place in different parts of the world. One interesting strategy adopted by the brand is having no inhibitions regarding the size of the event. McDonald’s was one of the chief sponsors for a large scale event like the Justin Bieber concert and McDonald’s has also been the sponsor for several school and college annual events across the globe. This goes on to depict that the brand has no inhibitions regarding the size or subject of the event. Sponsoring such events and marking the brand’s presence felt in these events leads to enhanced brand awareness and improved brand image.
Contests
McDonalds often launches monthly or weekly contests. These contests are different for different areas. Sometime McDonalds asks children to collect all star wars characters in their happy meal boxes. Sometimes McDonald’s introduces online quizzes in order to engage its social media audience. These contests lead to increased customer engagement eventually leading to improved brand positioning of the product.
Discount Coupons, rebates and offers
McDonald’s also offers several discounts and offers to its customers. Especially with the advent of technology and the growth of internet, McDonald’s mobile application is being increasingly used to place McDonald’s orders by customers. Every other day, there are different offers and discount vouchers that are being circulated in the market. Upon using these vouchers or codes (for mobile application), customers can get discounts upon the delivery of their McDonald’s food. These discounts offered are also promotional activities that lure customers to buy more and hence leads to increased demands. McDonald’s staff members also have the authority to give away either of these promotional materials to their regular customers or any customer as they deem important (Telang & Deshpande, 2016).
Recommendations of promotional activities for improved sales
The sales process of McDonald’s is highly effective. This has led to the growth of the brand and its massive reach. The following recommendations can be made regarding improved brand sales:

The use of social media by the business can be largely improved in order to generate higher sales numbers. At present, the social media platforms of the brand are not too active. Social media is one of the most effective customer engagement tools that can lead to a positive brand positioning the business (Tuten & Solomon, 2017). Social media contests can engage customers in an effective manner and ensure increased brand affinity.
User generated content is a largely used strategy that is being adopted by most organizations in order to ensure increased brand awareness. User generated content throws light on strategies which can lead to the users of the brand generating content about it on social media (Wyrwoll, 2014). The content that is generated by the users is the most trusted content. McDonalds can therefore offers like “Share a picture with #Mcdonald’s on Instagram and get 5% discount on your next purchase”. This will make more people share McDonald’s related content on social media.

Role of staff in maximizing sales 
Staff of any business plays a significant role in maximizing sales. The staff of McDonald’s forms the group of people who are directly interacting with the customers. Therefore, it is these people who largely impact the image of the brand in the minds of its customers. A well-mannered and well behaved staff can go a long way in enhancing brand affinity and even creating loyalty.
Staff members of a business have a primary responsibility of selling the product to the customer. However, the responsibility does not simply end there. The idea is to establish and maintain long term and sustainable relationships with customers (Limbu et. al., 2016). Very often, customers associate with retailers in a loyal fashion only because of positive relationships with the staff members.
Staff of the business also has the responsibility for identifying productive and non-productive customers and hence helps brands in valuing productive customers and putting strategies towards converting non-productive customers into productive customers.
Staff of the business is in direct interaction with the business. McDonald’s has created a certain brand position through its advertising and promotions. But maintaining the same brand positioning becomes the responsibility of the staff of the business. McDonald’s ads depict the brand to be fun and creative. However, if the staff does not live up to these values then the brand will never be able to build the positive image.
Evaluating personal selling techniques
Personal selling techniques of employees must be evaluated in order to ensure that their selling strategies are productive and fruitful for the company. The personal selling strategies adopted by McDonald’s are highly effective.
Verbal and nonverbal communication skills
The staff is behaves well with all their customers and is polite. All of McDonald’s staff members are taught to greet their customers well. Verbal and nonverbal communication skills of employees are highly important in building a sustainable relationship with customers. McDonald employees go a long way in making the customer feel special and comfortable. McDonald’s staff members also sing songs and give a performance if any of their customers have their birthdays. McDonald’s outlet are all self-serviced and hence the role of the staff automatically gets reduced. Even so, the brand puts consistent effort in evaluating the personal selling techniques of their staff members.
Upselling efforts
Employees are also effective with their upselling techniques. When a customer places an order for a burger, the employee at the billing counter will surely ask if the customer wishes to upgrade to a meal. These are upselling efforts by McDonald’s employees. Upselling efforts of employees help the brand in increasing sales and enhancing value per customers.
Understanding customer needs and wants
McDonald’s employees work effectively towards understanding customer needs and are happy to modify their offerings (add extra cheese, remove tomato, extra mayo) as per the needs of consumers. They also try to understand if a customer wants gluten free bread. They also keep sugar free beverages for diabetic customers. However, the customer must specify such needs if required.
Product knowledge
They also have good product knowledge. When asked, they can provide the details of how any of the products are prepared as well as their ingredients.
Encourage repeat selling
The best way to encourage repeat selling among customers is to understand their grievances, address them and promote their products in an effective manner in order to create repeat purchases. Consistent feedback from customers must also be taken. Every time, an order is placed from the McDonald’s mobile application, a small and optional customer feedback form appears which tries to evaluate the entire customer experience. This also includes the behavior and the punctuality of the delivery person who brought the food.
Mystery shopping can also be done by McDonald’s management in order to get a firsthand idea about the behavior of all the staff involved at the outlet. Mystery shopping helps management in understanding the shortcomings of their staff members and hence must be conducted on a frequent basis.
Recommendations for improved sales techniques 
For improved sales techniques adopted by employees at McDonald’s he following recommendations are made:
Learn languages 
McDonald’s has become a global brand with its wide reach across the world. There are several people who visit foreign countries and eat at McDonald’s predominantly because it is a global food. This is why sales personnel at McDonald’s can learn foreign languages in order to comfortably serve their customers better.
Role play among employees
Conducting role plays among employees can help sales personnel practice their sales techniques. This will help them in practicing real life scenarios before they actually happen hence improving upon their selling skills and being more prepared (Singh et. al., 2015).
Address customer grievances
Addressing grievances put forward by customers is essential to the success of any business. It is important that sales personnel deal with customer queries and issues on a priority basis. For improved sales, addressing customer issues in an appropriate manner is critical to providing a fulfilling buying experience to customers.
After sale service
An important aspect of an effective sales process is after sale service. The last recommendation offered to the brand is to continue to ensure high standards of after sale service in order to ensure customer satisfaction.
Influence of operational design on sales revenue
In the fast-food industry, operational efficiency of a business plays a significant role in ensuring effecting customer service and hence total sale value. The quick service offered by McDonald’s is a result of its operational efficiency. The flow of all the workflow equipment’s are designed in an effective manner in order to create a higher level of operational efficiency. Once a customer enters a McDonald’s outlets, there are a minimum of three counters. This allows the first to serve a large number of customers at a single go. The billing executives are well trained and hence they take under two minutes to finalize the bill. That bill then reaches the guys in the kitchen and they begin preparing the food. This is where McDonalds is highly effective. The buns are ready and they make a burger in under 6 minutes. The fries are consistently being freshly prepared. Even the employees at the billing counter are trained to follow up on an order if they see a customer waiting for too long.
The operational efficiency reduces the amount of time a person spends at McDonalds. The turnaround time between the time that someone orders a meal and gets a meal in also very less. McDonald’s drive through is successful only because of the less turnaround time. Operational efficacy of McDonald’s has a significant role to play in ensuring a higher sales revenue.
Sales training at McDonalds
Certain key principles that must be adopted during the sales training at McDonald’s are as below:

A positive attitude: This is very important because the temperament and attitude of the sales person has a huge impact on the customer.
Specific promotional training: Social media marketing team must trained to focus on customer engagement and user generated content. Social media marketing team must trained to focus on customer engagement and user generated content.
Incentives and rewards: Employees must be generously rewarded for their sales efforts and their incentives must be linked to the value of their sales.
Communication and language trainings must be given to all the employees so that they can effectively communicate with people belonging to different cultural backgrounds.
Teach the importance of after sale service.

Conclusion:
Sales management is an extremely critical aspect of a business. Sales management does not include simply selling the product but also focuses on understanding consumer needs and selling the right product, at the right time, through the right channels and to the right customers. This report has thrown light upon the effective sales management process conducted at fast food chain McDonalds. McDonald’s employees are well trained and effectively focus upon high levels of customer service. The after sale service offered by the brand as well as the business’s operational efficiency are all critical factors that lead to the success management of the brand’s sales process leading to increased demand, improved brand positioning, higher level of awareness and enhanced brand affinity.
References:
Aydin, S. and Kaya, N., 2016. Authentic Leadership In Sales Management: The Effects On Salespeople’s Task Related Outcomes. Business and Economic Research, 6(2), pp.133-155.
Bolander, W. and Richards, K.A., 2018. Why study intraorganizational issues in selling and sales management?. Taylor and Francis Publications.
Donaldson, B., 2015. Sales Force Control. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, pp.1-2.
González-Benito, Ó. 2015. Merchandising at the point of sale: differential effect of end of aisle and islands. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 18(1), pp.57-67.
Hobin, E., Lillico, H., Zuo, F., Sacco, J., Rosella, L. and Hammond, D., 2016. Estimating the impact of various menu labeling formats on parents’ demand for fast-food kids’ meals for their children: An experimental auction. Appetite, 105, pp.582-590.
Ingram, T.N., LaForge, R.W., Williams, M.R. and Schwepker Jr, C.H., 2015. Sales management: Analysis and decision making. Routledge. United Kingdom.
Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L., 2017. Sales management. In Essentials of Marketing Management (pp. 243-269). Routledge. United Kingdom.
Limbu, Y.B., Jayachandran, C., Babin, B.J. and Peterson, R.T., 2016. Empathy, nonverbal immediacy, and salesperson performance: the mediating role of adaptive selling behavior. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31(5), pp.654-667.
Longacre, M.R., Drake, K.M., Titus, L.J., Cleveland, L.P., Langeloh, G., Hendricks, K. and Dalton, M.A., 2016. A toy story: Association between young children’s knowledge of fast food toy premiums and their fast food consumption. Appetite, 96, pp.473-480.
Sardar, R. and Talat, M.A., 2015. What managers believe as important while recruitment in fast food industry within Norway: A case study of Burger King and McDonalds(Master’s thesis, University of Stavanger, Norway).
Singh, V.L., Manrai, A.K. and Manrai, L.A., 2015. Sales training: A state of the art and contemporary review. Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, 20(38), pp.54-71.
Tanner, J., Honeycutt, E.D., Erffmeyer, R. and Honeycutt, E.D., 2014. Sales management. Pearson. United States.
Telang, A. and Deshpande, A., 2016. Keep calm and carry on: A crisis communication study of Cadbury and McDonalds. Management & Marketing, 11(1), pp.371-379.
Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2017. Social media marketing. Sage. United Kingdom.
Wyrwoll, C., 2014. User-Generated Content. In Social Media(pp. 11-45). Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden.

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