Role of selling within marketing - Marketing Management

Selling is one of a number of tactical activities within marketing such as pricing and advertising. Co-ordinating these is essential for effective marketing. Differences in importance depend on the companies and industries involved. A successful sale depends on whether or not the product concerned fulfils the customer requirements and results in satisfied customers.

Relationship with marketing research

Marketing research finds out what people want and why they want it. Information might result in changes in the product. Such information is fed to the sales department and can be used by them to counter competition. Cowan5 argues that in the past market research has often failed to identify significant changes in markets or new innovatory products. Because of close contact with customers and markets however, the sales force in particular can be used to provide market intelligence information that feeds into the Marketing Information System (MkIS) and helps shape marketing strategy.

Types of selling categories

Types of selling categories

Relationship with other elements of the promotional programme

The relationship of the sales force to the other aspects of promotion should be one of mutual co-operation, e.g. the sales force can obtain agreement from customers for the company to use a retail customer’s window for displaying promotional materials. The Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), suggests that all elements in an organization’s communications mix have a specific part to play. Malcolm et al.6 explain why integrated marketing communications is so important but essentially each component of the communications mix has a key role to play. Non-personal communication, in the form of advertising, public relations and sales promotions, aims to push customers who were previously unaware of the firm’s products into buying them. It is the role of personal selling to capitalize on preceding communications and close the sale. Personal selling and other communications tools should contribute to an overall communications strategy. To achieve this requires sales to be managed effectively in terms of recruitment, selection, training and planning and control. This is critical and it is to this area and the elements within it that we now turn our attention.

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