Audio, visual and computer media communications - Sales Management

While written and direct personal communications (including on the telephone) are still the most common communication means used in sales forces, some companies with specialist products and services have developed sophisticated communications using audio, video and computer-based communications.

These can be developed with clients as a way of standardizing presentations, and demonstrating aspects of products hard to communicate effectively using traditional sales presentations and sales literature. Sales managers know the benefits of communicating through a variety of media to keep interest, and involvement and motivation, higher within sales teams.

  • Audio cassettes can supplement telephone contact where there is no need for complicated data to be communicated, or to accompany a sales bulletin. They are useful to motivate, and to communicate broad activity guidelines. They are particularly useful where direct personal field contact with line managers is lower than desirable.
  • Video cassettes, while substantially more expensive to produce, provide an excellent medium for showing products in trial and use environments. They are also used most effectively to communicate a company perspective to customers, conveying the history and heritage, innovativeness, production processes, and so on, helping a customer (and salesperson) to relate to the supplying company. They also have great scope for development as a ‘talking bulletin’ where frequent sales meetings are impractical.
  • Computers offer the scope to convey information directly by modem, or by disk, where complex data needs to be available and frequently updated and available to a sales team. Complex product data and pricing formulas can often best be held on a laptop computer. Compact disks can contain complete product ranges in pictorial format, letting a buyer see each product in his own office.

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The modern sales manager needs training and experience in the use of computers in the business environment, as they also offer the most effective way of maintaining contact and controlling field operations over the coming years. Complete sales communication, data transfer, customer account management and field sales reporting packages are all available now, although generally only used by major corporations.

The use of computer packages greatly reduces the need for paperwork, and can reduce the time a sales team must allocate to paperwork processes and reporting, with a resultant cost benefit. Everything from customer records through pre-agreeing call objectives, and optimizing journey planning right through to sales reporting and performance monitoring can be managed with the use of computers.

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