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Sales development and merchandising

College: Mont Rose College of management and Science

Unit Title: Sales Development and Merchandising


Introduction

The purpose of this assignment is to gain understanding of external sales development techniques and the tools and techniques of internal sales and merchandising in a business and service context.

There are four learning outcomes to this unit:

1. Understand elements of the product in a business and services context

2. Understand external sales development techniques

3. Understand the tools and techniques of internal sales promotion and merchandising

4. Be able to evaluate the role of staff in maximising sales

The assignment will describe the elements of the product, then analyse external sales development techniques, then review the tools and techniques of internal sales and evaluate the importance of the staff in maximising sales


Task A Research report describing the elements of the product in a business and services context.  

Focus on one UK based hotel or hotel chain

Carry out an individual research into the element of the product. Using your research, produce a written report of your findings which should include:

  1. A discussion about the key components of the product and how the product mix contributes to sales and profit (ref. 1.1, 1.2)
  2. An assessment on how market segmentation contribute to maximise sales (ref. 1.3)


Task B Research report describing the external sales development techniques. 

Focus on one UK based hotel or hotel chain

Carry out an individual research into external sales techniques. Using your research, produce a written report of your findings which should include:

  1. A discussion about the factors affecting buyer behaviour (ref. 2.1)
  2. An assessment of the advertising media that could be used for sales development situations (ref. 2.2)
  3. An evaluation of the use of external merchandising to maximise customer volumes (ref. 2.3)

Task C Research report describing the internal sales promotion and merchandising.

Focus on one UK based hotel or hotel chain

Carry out an individual research into internal sales techniques. Using your research, produce a written report of your findings which should include:

  1. An assessment of the influence of design and layout on customer spending (ref. 3.1)
  2. A review and evaluation of the effectiveness of internal merchandising materials(ref 3.2)
  3. An evaluation of different promotional activities according to different scenarios (ref. 3.3)


Task D Research report describing the role of staff in maximising sales. 

Focus on one UK based hotel or hotel chain

Carry out an individual research into the role of staff in sales. Using your research, produce a written report of your findings which should include:

  1. An evaluation of personal selling techniques (ref. 4.1)
  2. A discussion about the influence of operational design on sales revenue (ref 4.2)
  3. Key principles that should be included in a sales training programme (ref. 4.3)


Answer

INTRODUCTION

Choi (2004) argue that the satisfaction of customers is made up of product dimension or service in area of hospitality and tourism. Hotel tangible products and intangible products have different characteristics and have their effect on customer’s satisfaction. Different types of products like physical and non-physical product, consumer and business products will be developed further as well as the different types of brands. Product Mix is offered to customers by company. The benefit of training is various. It help to enhance skill levels, improve self-confidence, Lower staff turnover, higher sales and profits and reduce management support. Manager duties will be to ensure that motivation, ability and environment components are met at work. 


1.1/1.2

Marriott Hotel was founded in 1957 by J.Willard Marriott. The headquarters are based in Washington, D.C., US, with 505 hotels in different location. There are 50 hotels in the UK with 10 for London only. Figures provided by Wikipedia (2016).

Product

A product is a service or object created after a process to satisfy what customer want and serve what they need… as reported by business dictionary.com (2016). Hospitality products in Marriott Hotel as an international business are: Beach Resorts, Vacation Rentals, International Locations, Luxury Clubs, Marriott hotel Merchandise, bedroom, bathroom, food and drink, breakfast service, complementary soaps, breakfast room and reception. 

                                                                            

Components of products

Core product is defined as a dominant satisfaction expected in return by a customer when buying a service or good as reported by business dictionary.com (2016). Marriott hotels core products are bed, bathroom with towels, a television, a telephone, dresser and chair, package of problem solving services. There could be an augmentation of the core product…as reported by Marriott hotels (2016).

Facilitating products are defined as a generic product. It is also the presentation of service or goods and the enhancement of the core product…as reported by prezi.com(2016). Marriott hotels facilitating products are customer services, online reservation facilities and bars and restaurants…as reported by Marriott hotels (2016).

Supporting products are defined as products offered by hotel to add more value to the core product. They help customers to choose their destination when travelling in a destination…as reported by studymode.com (2016). Marriott hotels supporting product are 24/7 room service, concierge services and free magazines and newspapers for business travellers… as reported by Marriott hotels (2016).

Augmented products are defined as benefit offered to customers. Its consist of a peripheral service and a core service… as reported by prezi.com (2016). Marriott hotel augmented product are luxurious room and exterior designs, membership discount, relaxed hotel atmosphere and high class restaurants, car parking, special need services…as reported by Marriott hotels (2016).


Three levels of product: Marriott Hotels

Three levels of product

                       Figure 1: Three level of product: Marriott hotelsSource: self created

Product mix

Product mix or product assortment is product lines offered to customers by a company. There could be sometime a similarity of these products. It is also a variety of products a company sells. A company might have four dimensions of product mix: depth, width and consistency…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com (2016).


Marriott hotel product mix

Marriott hotel range of product

Figure 2Marriott hotel range of product

Source: self created


Marriott hotels offer a range of product to its customers to satisfy their need. This is important for Marriott hotel as it contribute to the success of the hotel. By having the right service, Marriott hotel target particular guests or market segments. Marriott hotel is offering to its customers Executive lounge, guest room, superior guest room, restaurant, bar, conference facilities, health facility, housekeeping service daily, parking facilities, beauty shop, foreign exchange and cash machine.

Contribution of product mix

Product mix will maximise sale volume and will be a competitive advantage. It will satisfy the needs and wants of customer in an effective way. Branding is the procedure involved when a unique image and name for a product is created according to the purchaser mind…as reported by business dictionary.com (2016).]

Marriott Hotels provides to its customers a wide range of products mix to satisfy their needs and get their customers loyalty in return. Some of the products are: The bar, the restaurant, foreign exchange and cash machine.

The bar is made with a sophisticated décor with a list of creative cocktail. The bar is also large and can accommodate many customers. It attract customers because of it design. The bar is open 24/h and serve extensive menu of well thought dishes in addition to cocktails. Customers will rather spend their money in the hotel bar instead of going outside in the local pub.

The restaurant is having an eclectic design fusing with modernity of M’s architecture with a rustic appeal of Hoxton. The menu also marries comfort food favourites with seasonal British flavours. The food is prepared by the renowned chef Anthony Demetre. Customers most of the time are attracted by a restaurant with a renowned chef. They will spend their money in the hotel restaurant rather than going outside to eat in a local restaurant.

Foreign exchange and cash machine will have an impact on international tourism and travel. Customers will be attracted to buy more currency to spend in the country they like. It can make the customers travel more easily.

Compared to Hilton Hotel, one of the most advantages of branding of Marriott Hotels is the awareness. In a foreign country, the consumer will recognise the hotel red labelling and the red colour and shape of the word Marriott. The consistencyin the market place will attract customers as they will feel consistency and the image of the hotel…as reported by Marriott hotel (2016).


1.3

Market segmentation is defined as the identification process of customers segments or clusters in a market which share the same needs and wants and as a result will have an exclusive way to an accustomed marketing effort. Jobber and Lancaster (2003).


Marriott Hotel methods of segmentation

Geographic

Marriott Hotels believes that customers need a base service level and that they differ in their readiness to pay for different levels of luxury and comfort. They created hotels with different styles and prices to satisfy customer’s wants and needs. Marriott hotels use multi-stage segmentation. Their brand named hotel are tailored to a unique target market. They have luxury hotels in cities like London, Paris, NYC, LA. They always have new services, promotion or packages to key in more effectively target market…as reported by prezi.com (2016).


Demographics

Marriott hotels offer various services for particular age groups. Their offers are based on what customers want when they choose a hotel, why are they travelling and what that specific hotel can offer to suit what they need. (Corporate, leisure or pleasure). Marriott satisfy every income of it customer…as reported by prezi.com (2016).


Psychographics

This is about the customer life style. A jet-setter living in NYC will stay in Marriott hotel London because Marriott in London offer room that suit his life style. Marriott offer range of reward program like free night, promotion and upgrades to attract its regular customers. This is the brand loyalty. They will also provide customers particular services like technological needs, sustainability and fitness. They also have specific market approach. They target consumer through third parties or directly. They could also do a marketing generalization to satisfy all customers, from those who are loyal to those who could be potential customers…as reported by prezi.com (2016).

Market segmentation and sales maximisation

Some of the benefits of effective segmentation are:

  • An analysis of gaps in a market (no competitive products in the market).
  • The design of market appeals and product adjusted to the market’s need.
  • Focusing on segments with bigger potential of marketing and sales. Jobber and Lancaster (2003).

Companies will use strategies to maximise profit with customers.

 1 Targeting: Segmentation and marketing are the same to the marketer. Targeting strategy is based on customer preference (type of products purchased, email/telephone ordering service), value (value of good purchased, high or low consumption), life stage (relationship between customer and supplier). Jobber and Lancaster (2003).


2 Pricing: Elevate perceived quality (by elevating the quality of a brand will lead to a higher selling margin. Marketer can also use discount. In FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), discount will be driven by retailer pressures or by competitive. Jobber and Lancaster (2003).

3 Customer retention: With the help of technology, supplier will be able to track the progress of customers. The profitability of customers will be determined by: losses of would-be customers or customers and the cost of acquisition. The strategy statement will provide an indication of where the company marketing effort will be focused. SWOT analysis methods will also give an indication of the company strengths and weaknesses and    threats and opportunities it faces. Jobber and Lancaster (2003).



2.1

 Buyer behaviour is defined as the understanding of the needs of customers, the understanding of what motivate them to buy and how the buying process can be influenced to make sure that the shopping list includes your products or services…as reported by cim.co.uk (2016).

The buyer decision process is the process of decision-making that consumers use in regard to transaction of market before a purchase of good or service, during and after. It is also the stages that the consumer goes through before the final decision of buying is made…as reported by the consumerfactor.com (2016).

 The buyer decision process is made up of 5 stages process explained in diagram bellow.

The buyer decision process

FIGURE 3 . The buyer decision process

Source: Self created

 Model of consumer behaviour is about how a consumer collects information for a decision making and finally how his attitude is affected by the decision he made. The models of consumer behaviour are: Psychological Model, Economic Model, Sociological Model, Learning Model, Howard Sheth Model…as reported by acrwebsite.org (2016).

Model of consumer behaviour

FIGURE 4 . Model of consumer behaviour

Source: www.comindwork.com


Characteristics or factors affecting consumer behaviour

 There are four main factors that influence the behaviour of consumer.

Cultural Factors: It is related to cultural environment where the buyer belongs. When it comes to understand the behaviour and needs of a consumer, culture is crucial. The consumer will be influenced by friends, family, cultural environment and preferences. Example: Hilton Hotel in France will serve a French baguette and Dijon mustard. A Gurakoro with macaroni gratin and croquette will be served in Japan. By doing so, Hilton Hotel offers specified product to it customer to satisfy their taste and needs…as reported by theconsumerfactor.com (2016).


Social factors. It influences buyer behaviour well.

The buyer’s membership groups are the social group where he belongs and who are influencing him. It is related to place of residence, age, social origin, work, hobbies. The buyer could be influenced by a group he don’t belong to but would like to be part of. Example: Hilton Hotel offer luxury style and comfortable room ideal for business and leisure. Even if a buyer don’t need this type of room he might want to book it to spend the night like business men do. (Inspirational group)…as reported by theconsumerfactor.com (2016).

Psychological factors could be divided into four categories: Perception, learning and beliefs and attitudes, motivation. The motivation will help the buyer to develop purchasing behaviour. The perception will be how the buyer will decide at a given time. Example: The message brands communicate will not be perceived by consumers the same way. 

Factors influencing Consumer Behaviour

FIGURE 5. Factors influencing Consumer Behaviour

Source: www.personalselfdevelopment.co.uk  

2.2

Advertising is defined as the action of calling the attention of the public to something, exclusively by paid broadcast…as reported by study.com (2016). 

There is hundreds of advertisement. Depending on the business few of them will be suitable. The list is: 

Online-Offline Ads: Articles, Social Networking, Yellow pages, Newsletter…

Online Ads: Google and other adwords bid and facebook, Website, Email marketing…

Electronic media Ads: Television, Telemarketing, SMS, FM Radio, Sweepstakes, Fax broadcasts…

Off-line advertisements: Posters in public place, Seminars, Brochures, Catalogs, Flyers, Trade shows, Banners, Door Hanger, Business card, Window display, Charity events…as reported by red brand media.com (2016).

Advantages of advertising on TV: It offers to businesses benefits as images, sound and movement will be displayed. That will be interesting for consumers. Advertising on TV will communicate with large audience. Attention will be attracted, awareness will be generated and preferences for product will be established by consumers…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com(2016).

Disadvantages of advertising on TV: One of the main disadvantages of advertising on TV is the cost. Smaller company will not be able to afford it. There will be also difficulty to change. Changing will take time and will cost money once the commercial is filmed and placed. The advertising will have to be removed after a promotion and be replaced…as reported by savemybudget.com (2016). 

Advantages of Telemarketing: Telemarketing will help the company make sale and increase profit. Telemarketing will involve decreased overhead costs saving money for small businesses. Another advantage is that company will be able to expand their business by selling to buyers in another sales territory, nationally or locally. It offer plan to chase existing customers…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com (2016).

Disadvantages of Telemarketing: Telemarketing is having a negative image by consumer despite the sales value that telemarketing offers. Customer’s reaction is most of the time bad due to bad experiences. Customer will find unwanted calla annoying. Another disadvantage of telemarketing is that the list of customers is expansive to purchase and could not be up to date…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com (2016).

Advantages of posters in public place: The presence of the author of the poster is not necessary as it speak for itself. Poster will be able to reach large audience. It will be possible to display several posters at the same time and at different events…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com (2016).

Disadvantages of poster in public place: It will be difficult to make changes once a poster is printed. The poster will have to compete with other posters. Preparing a poster will take time and will require reduced content. It will not answer customer’s questions…as reported by smallbusiness.chron.com (2016).

How to select the right advertising media

Businesses must keep competition, product and audience in mind when choosing the right advertising media. Depending on their budget, businesses should try one media at the time. What is working for one product would not be working for another.

To do so, business must first star to look at where competitors are advertising. If customer spends a lot of money buying via internet, it is a very good indication. The really cheap advertising must be considered particularly for small businesses. Poster placed on a bulletin board or passing out flyers in a busy place and placing them on car windshields will be an option. Internet is ideal for advertising. Business must match their advertising to their audience. Businesses should look at where their competitors are advertising, they should match the product to the advertising and match the advertising to the audience…as reported by businesstown.com (2016).

I will recommend TV advertising media, Telemarketing, and poster for the advertisement of Marriott Hotel. TV advertising will reach large audience as millions of consumers have a TV and will catch the massage. Telemarketing is also a good advertising media despite customer finding it annoying. It will help to chase actual customer and will help to attract potential one. Poster is also one of the best advertising media. It will attract the attention of customers. A poster displayed on the motorway or for example on a public place will attract customers on products and services Marriott Hotel is selling to customers.


4.1

Personal selling is defined as where businesses utilise people called the “sales force” to trade a product after a face-to-face meeting with the buyer…as reported by tutor2u.net (2016).

Types of personal selling.

Customers-oriented approach is an approach based on a sales relation between staff and customers. Staff will help customer to meet their expectation, needs and wants. The management and staff will make their effort around retaining and satisfying customers…as reported by small business.com (2016).

Sales oriented approach is when a business makes a product that he believes consumer want and aggressively tries to sell it. This approach corresponds with old-fashioned selling techniques in which customers are forced to buy a product regardless of interest and need. The seller will convince the customer to see the product value…as reported by yourbusiness.azcentral.com (2016).

Personal selling techniques

There are various personal selling techniques: Closing sales, suggestive selling, up selling, follows up, negotiation, understanding needs and wants, cross selling, effective sales, non-verbal communication, handling objection…

Up selling is a sale technique used by business to try to persuade a buyer who bought a product to buy more or to buy more expensive products to make more profitable sale. Up selling is a common practice of restaurant. They will try to sell for example a bottle of wine while customer is looking into the menu. They will try to sell a salad to customer while waiting for their food to be cooked. They will also try to sell a red wine if customer ordered meat and a white wine if customer ordered fish…as reported by businessdictionary.com (2016).

Suggestive selling is one of the sale technique where the seller ask the buyer about including additional purchase or a recommendation of a product to the buyer to increase the purchase amount of the buyer and increase the business revenues. The hotel receptionist might ask customer while booking a room via telephone if they would like an Add-on pack that include Air Conditioning (24h), Towel (1 unit), Internet connection (24h) and Entertainment Package when booking a particular room. That will increase the business revenues…as reported by businessdictionary.com (2016).

Understand needs and wants. Knowing your customer will make your business successful. A consumer desire for a service or product is a need. A want is the product or services desire that are not fundamental but which buyer wish for. Business knows that no matter a product or services are good, customers will not buy it if they don’t want it or need it. It will be difficult for the business to sell what they are offering unless what the customer wants is clearly understand…as reported by infoentrepreneurs.org (2016).

Cross selling occurs when the business has more type of product to offer to buyer and that can benefit them. When the guest is in the hotel, the receptionist already know is gender and is age. With this information the hotel will adopt a personalised approach to the guest. The hotel will try to sell to the guest a tennis court, wellness centre, spa, souvenir stores, fashion or water sports equipment. The hotel will need to teach their staff about every activity in the hotel as well as considering every guest characteristic…as reported by infoentrepreneurs.org (2016).


4.2

Operational design is defined as the space where the business activities take place. The design and layout of that space will greatly impact how the job is done in the business as well as material and the flow of work…as reported by inc.com (2016).

  • Ergonomics is the relation between employees and their environment. It is also the study of people with their condition of working to improve effectiveness. The benefit are the increment of the company revenue and money saving. Workers who follow guideline of ergonomic have lower rate of injury. Ergonomic habits will spread throughout the business…as reported by goldtouch.com (2016).


  • Workflow is a necessary series of activities to complete a task. Each step is specific before and after. The benefits are the removing of the steps that are not necessary, workflow will ensure that each step is correctly completed, it contribute to visibility improvement as the staff member can check the statue of the item by tracking…as reported by goldtouch.com (2016).


  • Equipment. Training must be provided with equipment in for workers to use them safely. Many workers have been injured and equipment has been damaged due to lake of staff training. Failing to display floor signs on wet floors to reduce slip should be explained to staff. A novice will not understand how to operate a swing machine that need to be properly understood before using it…as reported by goldtouch.com (2016).



4.3

Training is defined as the process of the kills learning that a person needs to do a particular activity or a particular job…as reported by businessdictionary.com (2016).


Methods of training

  • Online or E-Learning: Many companies are relying on E-Lear
  • ning to deliver training due to employees in a variety of places around the world. This method become more popular and is more available. These methods includes tele or videoconferencing, web-based training, web meeting or webinar, audio conferencing, collaborative document preparation and e-mail…as reported by trainingtoday.blr.com (2016).


  • Computer-based training (CBT) is more and more used by companies to provide training to staff. Training technology supplement current training programs. They includes Text-only, CD-Rom, multimedia, virtual reality. They are easy to use and help employees to develop and practice new skills. For the virtual reality training, the training program will take the form of simulation. It is an effective form of training… as reported by trainingtoday.blr.com (2016).


  • Hands-on training is an experiential training that offers more techniques for employees teaching. That includes cross-training, demonstrations, coaching, apprenticeships and drills. Drill is a one of the good way for staff to practice skills fire evacuation drills…as reported by trainingtoday.blr.com (2016).


  • Interactive methods will break up training session and will keep learners involved and attentive. They include small group discussions, quizzes, case studies, Q&A sessions, question cards, active summaries, role-playing, and demonstration. The example of case studies is an excellent way of adult learning. Employees can learn how to deal with situation…as reported by trainingtoday.blr.com (2016).



Components of a training program

Component of training program

FIGURE 6. Component of training program

Source: Self created


The benefit of training is various. Some of them will help to enhance skill levels, customer satisfaction and profit will increase. A well trained staff will perform well. Training will improve self-confidence. A well trained staff in a hotel will be confident to go through the menu or through any offer that the hotel might have. Fewer complain is most of the time the result of staff well trained to perform their job. Few complain demonstrate the happiness of customer and it will lead to customer loyalty and profit maximisation. Lower staff turnover is an indication of staff happy to work, less pressure on them and more relaxed. The lower staff turnover will benefit the hotel as they will not have to train new staff. There will be a higher sales and profits due to company trained staff to different sales techniques. There will be less or reduced management support due to the fact that well trained staff will not need any support from their manager…as reported by saxonsgroup.com (2016).


Motivation is described by Kreitner as “the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction”. 

Performance= Motivation+ Ability+ Environment

A deficiency of any of them will result of a low level of performance at work. Manager duties will be to ensure that these three components are met at work…as reported by saxonsgroup.com (2016).


Task C  Outdoor activity reflective report

JRC Global Buffet is a chain of restaurant serving fresh dishes from around the world all under one roof. The restaurant provides over 300 plus dishes cooked live by trained chefs. My research report will focus on JRC Global Buffet located in 1st Floor, Pioneer Point, 3-5 Winston Way, Ilford, IG1 2ZG.

Here is what I have observed regarding the external and internal merchandising of the JRC Global Buffet Ilford.

External Merchandising

A lot of external and internal merchandising has been identified in the organisation.


A large banderol is displayed outside on the ground floor to attract the attention of customers. The building is actually on refurbishment. The banderol is attached on scaffolding. This doesn’t appear to me to be professional. The opening hours also are not written on it to help for example customer driving to be aware of the opening hours.

The ground floor presented with a lift to help disabled people to get access into the building. The disabled signage is well displayed and can be noticed by customers. And also the opening time of the restaurant are displayed on right side of the lift as you enter into it.

The escalator to the building is having on the top the JRC Global Buffet logo displayed on the wall and noticeable event at the bottom of the escalator or on the street.The JRC Global Buffet logo on the wall.

Another external merchandising displayed on the wall next to the main door into the restaurant.

A food hygiene rating 5 and a recommended trip advisor logo are displayed on the main door. This internal merchandising well displayed will ensure customers about the quality of the food prepared by the chefs in the organisation.


Internal merchandising

As mentioned earlier, a lift to help disabled customers to get access into the restaurant is available as well as a seating area where customers can wait for families or friends before eating.

The picture bellow show the reception equipped with different information for customers and food hygiene certificate as well as business card providing the opening time and reservation number and the restaurant website as it is possible to book a table online.


The main entrance of the restaurant is equipped with a fire alarm panel, a manual call point and escape route signage on top of the double doors.

Information about opening hours is displayed on the doors including bank holidays. A reservation number in also displayed.

After paying, the receptionist will provide customers with this entry pass for table allocation.


CONCLUSION

Satisfaction of customers is made up of product dimension or service in area of hospitality and tourism. Hotel tangible products and intangible products have different characteristics and have their effect on customer’s satisfaction. A product is a service or object created after a process to satisfy what customer want and serve what they need.Product mix maximise sale volume and is a competitive advantage. It satisfies the needs and wants of customer in an effective way. Hotels believe that customers need a base service level and that they differ in their readiness to pay for different levels of luxury and comfort. Consumer behaviour is about how a consumer collects information for a decision making and finally how his attitude is affected by the decision he made.

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