Techniques of external sales development and internal sales and merchandising
The theme of the study lies understanding the importance of external sales development techniques and the tools and techniques of internal sales in context of an organisation. The objectives of the study understand the key elements of a product in a trade, proper understanding of the external techniques of sales development, the tools and techniques of merchandising and internal sales promotion and the role of staffs in maximising sales. The study depicts an overview about the elements of the product which is followed by analysing the external sales development techniques. It provides an review about the tools and techniques of internal sales. The evaluation of the role of staff in maximising sales is considered to be an integral part of the study. The study is an attempt to demonstrate the research links in accordance of their relevancy to the context of the topic. The learner is willing to consider The Dorchester a five star hotel located in United Kingdom for this study. Inaugurated in 18th April 1931, The Dorchester is located in Park Lane and Deanery Street, London. The Dorchester, Park Lane will be considered for this assignment. The products that are offered in this hotel will analysed in accordance with the demands of tasks of this assignment.
Task A: Description of the elements of the products or services in a business
a> Key component of the product (ref 1.1)
The product offered by an organisation is the most essential portion in a trade by which the consumers relate to the organisation. The products that are considered for a pioneer hotel like The Dorchester includes the rooms, restaurants, lounge facilities, games parlour and gardens with dining area (Tamilarasu and Kumar, 2015). The variant products of Dorchester include complimentary breakfasts, foods, beds, reception etc.
Figure 1: Entrance of Dorchester
On the basis of the various products that are offered by The Dorchester the key components of its product line can be depicted as below:
- Core Product: It indicates to the dominant satisfaction that is expected by the consumers when they purchase a product as well as services. For example, if a person goes to restaurant for food, then the food can be considered as the core product. It is because the hunger of customer can be satisfied by the quality of food that is served and not by the ambience of the restaurant.
- Facilitating Product: It is also referred to as the generic products. It is indicated by the presentation of the service or goods and may act as an enhancement to the core product. The facilities of online reservation and the facilities provided in the bars or restaurants can be examples of this form of products.
- Supporting products: This section indicates to the products that are offered by the hotel to add value to their core products. The food and beverages department, spa, beauty, sport centres and the concierge services provided in The Dorchester, Park Lane can be treated as examples of supporting products.
- Augmented Product: It is defined as the additional benefits that are offered to the consumers in the form exterior services and core services. The luxurious rooms, membership discounts, high class restaurants, car parking, exterior designs and the special need services can be treated as examples of the augmented products that are offered by The Dorchester.
Figure 2: Key Components of Product Line
(Source: Self developed)
b> Contribution of product mix to sales and profit (ref 1.2)
The total number of products that are offered to a market by the company is referred to as the product mix. The entire product line may incorporate various dimensions of product namely, the width, length, depth and consistency etc. The assortment of the products may vary in accordance with the consumer demands. For example, different types of product may be offered to the market by a small scale organisation, in which the product lines may vary at times. The product lines may include shirt, pants, trousers for one organisation. On the contrary, dish washing liquids, hand washes etc. may indicate the line of products for a different organisation.
The product line in case of The Dorchester, Park Lane indicates a diversified product line that ensures their consumers of high class facilities and a comfortable span of stay. The real product mix of the hotel influences the consumer satisfaction in accordance with their respective desires. The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane offers a high quality product portfolio to their target market within an affordable budget (Ye et al. 2014). The diversified product portfolio of The Dorchester ensures a favourable leisure destination for the travellers, honeymooners, family vacations and for the corporate meetings. The rooms offered for stay, restaurant and its quality food provided by The Dorchester, Park Lane is highly satisfactory for their consumers which in turn influences the tremendous market credential for the hotel. The entire product mix of The Dorchester, Park Lane comprises of the following:
- Banquet and Conferencing facilities
- Bar Services
- Swimming pools
- Open dining areas
- Sport parlour’s
Figure 3: Restaurant Services of the Dorchester
(Source: www.google.co.in, 2017)
c> Contribution of market segmentation in maximising sales (ref 1.3)
The term Market Segmentation indicates to the technique which is adapted to enable a business to better target its products at the right customers. It refers to the process of identification of consumer demands in accordance with their respective desires and encourages designing of products with respect to the identified needs. The products may be developed in such a way that it suffices the needs of the consumers. Market segmentation is defined as the process of identification of the consumers segments in the market that shares common aspects of consumer demands.
The Various types of the market segmentation can be depicted as below:
The Dorchester management has realised that the need to design products in accordance with the geographical demands of the consumers. After realisation of the needs, they have offered the products in accordance with the identified needs which suffice the needs of consumers representing differential geographical background. The Dorchester should consider targeting an innovative market. There is a necessity of providing new, improved, luxury and comfortable services to the target market.
Demographics: The Dorchester, Park Lane must be able to cater the needs of consumers representing different age groups and income levels (Bruwer et al. 2017). The consumers should be exposed to products which will suit their respective age groups and level of income
Therefore, market segmentation can be considered as one of the important tools of ensuring the sustainability of an organisation.
Figure 4: Market Segmentation
(Source: Self developed)
The effectiveness of market segmentation for sales maximisation can be depicted as below:
- A proper evaluation of the competitive products available in the market must consider being necessary. This will ensure offering of innovative products in the market which will provide a strong base of competitive advantage
- The market segmentation ensures development of products in accordance with the needs of the consumers that helps in acquiring an idea about the nature of consumer operation in the market.
- The study of the consumer behaviour and attitudes is necessary as it can help in development of products that will be liked and recommended by the consumers of the targeted market.
Task B: Description of the techniques of external sales development
a> Argument on the factors affecting buyer behaviour (ref 2.1)
The systematic or the sequential approach that is followed by consumers or the organisation while entering into a purchase process and making buying decisions is referred to as buyer behaviour. The two aspects of buyer behaviour are namely Consumer Buyer Behaviour and Organisational buyer behaviour. Some of the aspects of buyer behaviour are namely Self- actualisation, Self-esteem, love and belonging, safety and security and physiological needs.
Figure 5: Different aspects of buyer behaviour
(Source: Self developed)
The factors affecting the buyer behaviour can be depicted as below:
Cultural factors: These factors can be related to the cultural environment or the factor that influences the society as a whole. The Dorchester, Park Lane must take serious consideration of the cultural backgrounds of their consumers. The cultural traits of a consumer determine the preferences and lifestyle choice of the consumers.
Social Factors: This factor also influences the consumer choices significantly. For instance if a product offered to the market bears some legal discrepancies of hurts sentiments of particular society then it may be immediately rejected by the market (Rahimi and Kozak, 2017). In a such a case The Dorchester has to withdraw such a product from the market.
Psychological Factors: This factors indicates to the aspects that influences the lifestyle choices as well as the social status and the buying behaviour of the buyers. This factor may motivate the consumer choices in such a way that they can only get their desired products from The Dorchester, Park Lane. For example, a buyer a may reject a product considering its brand value.
Marketing Programs: In order to reach the buyers, The Dorchester authorities need to to derive appropriate marketing measures. The strategies must be focused on promoting the products or they are willing to offer to the target market. This factor of marketing programs can highly influence the buyer behaviour during the purchase process.
b> Advertising media and its influence on maximising sales (ref 2.2)
Advertising refers to a non-personal form of promotion which is delivered by selected media outlets that requires the marketer to pay for message placement. It has been viewed as a method of mass promotion through which a single message can reach to a huge number of consumers. However, it is limited as because some of the persons who are exposed to an advertising message may not be within the target market of the marketer. This may result in an inefficient use of promotional funds (Mayer et al. 2014). The different type of advertising media that are used by The Dorchester, Park Lane are depicted as below:
Figure: Online advertisements of The Dorchester
Online and offline ads: Social media sites, Yellow pages
Online ads: Email marketing, Facebook and Google
Digital marketing: Telemarketing, FM radio, fax broadcasts
Electronic Media Ads: Television, SMS, Sweepstakes, electronic hoardings and banners
Offline ads: Posters, Flyers, Trade shows, Brochures, Seminars, Catalogues, Window display, charity events etc.
The advantages of TV advertisements: The use of TV advertisements ensures promotion through various taglines, images and sounds. This media expands the knowledge of the customers on the products that are offered by the organisations. The Dorchester has been benefited on the financial aspects by the use of TV advertisements. It has also ensured a standard market credential for the organisation.
The disadvantages of TV advertisements: The cost of TV advertisements is significantly high which refrains an organisation from affording it. The flexible nature of the TV ads is a peculiar point of concern. The depiction of the TV ads sometimes lack in relevancy with the product which can be hazardous for the consumers (Khan, 2014).
In this case of The Dorchester, Park Lane, the learner proposes the use of TV as a medium of promotion. The organisation must spent huge amount of money for the ads which in turn may assure them of an expansion in the targeted consumer base. Hence, the TV ads are considered to be a perfect forum for advertisements of the offered products.
c> Contribution of external merchandising in maximising customer volumes (ref 2.3)
In order to ensure maximum consumer volumes the development of a large bandrol on the ground floor must be considered as a necessity. The tool of external merchandising can be useful for enhancing the product sales and attracting a huge number of consumers. In this case of The Dorchester, the location of the hotel may be based in such a place so that it may attract a gigantic consumer base. This tool aids in enhancing the consumer base which in turn may ensure the long term sustainability of an organisation. Some of the significant stores in Park Lane may contain advertisements of The Dorchester which will make the consumers acquainted with the range of products that are offered company. The entrance of the hotel must bear an attractive design so that the consumer develop an aesthetic feeling towards the hotel. The car parking along with improved car wallet facilities are recommended for The Dorchester, Park lane. The entrance of the hotel must bear an attractive architecture that will ensue a royal feeling for the consumers. Additionally, the reception and the guest waiting rooms must be developed with proper architecture that will attract a positive customer attraction.
Task C: Description of the internal sales promotion and merchandising
a> Influence of design and layout on customer spending (ref 3.1)
The design and layout of the hotels have a far reaching effect on the behaviour of the customers. The demands as well as expectations of the customers modulate according to the layout and designs of the organisation or the hotel. The designs and layouts used in decorating the hotels help attracting the customers towards the same making the organisation likely for a particular genre of customers. Few recognised brands like The Dorchester likes to serve the customers to their utmost providing the ultimate comfort and adequate services as per the aspirations of the customers (McDonald and Wilson, 2016). As has been mentioned by a number of researchers in the field of hospitality industry, it should be ensured that the organisation that are aiming to carry on the business on this ground will have to maintain a breathtaking view of the building so that it catches the eye of the service users. Along with that, the comfort of the room provided to the customers should be well sophisticated. It should include certain facilities like airy and spacious rooms with eye catching interior structures. The luxury items should be stretched up to incorporation of attractive floor designs. Besides, the interior walls should also be paid attention to make the room been more attractive.
On the other hand, there is also another category of attracting the customers is to achieve their psychological satisfaction. The Dorchester tries to incorporate such features in their hotels and structures that are quite capable of engulfing the interest of the customers at once. Furthermore, hotels should provide their customers with proper mapping of the building that would add to the ease of the customers. Moreover, putting up of an attractive get up through putting up of portraits of different places would automatically catch the attention of the customers making them willing to board the hotel. Thus, it can be said that a proper get up and eye catching features of hotels working in the hospitality industry are quite capable of attracting the customers and maximizing the profit range.
b> Evaluation of the effectiveness of internal merchandising materials (ref 3.2)
Merchandising refers to the process of promoting the services or goods that a brand deals with. Therefore, in case of the hospitality industry the organisation like The Dorchester takes up various steps in order to reach their customers in an effective manner. The accessibility of the hotels has been kept high so that there is utmost sophistication provided to the customers. A good sophistication process is highly applicable in providing an ease of the customers to accept services from the hotels. Hotels, while providing elevators for travelling from one floor to another provides the ease to the customers, which is always a positive entity of internal merchandising. Improvisation of various services such as enhanced decoration of the dining area. This would also enhance the dining experience of the customers. However, maintenance of proper ambience in every place is an important form of giving an welcome to the customers. Moreover, the enhanced facilities such as low or soft music (according to the ambience) might be another step to enhance the experience of the customers. While talking about sophisticated ambience and an elevated experience providence to the customers it should always be focused that the service providers pay proper attention to serving the customers. In order to maintain such sophistication the employees should focus more on proper serving of foods. Besides, the organisation should be aware about the facts that the service men are well dressed. Cuisine dishes must also be kept under consideration. The cuisine dishes must be well sophisticated and there must be usage of updated cuisine dishes. However, a proper color combination should also be kept into account. The color combination should be soothing that consoles the mind as well the heart of the customers.
On account of customer satisfaction the employees of the organisation should also be taken care of. Fire safety, route maps, etc. are few other entities that might be very minutely maintained. This will definitely add to the internal merchandising of the organisation.
c> Evaluation of various promotional activities in accordance with different scenarios (ref 3.3)
Hotels take up a number of ways in order to bring up certain facilities for the customers that would both be beneficial for the organisation as well as the customers. However, there is always a method in which an organisation or a hotel working in the hospitality industry that is known as promotional activity. There are various ways in which different organisation working in the hospitality industry take up promotional activities to make their services reach a mass within a short time. The Dorchester is a reputed organisation in the hospitality industry of United Kingdom. Therefore, the promotional activities in the organisation are quite sophisticated and effective to attract large mass towards its services (Angulo-Ruiz et al. 2014). The organisation actively uses the social media as a medium to reach the common people. Various events of the organisation (hotel) are posted in the social media that enhances the expectations of the customers. Moreover, the events are made it reach the mass making it open to the public forum. Furthermore, the organisation has taken up certain measures to plan their sales promotion. A strong online and offline presence of the company has built a strong brand image before the consumers or the service users. On the other hand, various promotional tools like providence of discounted offers to the regular and frequent customers have also helped in building up a trustable image of the brand. As a result of such combination ,of various kinds of promotional activities have made the organisation a trustable brand in the eyes of the consumers. The methods of promotional activities have found to be highly effective to increase their brand image.
Task D: Description of the role of staff in maximising sales
a> Review of the personal selling techniques (ref 4.1)
An organisation while providing services to the customers in the hospitality industry finds different kinds of selling techniques that the employees of the organisation use to sale their services or products (Wilkinson, 2013). The Dorchester has taken up many such techniques that would influence the customers.
Up selling: This is the kind of selling technique that includes convincing of the consumers to buy expensive products or services. This kind of technique effectively increases the sale and provides an hike in the profit level of the organisation. However, it has been found in a study that this kind of technique is usually used in hotels and restaurants as in The Dorchester, Park Lane.
Suggestive selling: This kind of selling includes selling of services to customers that would eventually prove to be profitable to the customer and in a similar way to the organisation itself. Here, there remains a mutual profitability of the organisation as well as the customers.
Cross selling: It is a kind of technique that is randomly selected. There is no specific suggestion of the seller to the customer. Rather, the seller provides a high range of options to the customer and let the one choose the option that is the best for the same (Kim, 2017).
For The Dorchester, Park Lane up selling would be an effective strategy to maximize sell of the organisation. However, the organisation also provides options of suggestive selling selling to their long-term customers. As a result of the friendly behaviour of the organisation or the representatives of the hotel the organisation has earned huge popularity over the time. Furthermore, the organisation has also developed a positive brand image to the customers (both long-term and short-term customers). New customers who avail their services for the first time are treated with equal importance in the organisation in the way the old customers are treated. Such a fair manner of treatment to the customers is believed to be the reason behind their success.
b> Influence of the operational design on sales revenue (ref 4.2)
The activities and the processes that are involved and are flexible for increasing the sales revenue of The Dorchester, Park Lane is referred to as operational design. The staff should be provided with trainings that will help them in improving their respective skills of buyer interaction that will in turn be beneficial for the organisation. In order to manage the operations efficiently the organisation may adapt the use of modern equipments that helps in providing the high quality services with less time consumption (Pearson, 2016). The organisation may consider implementation of modern and innovative techniques that will be economical and less time consuming for the organisation. This can ensure that the organisation may generate a proper amount of revenue from its trade activities.
c> The key principles of a sales training program (ref 4.3)
Overview of Sales training programme- A proper introduction of the objectives of the sales training program is considered to be necessary.
Effective Communication- Proper measures of communication must be ensured in order to depict an idea about the sales training program.
Motivation- The sales trainee should be kept motivated to participate in the sale training programme conducted by The Dorchester, Park Lane.
Access of Training Materials- The discussions and the arguments of the sales training program must be provided to the staffs.
Implementation of Training Policy- The training policy to be developed should bear a transparency and equity for the staffs conducting the sales training programme.
The usual methods of a training program involves trainings that are provided through lectures, technology training, e-learning, film show, case studies, demonstration through role play and also training that requires presence on job (Christopher et al. 2013). A proper training measures assures a positive motivation of the staffs that helps them in performing efficiently and in turn attain the desired goals of the organisation. This induces a positive drive among the organisational workforce which in turn ensures a positive working environment within the organisation. The training programs must depict an accurate overview of the expectation of the organisation that will help the employees act in accordance with the goals of their organisation (Bruwer et al. 2017). The proper communication of the organisational objectives may help the employees in deriving accurate measures of work that will help them in achieving the desired goals of their organisation. A proper structure with incentive schemes may be beneficial for the employees as it will motivate them and drive them to a positive attitude of selling.
This study is based on the personal techniques that will be helpful, for increasing the sales revenue of The Dorchester, Park Lane. It shall be the operational design that influences the rate of customers that are getting the services from the hotel. It is concluded through the study that the conduction of an appropriate sales training program is essential for driving the employees with a proper motivation towards their workplace which The Dorchester, Park Lane. In order to drive the business with a positive momentum the various strategies of product mix and market segmentation needs to be implemented in accordance with the scenario. The study has enriched the knowledge about the key components of a product, the product mix, the factors affecting the buyer behaviour, internal and external theories of merchandising and the key aspects that must be included in a sales training program. The theme of the study has provided a strong base for analysing the different strategies and tools that are considered to be essential in the context of a present day organisation. The Hospitality and the tourism industry has acted as a supportive framework for this assignment which can be attributed to the consumers representing differential backgrounds in this industry.