The qualitative personal-selling objectives are long term and concern the contributions management expects personal selling to make in achieving long-term company objectives. These objectives generally are carried over from one period’s promotional program to the next. Depending upon company objectives and the promotional mix, personal selling may be assigned such qualitative objectives as
- To do the entire selling job (as when there are no other elements in the promotional mix).
- To “service” existing accounts (that is, to maintain contacts with present customers, take orders, and so forth).
- To search out and obtain new customers.
- To secure and maintain customers’ cooperation in stocking and promoting the product line.
- To keep customers informed on changes in the product line and other aspects of marketing strategy.
- To assist customers in selling the product line (as through “missionary selling”).
- To provide technical advice and assistance to customers (as with complicated products and where products are especially designed to fit buyers’ specifications).
- To assist with (or handle) the training of intermediaries sales personnel.
- To provide advice and assistance to intermediaries on management problems.
- To collect and report market information of interest and use to company management.
The basic considerations in setting qualitative personal-selling objectives are decisions on sales policies and personal-selling strategies and their role in the total promotional program. After this role is defined, qualitative long-term personal-selling objectives are set. In turn, the qualitative personal-selling objectives become the major determinants of the quantitative personjal-selling objectives.
The quantitative objectives assigned to personal selling are short term and are adjusted from one promotional period to another. The sales volume objective—the dollar or unit sales volume management sets as the target for the promotional period—is the key quantitative objective. All other quantitative personal-selling objectives derive from or are related to the sales volume objective. Thus, discussion here focuses upon the setting of sales volume objectives. Setting the sales volume objective influences the setting of other quantitative personal-selling objectives, among them the following:
- To capture and retain a certain market share.
- To obtain sales volume in ways that contribute to profitability (for example, by selling the “optimum” mix of company products).
- To obtain some number of new accounts of given types.
- To keep personal-selling expenses within set limits.
- To secure targeted percentages of certain accounts’ business.
Source: Richard R. Still, Edward W. Cundliff, Normal A. P Govoni, Sandeep Puri (2017), Sales and Distribution Management: Decisions, Strategies, and Cases, Pearson; Sixth edition.