A salesperson is an important sales management position maintaining vital link between an enterprise and customers, society, distributors, retailers and others. Nature of roles played by a sales person is given as follows.
This involves a salesperson probing and finding the cause of a problem, i.e., why a customer often changes a brand or why a customer is loyal to a particular brand.
A salesperson analyses customer needs and market trends and identify the linkages.
A farmer prefers a motorcycle compared to a scooter, so marketer must segment rural middle class for various types of motorcycles.
(iii) Information Provider
A salesperson is also an intelligent agent. He keeps the management informed of any significant development in his territory, i.e., any strategic change of competitor etc.
A salesperson being in the forefront of sales organization can command on time and route plans of sales organization.
A salesperson may at time make the announcement of a price change in his territory in such a way that it will give him maximum benefit. Likewise, evolving a strategy to sell to an aggressive customer is the role of a salesperson.
He is a tactician in the sense that he (or she) evolves tactics to win over the customer or enhance distribution/retailer satisfaction. A tactic is a short-term action plan and is part of a strategy, which is a long-term concept.
(vi) Change Agent
A salesperson acts as a Change Agent in his territory. For it is he who introduces new product ideas and influences the life styles and consumption pattern by making new products and services available in the territory and influencing opinion of manager to accept and recommend the same to other salesperson.
Thus, the modern society owes a lot to salespersons, for it is they who help upgrade life style and quality of living. The Selling process or The Selling Theories on which the salespersons depend are Stimulus- Response Theory, Product Oriented Selling and Need-Satisfaction Theory.
Other Functions Performed by a Sales Person
(a) Line functions
i. Achieves volume of sales
ii. Responsible for enhancing market share
iii. Responsible for profitability of the organization
iv. Attends to customer service.
(b) Staff functions
i. Provides assistance for ware housing In charge
ii. Provides assistance for Transport Department
iii. Provides assistance to Production Department regarding Product knowledge and knowledge about specific customers.
(c) Line and staff functions
i. Helps General Sales Manager with sales fore-cost, market information and information about competitors
ii. Helps Corporate Management in respect of product development, Diversification and information about market and competitors.
Responsibilities of Sales Person
The duties and responsibilities of a salesman differ from one business to another depending upon the nature of the business, the size of the business, the type of selling job, the sales policies of the concern, etc. However, there are certain duties and responsibilities which are common to all types of business.
Responsibilities of a Salesman
The fundamental duty of a salesman is selling. This duty includes meeting the prospects, presenting and demonstrating the products, inducing the prospects to buy, taking orders and effecting sales.
- Guiding the buyers
A salesman should guide the buyers in buying the goods they want.
- Attending to complaints
A salesman should attend to the complaints of the customers immediately and try to settle their grievances quickly and sincerely.
- Collection of bills
Sometimes, a salesman may be required to collect the outstanding bills relating to the goods sold by him. In such a case, he has to collect the bills and remit the amount to his firm.
- Collection of credit information
A salesman may, sometimes, be required to collect information about the credit-worthiness of the customers. In such a case, he has to collect detailed information and submit it to his firm in time.
A salesman, especially a traveling salesman, is required to send daily, weekly or monthly reports to his firm, providing information about the calls made, sales effected, services rendered, route schedule, expenses incurred, business conditions, competition, if any, etc.
A salesman, i.e., a traveling salesman, is required to organize his tour programme. He has to prepare the route and time schedules for his tour so as to systematize his sales efforts.
- Attending sales meetings
A salesman is required to attend the sales meetings convened by his employer at periodical intervals to discuss the marketing problems, sales promotion activities, sales policies, etc.
A traveling salesman has to undertake touring regularly to cover the sales territories assigned to him.
- Arranging for packing and delivery
A salesman, i.e., a counter salesman, has to arrange for the packing of the goods sold and the delivery of the packages to the buyers.
- Window and counter displays
A salesman, i.e., an indoor or counter salesman, has to arrange for the window and counter displays of the products in an attractive manner so as to attract or induce the prospects to buy.
- Promotion of goodwill
Every salesman has to build up satisfied clientele (i.e., customers) for his employer and thereby promote the goodwill of his firm.
- Recruiting and Training
Recruiting new salesmen, imparting training, by accompanying them while making sales calls.
- Working with Middlemen
Salesmen establish direct relations with middlemen — distributors, wholesalers, etc., and collect market information and pass it on to their firm.