Assignment 2B – Preparing for the sale

This assignment should be done in a team of 2.

Select a product to sell. The product should be appropriate for sale to a company, B2B and not to retail customers. It might be better to choose a product you know something about or have some interest in.

A professional sales person gathers information before they approach a customer. At this time, the sales person gathers information on the potential prospect and their industry, the industry their firm participates in and the competitor product or service you are selling againstPlease note that this assignmentis designed to illustrate the scope of knowledge required by professional salespeople. Some of the information will be unavailable to those outside the industry. However, you should check more than just a “Google” search. Look at annual reports, journals, magazines, and newspapers

Required: A brief email informing your instructor of the product you want to sell, your company who is selling the product and potential customers. Your instructor must approve your choice of products before you begin working on the next assignment. If you are having trouble thinking of an appropriate product, please talk to your instructor before this assignment is due.

In the report – about 4 – 5 pages – business style, single spaced.

A. Develop and describe your personal selling philosophy – short section.

B. Describe the product or service you want to sell for this assignment, the company you are selling the product for,

Company Information

a. Company information and history of the company, product line, size, sales area.

b. Have sales for the product been growing or declining?

c. What major improvements have been made in recent years?

d. How can this product best be demonstrated?

e. List several reasons why customers should buy from this firm

f. Describe the features and benefits of the product relevant to your chosen target market.

g. Does the firm offer any warranties or guarantees?

h. What services does your company offer its customers after a sale is made?

i. Pricing of product

j. Current promotional and distribution.

C. Prospect information. – describe to whom you want to sell this product (who is your B2B target market). Identify at least two firms by name and get the name of a possibly contact.

a. What type of organization is it? (manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, etc.)

b. How large is the firm? How long has it been in business?

c. What industry is this firm and relevant information on this industry

d. What product lines does it sell?

e. What are some potential problems and needs of this firm and how can your product or service solve the problems or satisfy the needs

f. Who makes the buying decisions for your product or service at this firm? What is the person’s title and major responsibilities for that particular company? More than just purchasing manager.

g. If you are selling a product to a wholesaler or retailer who will resell it to the ultimate consumer (for example, food products or clothing):

· What are the characteristics of the typical consumer (age, income, etc.)

· What problems or needs does the consumer have that are related to your product?

D. Industry Information – describe the industry your product services.

a. What is the history of the industry?

b. What is the size of the total industry in terms of sales? Is the industry growing?

c. What advancements have been made in the industry in recent years?

E. Competitor Information – Identify two of your firm’s main competitors and secure the following information for this competitor: This can be written up using a competitor analysis grid.

a. Has your company been in business longer than your competitor? What is the size of your competitor in relation to your firm? Is it growing more quickly or more slowly than your firm is?

b. What is your competitor’s policy on extending credit to its customers? Are your firm’s policies more or less liberal?

c. What price does your competitor charge for its product or service? How does it compare to your firm?

d. How does the product compare?

e. How quickly can your competitor deliver its product or perform its service compared to your firm?

f. What services does the competitor offer its customers after a sale is made?

g. What are your competitor’s major strengths and weaknesses?

Some, but not all of the resources for this assignment can be accessed from the TRU library and via the internet.

ResourceTopic areascomments
Canadian Business and Current Affairs1. Industry information (NB. a product is not an industry)2. Industry advancements3. Competitor information (presumes a provincial or national profile)4. Product or service information.This is a database of business articles that you can access by Company name.Search by company not keyword.
ABI/Inform1.Product or service informationAmerican bias but good for product and service development
Small Business profilesProduct and service information: generalSomewhat complicated to use, terminology is precise (e.g. wine industry not wineries). Suggest librarians help. Gives the cost of running and revenue figures.
Statistics Canada Index of downloadable publicationsIndustry informationQuite selective, but some industries are represented
Online Annual reportsCompany information(public)Paper annual reports files are available

Objectives: 1. to understand the importance of researching potential customers prior to contacting them

2. To develop an appreciation of the importance of strategically thinking through what it is you are going to do.

3. To appreciate the level of preparation required to conduct a professional sales call

Assignment 2B Evaluation

Student Names:

DescriptionMarksMarks Awarded
Format –· The assignment is easy to read, flows well, and is concise – little unnecessary information· Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation· Clear organization and use of headings· Appearance, language, and level of formality appropriate for target audience15
Citation and reference list· External sources are fully documented and cited· Appropriate use of quotes· Valid sources10
Content – Research and Planning – Originality and synthesis of ideas. Applies Critical thinking and decision making· Complete – all major sections presented· Relevant material is presented with sufficient depth and breadth· Well researched. Has names of potential contacts· Research was insightful and relevant· Information was obtained for a variety of valid sources· Applies critical thinking· Logical progression of arguments· Facts/examples support claims75