Sales and Negotiation Strategies

ENT201 Sales and Negotiation Strategies

Introduction

Sales and negotiation is a very important component of any profit-oriented venture. A sale is the exchange of a good or service for money. The process of closing a sale is arrived at through various steps that involve contact with the prospective customers, convincing them to buy, sometimes negotiations and bargaining, and finally, sealing a deal  (Srivastava, Lal, & Badugu, 2014). Afterward, either party (mostly the seller) engages the other for referrals and continuous purchases. This paper will focus on Bejotech Limited, a business venture specializing in office supplies worldwide.

The company was founded in 2014 to deliver quality office products like computers, printers, toners, furniture, and other similar consumables. The paper will further explore multichannel sales and the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) as sales and negotiation strategies, which the company uses to close sales deals (Marsden & Siedel, 2017). These strategies are chosen because they are persuasive to the consumer and, in most cases, bring the best deals to the company. This paper will explore the process of closing a deal and test the success of the chosen techniques.

Generating Leads

To achieve sales for Bejotech Limited, a face-to-face and email method is used as it is considered the most effective for the nature of products sold (Byrnes & Mujtaba, 2011). Social media is also used to create awareness of the products and identify prospects for possible sales. In generating sales leads, identification of the target audience is done. The company uses a descriptive way to come up with the ideal client (PWC, 2016). The customers targeted by the company are the procurement officers in offices and directors for small offices that are not integrated to have the function of a procurement officer.

Besides the B2B channel, the company sells to individual customers in its outlets. For example, students and individuals who must buy a laptop for their work. These individual B2C customers are mainly generated through social media and walk-ins to Bejotech outlets. Besides this, the nature of the products sold targets the working class and college students since they are the most likely to purchase the products due to their needs and the growing technology requiring computers (Lapoule & Colla, 2016).  After all these considerations are done, a list of the initial targeted audience is made to guide the sales team in contacting them.

Making the Initial Contact

Contacting targeted customers involves using various methods, too, since the customers for Bejotech Limited products are diverse (Rippé & Campbell, 2017). As highlighted initially, the company sells to both B2B and B2C channels.  After identifying the targeted individuals for the B2C channel on social media, which is mainly Facebook, a sales team member gets in touch with the targeted customers who showed interest in the products on the platform via Facebook messages and initiates a conversation on their need for a product. The walk-in customers who enter the company’s outlet meet sales team members who welcome them and initiate the conversation with the ultimate goal of making a sale (Alvarez-Milán, Felix, Rauschnabel, & Hinsch, 2018).

For the B2B channel, the company meets the targeted customers by attending procurement professional summits and forums. This helps in getting a pool of targeted customers altogether and easily. On normal occasions, the sales teams apply for appointments and visit the targeted customers directly in their offices, and others agree to meet in some coffee joints for persuasive discussion (Huang, 2019). Once these contacts are made, the sales team initiates the conversation to evaluate if the targeted customers are interested in purchasing the products.

Qualifying Prospects

Based on the customer contacts, the sales team compiled a list of customers interested in purchasing the products.  Each sales team manages its list of customers to avoid a situation where different sales executives visit the same customer, creating confusion. Some sales are closed at this level. The social media targeted customers are qualified based on the sales executive’s judgment on the possibility of them placing an order (Tiago & Veríssimob, 2013). This is done when the customer’s conversation sounds certain about their need to purchase the product’s ability to afford and willingness.

For the walk-in customers, the sales executive observes their reaction to price tags and their interest in products. The conversation between the buyer and the seller also determines whether the customer will be classified as a prospect. Some customers, in their conversation, express their inability to buy. The sales team focuses on the interesting ones. For the B2B customers in offices, expos, summits, and forums, the sales executives qualify those who express their need for the products and show the will to have more conversations (Prasad & Jha, 2014). After these lists are made, the sales teams contact their prospective customers mostly through emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages.

Presenting Products

Through follow-up calls, emails, and messages, the sales team focuses on customers with the urgency of purchase (Sabnis, Lilien, & Chatterjee, 2013). Other customers willing to buy but didn’t seem to purchase immediately ate kept in a database for periodic reminders and persuasion. The social media customers are mostly, if not entirely, B2C. After confirming that they would like to purchase a product, a sales executive presents the products in terms of graphics, and explanations of usage and features are given. Some of these social media customers choose to visit the outlets for the exhibition they need.

The walk-in customers are presented with product samples and prototypes for the experience. Through their window shopping, they are given answers to their questions on usage and features. The sales executives prepare presentations and carry sample products to visit the corporate B2B customers for further exhibition of the products available and their features. This process is pure to cement the assurance that the customers will place orders.  Some corporate customers chose to visit Bejotech outlets to view the products and experience the exhibition on the business premises for assurance that the company is real and also get a chance to explore other products that may not have been covered in the previous talks.

Overcoming Objections

The sales strategy used by Bejotech Limited in the above discussion is the multichannel sales technique. This presents the sales team with the challenge of engaging the prospects in each channel. Sometimes customers come up with objections to the prices and functions of the products. This brings in the negotiation issue of reaching a level of understanding and closing a sale. The company uses the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) strategy to negotiate with customers (Sebenius, 2014). This strategy helps both the customer and Bejotech from entering an unfavorable deal.

This strategy is mostly used when there is a lacks an agreement on the pricing of the products. It also ensures that the value of the products is not distorted, leaving the company in losses. Whenever negotiations fail, the sales team offers customers an alternative to meet their budget. If that fails, the negotiation is suspended for the customer to gather enough financial resources. However, the company is very careful with the competitors’ prices to not lose customers to the competition.

Closing Sales/Achieving Commitment

After successful negotiations, customers agree to purchase the products, and the Bejotech Limited sales executives present the products to the customers. The payment is processed, and then the receipts are produced. Here the company offers after-sale services to customers who make bulk sales like free delivery (Desai, Koenigsberg, & PUROHIT, 2010).

Some customers (mostly corporate) close deals with the company, which is long-term and involve periodic orders and delivery across the agreed time. Some customers, however, do not purchase at this point. They instead commit to buying in the future or meet for more discussion. This is mainly because of their budget constraints and postponed need for the products, among other reasons. The company stores its list in a database to send reminders on the agreed time to meet or purchase (Milner & Furnham, 2017).

Asking for Referrals and Re-Purchase

Post the sales; the sales executives do not end the conversation with the customer. Instead, they visit their offices, call or send them messages and emails to evaluate their experience with Bejotech products. This feedback helps the company develop ways to improve the process and products (.O, A, & O, 2013). This continued conversation with the customers helps win their loyalty and see them purchase more products in the future. Communicating with customers who have already closed deals also help get referrals from their networks and more business opportunities for the company (Cruceru & Moise, 2014).

Social Media Sales

The social media sales campaign is mainly done through Facebook discussions with promoted posts. The interested customers are identified using social media analytics, and the campaign’s success rate is established. The individual discussions are picked from there with the identified customers. The tests carried out in social media are A/B tests to establish how the number of engaged customers affects the sales volume.

Face-to-Face Sales

Face-to-face sales are mainly through expos, conferences, networking events, and office visits. From the contacts made, the sales team identifies the customers who have the potential to purchase. This is followed by PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations at clients’ premises or Bejotech outlets.

Evaluation of the Test Results

Multichannel sales strategy and Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) negotiation method have helped the company not only to close deals with a high success rate of selling to customers identified but also ensure that the closed deals are quality in the sense that they are not bad deals in terms of profit. For example, in the past month, the sales team identified 1200 B2B customers, 2500 walk-in customers, and over 15000 social media customers. Out of these numbers, they contacted 1000 B2B corporates, 2500 walk-in customers, and 2000 social media customers.

Based on the team evaluation, they created 600 B2B corporate customers, 1500 walk-in customers, and 800 social media customers who showed interest and ability to purchase.  All these customers identified as prospects were conducted, and presentations were done in various ways, including PowerPoint presentations, demonstrations, graphics, and word of mouth.  Out of these numbers, 500 B2B customers, 1200 walk-in customers, and 700 social media customers raised objections on prices, and negotiations were done with the company maintaining the BATNA strategy. After the negotiations, 300 B2B corporate customers closed a deal, 800 walk-in customers closed a sale, and 500 social media managed to purchase an item from the company.

Conclusion

Based on the data presented above, it is evident that the multichannel sales strategy is vital in this kind of venture as it ensures that the business targets broad categories of customers to ensure sales are increased. For instance, if the business maintained the B2B channel, it would only record 300 monthly sales. It has also been proven that the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) negotiation strategy can help a business sieve customers who are likely to land the company into a bad deal.

It also helps the company complete quality sales by ensuring that its margins are not shrunk through negotiations. In conclusion, it is important for companies that operate similar ventures as Bejotech Limited to optimize these strategies used in this project as it ensures optimal sales management and returns to the company.  Salespeople also need to be informed of the available sales and negotiation strategies and adopt that which favors their venture for optimum sales performance.

References

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