Describe the key functions of managing a salesforce.
You are the regional sales manager for International Herb Express (IHE) which is a large, US-based spice & herbs supplier. IHE sells to other businesses that purchase bulk spices and spice blends for use in their end products. The primary customers are baking and soup mix corporations that sell to other businesses, for example, bakeries, restaurants, other food-service, and regional grocery chains. IHE is launching a new spice blend that reflects a more diverse cultural & ethnic flavor profile than IHE’s traditional offerings.
The abridged marketing strategy for this new spice blend is to target both current customers, but also to reach new customers that are target regions with higher ethnic diversity and/or the more adventurous “foodies” market. The marketing efforts will focus on taste testing, sampling, and on-site promotion. IHE is launching this marketing plan to help create a product offering that is not as commodity-driven (as most spices and herbs are the same quality no matter where they are purchased) and can potentially offer higher profit margins.
It is important to note that spices and other ingredients are raw goods and traded as commodities. The raw price for these goods changes on a day-to-day basis. Pricing is based on classic supply and demand, though nature is a key contributor to the supply–extreme weather as well as health of crops have a direct impact on the supply chain and access to the raw goods.
With the launch of the new product offering, it has been determined that a new sales team dedicated to the new product line will be the best approach. You will need to select current sales representatives from the company as well as hire new sales representatives to create the final sales team of 8 professionals.
The new sales force will be given the assignment of connecting and educating current customers on the new spice blend offering. The sales force will also be responsible for identifying the top, new potential customers and educating them. The goal after one year is to have 10% of the current customer base also ordering the new products as well as having at least one new customer per sales professional.
To prepare for the new team, you need to create the following documents and submit as one, unified document:
- The formal job description for this new sales team which should include a brief description, list of required skills, and qualifications as well as a list of desired (but not required) skills.
- An organizational chart highlighting how the 8 sales representatives are organized (by regions, by customer industry or size for example).
- An email to the Vice President of Sales and Marketing recognizing and recommending the need for her to spend time with this new sales team as a motivational tool.
- Supporting paragraphs used to explain each piece to further clarify and rationalize the choices made.