Critical Analysis On Salesmanship Performance In Marketing Of A Company’s Product (A Case Study Of Unliever Nigeira Plc)

Project and Seminar Material for Marketing

Critical Analysis On Salesmanship Performance In Marketing Of A Company’s Product (A Case Study Of Unliever Nigeira Plc)

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Salesmanship is the act of usefully persuading prospective customers to buy a product or service from which they can derive suitable benefits thereby increasing their total satisfaction with the mutual aim of achieving the company’s goals and objectives.

In any business practice, especially in those organizations where their products are to be sold, the need for salesmanship is very important because it is used to motivate customer at the point of purchase when they are about making their decision to buy or not to buy. It also provides prospective buyers with information and suggestions that persuades them to make favorable buying decisions concerning the products or services.

Salesmanship can equally be the deliberate and short term device comprising activities, which include the line media adverting the products or services towards aiding sales representatives and distributors to achieve more sales at the point of marketing their products.

Before an organization can achieve its objectives adequately, the relevance of salesperson is important for the firm. Salesmen must be well trained, motivated and encouraged for better performance to achieve organizational aims, goals and objectives.

Salesmanship can be seen as an integral aspect of any organization decision making process and it contributes a lot to the economy of the nation and most organizations do not recognize the importance of adoption of salespersons practice in order to effectively serve the target market.

The inability of some organization to use salesmen that are well trained and motivated may impede the achievement of the company’s aims and objectives. One of the marketing activities is to make possible the transfer of products from the factory site to any household that needs them for consumption purposes, because product could not get to the final users or “the consumers” without marketing.

Selling of products and services are the lifeblood of every business, without sales, company could not stay long in the market. During the period of depressed business condition, many businesses have difficulties in getting orders; when sales declines, factories close, workers laid off and many firm go out of business and only those firms that can sell their goods and services will keep going. Those that cannot withstand the market trend go out of business.

Salesmen are the ambassadors of the company, and are very important to the organization which the company must properly train and motivated adequately in order to achieve the objective and aims of the organization.

1.1 Statement Of The Research Problem

Having discovered that salesmen are very important to every business organization to market their products and services, the following can serve as the research problems:

  1. What impact does salesmanship have on the consumer in the area of competition?
  2. How does salesmanship affect the sales and profit level of the organization product?
  3. What is the effect of economic depression on the sales force performance?
  4. Does training, motivation and compensation really have effect on the salesmanship performance?

1.2 Objectives Of The Study

The objectives of this study are:

  1. To Find out the relevance of salesmanship performance in marketing of a company’s product and to ascertain the effect of salesmanship activities in a competitive environment.
  2. It is also to examine the impact of salesmanship activities in building favorable image for the product and the company.
  3. To examine the contribution of salesmanship and their activities on the sales volume of the company
  4. To identify the various areas of marketing problems facing the company and suggest ways and technique for solving them.
  5. To proffer suggestion and make recommendation to the management of the company on how salesmen’s welfare can be improved and be best motivated.

1.3 Research Questions

Research questions are deduced from the research problem and also stated to aid research. They are used to identify the research problems and breakdown into small parts, so that adequate attention can be given to it. The following research questions are formulated from the research problems.

  1. Does the activities of salesmanship have any impact on the sales of the product or services?
  2. How does salesmanship contribute to the profit of the organization?
  3. What are the benefits derived by Unilever Nigeria Plc from salesmanship?
  4. What are the problems relating to salesmanship in the organization?
  5. What is the impact of salesmanship on consumers?

1.4 Statement Of Research Hypotheses

According to Engels (1981) cited in Abimbola (1996) answering research question and making hypothesis, defines an hypothesis as a provisional or tentative proposal for the explanation of phenomena or situation that has some degree of empirical substantiation or probability. It is a suggested solution to a problem or a tentative explanation of the relationship between two or more variables. It is a probability statement whose validity is to be tested.

The hypothesis statement for the research work is as follows and it requires null and alternative hypothesis:-

  1. HO: There is no relationship between salesmanship and acceptability of company’s products.
    Hi: There is a relationship between salesmanship and acceptability company’s product.
  2. HO: Salesmanship activities does not have relationship with sales volume of the company.
    HI: Salesmanship activities have relationship with sales volume of the company.
  3. HO: There is no relationship between sales volume and increase in profitability in the company.
    HI: There is relationship between sales volume and increase in profitability in the company.

1.5 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

Since the researcher cannot cover the whole marketing organization in the country, the researcher will study the operation of Unilever Nigeria Plc., because of the impact of the organization in the market and Nigeria as a whole.

The research work will attempt to evaluate the contribution and the impact of salesmanship in marketing a company’s product.

Limitations are the constraints and problems encountered by the researcher in the cause of conducting this research work and they are as follows:-

Financial constraints: As a student, non availability of enough fund in the cause of conducting the project pose a great hindrance because going to the organization everyday is a difficult task.

Inadequate Literates: Many problems were encountered in getting relevant literature texts on the finding or topic been researched.

Attention of key personnel’s or officers: Most of the key officers of Unilever Plc to be interviewed were not always on sit because most of them are always very busy and they are afraid that the researcher could give the result to their competitors.

In all of these, the researcher was able to make use of the available materials in completing this research work.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This study is aimed at the importance of salesmanship in marketing of company’s product in and outside the geographical location of the country. The importance arises because of the strategic position that salesmen occupied in the development of our national economy.

This project work will focus attention on salesmanship as it affects sales and profit levels.

In the economy of high level competitive market, the study will be significant, thus, enabling marketing practitioners to map out the best strategies to be used making the sales force to compete favorably in the market. The project will be a relevant source of reference material to students who will be interested in knowing more about salesmanship and who may wish in future to carry out a similar research or a further research on the subject.

It will equally assist business managers and marketing executives to design ways to revive dying organizations.

1.7 Definition Of Related Terms

Competitive Salesmanship:

The competitive salesmanship market the company’s goods in the competitive market. Its aims at increasing the sales of the existing products and not to create demand. The main motive is to clear the stock of the manufacturer in a competitive situation.

Counter Salesmanship:

This is the act of passing on the goods in exchange for the money receive. Thus, the money and goods pass the counter simultaneously.


This is a person with the ability to persuade, prospect or customer to buy product or service from which they can derive suitable benefit, thereby increasing their total satisfaction.


This is a person who has bought the product or services, that is one who has accepted the proposition.

Sales force:

Sales force is a team of the company employee that serves as the link between the company and customers. The field salesmen.


Sales is the act of exchange of good for money or the act of selling goods and service.

Journey Circle:

This is the period of time it takes a salesman to call upon or meet all the customers allocated to him.


This is the person who probably has the need for the proposition and more than likely has the ability to pay for it.

Sales calls:

This is the number of a customer a sales force serves in the market.

1.8 Historical Background Of Unilever Nigeria Plc

Unilever Nigeria Plc (Registration certificate 113) is the oldest manufacturing company in Nigeria. The company was established in 1923 to manufacture soap using local palm oil.

Over the years, the company diversified and expanded its operations to the production and marketing of personal washing products which includes: toilet soaps, non-soapy detergents, food and household products including toothpaste, Body creams, lotion, baby care and hair care products.

The company strengthened its hold in food and household product through its merger with Lipton Nigeria Limited in 1985, Chesebough products limited in 1988 and lately 1995 with Unilever Nigeria Limited which effectively transferred to Lever Brother Nigeria (LBN) stewards business. In order to ensure sustained focus in management, the company now have four manufacturing sites for its operation from the original viz. Apapa, the premier and largest site, produces soap-such as Key, Lux breeze, and Astral and personal product mainly toothpaste and the Vaseline range. Recently, Lux soap was rebranded into Lux Suave with four different flavours for customers to choose from.

The second oldest site at Aba is devoted to the production of Non-soapy detergents, powder and bar. Here, the company makes such popular brands as Omo, Rim e.t.c. Third and newest of the plants commissioned in 1983 is the ultramodern food factory in Agbara, where the company produces Royco, Blue band, Close-Up, Lipton, Pears among others and the Fourth factory at Oregun site where popular personal products brands like Elida, Satin sheen, Lotus e.t.c. are produced. It is intended to consolidate the production of all personal products including Toothpaste, Pond and Vaseline range at this site ultimately.

The company is fully committed to integration and self sufficiency and has made considerable progress in its efforts towards local sourcing and developing of raw materials. The tea plantation at Mambilla Plateau underscores the company’s unrelenting drive for self-sufficient. The first crop of tea was harvested for test marketing at the end of 1991 and a processing factory for the tealeaves has been completed on site. The company has also built a large palm kernel mill at the Aba factory to improve the supply of vegetable oil, an essential raw-material for soap and edibles production. The company is also making investment in oil palm plantation in order to improve its local sourcing for example; the company holds 28% of the shares in Okitipupa oil palm Plc.

Unilever Nigeria Plc range of quality products is distributed and sold at uniform price all over the country through an established and tested distribution network using appointed distributors, supervised by a well trained sales force. The company has manpower capacity of about 2,200 employees in its four manufacturing sites and various distribution points throughout the country. Of all the staffs, only five are currently expatriates. This is the extent to which the company has gone in training and developing local management force.

The objective is to bring in expatriates who are willing to work in Nigeria and who will contribute international experience and in exchange for Nigeria Unilever Plc. Managers working oversea to obtain international experience. Expatriates are therefore brought in to meet specific needs. The company also provides indirect employment for over six thousand (6,000) people. Unilever Nigeria Plc has been dedicated to the production of top quality brands for Nigeria for over seventy years. Recently, the headquarter of the organization was moved to 1, Billing way, Oregun-Ikeja, Lagos for effective management and easy location by its respective clients and customers.

Critical Analysis On Salesmanship Performance In Marketing Of A Company’s Product (A Case Study Of Unliever Nigeira Plc)

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