The Influence Of Personal Selling On The Marketing Performance Of Small Scale Firms In Abia State (A Study Of Selected Wear Dealers In Aba Metropolis)

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The Influence Of Personal Selling On The Marketing Performance Of Small Scale Firms In Abia State (A Study Of Selected Wear Dealers In Aba Metropolis)


Abstract


This topic “The influence of personal Selling on the Marketing Performance of small scale Firms in Abia State”, was found to ascertain the nature of relationship between marketing performance and personal selling. To achieve the goal of this study, the quasi-experimental research design was used to study (3) three manufacturing firms, were (12) twelve questionnaires were administered to respondents in order to obtain first time information.

After a critical analysis of the data collected, the hypothesis were tested using ANOVA and MULTIPLE REGRESSION with the aid of statistical product solution software package (SPSS) and the following findings were obtained; selection and recruitment contributed significantly to the marketing performance of small scale manufacturing firms.

Training is important in increasing the market share or small scale firms. Also, there is positive relationship between motivation and the marketing performance of small scale manufacturing firms. Nevertheless, moderating factors such as government policies, competition, technology and economic factors interfere in the relationship between personal selling and the performance of small scale firms.

Furthermore, based on the findings of this study, the following were recommended: small scale firms should be more enlightened on the influence of personal selling and how it affects marketing performance positively, more efforts needs to be put towards selection and recruitment, motivation so as to enhance their marketing performance they should also comply with government policies on ground


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose and Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Statement of Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Storehouse/Stockyard security
  • 2.2 Inspection
  • 2.3 Storage of Materials
  • 2.4 Methods of Materials Handing
  • 2.5 General Inventory System
  • 2.6 Custody of Keys
  • 2.7 Marking the Stores
  • 2.8 Staff/material Security
  • 2.9 Protective Clothing for Stores
  • 2.10 Maintenance of Equipment
  • 2.11 Accounting for Stock
  • 2.12 Marshaling of Goods
  • 2.13 Discrepancies Investigation

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of the Study
  • 3.4 Sampling Method
  • 3.5 Determination of Sample Size
  • 3.6 Method of Questionnaire Distribution

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation

  • 4.1 Return rate of Questionnaire
  • 4.2 Analysis of Response
  • 4.3 Testing of Hypothesis

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Suggestion for Further Study
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The overall marketing objectives of an organization is to identity and satisfy the needs of the target market through, the exchange process for the purpose of achieving organizational objective. The exchange process involves matching the supply decisions of the firm with demand decisions of the buyers for the purpose of achieving the desired transaction level. For an organization to achieve this, it has to properly blend the marketing mix variables (which includes product, price, promotion and place) to appeal to the target market these variables are tools with which marketers adapt to the ever-changing business environment.

The goal of all marketing efforts is to increase profitable sales by offering needs satisfaction to the market over the long run. Personal selling is by far the major promotional method used to achieve this goal. Furthermore, marketing is conducted in an environment not in a vacuum; business of every dimension exists in an identifiable environment. The environment is defined by place, state, region or country and operating forces that affect business transaction (Anyanwu 2000).

The economy has tremendous effects on the buyer’s decisions, because it determines the buyer’s decisions. If the economy is healthy, business activities will be smooth and all aspects of business including marketing will be very active. Also, the concepts and philosophy of who receives high level of attention from the marketers. Organization can only react to, but not controlling such customer characteristics as income, age, occupation, marital state, educational level, race, geographical location, birth rate and death rate etc.

Government all over the world recognizes the need to regulate business and individual activities. The political and legal force influences the conduct of business in any economy. Other variable which affects marketing of goods and services includes level of technology, social environments, cultural factors, cost structure etc.

Nevertheless in an economy like ours where the economy shambles, the buying power of money has continued falling as a result of galloping and hyper inflation, shift competition and government intervention among companies.

This has made consumers to spend their income only on goods that would satisfy their wants and needs. Because of the competitive nature of the economy, companies needs some form of personal contacts with actual and potential customers in order to convince and convert them into prospective customers by educating them on personal basis of the positive consequences of using their goods and services.

Personal selling involves face-to-face contacts between the seller and the prospects [buyer]. Burnets [1984] defined personal selling as interaction of a seller and the buyer for the purpose of facilitating exchange to the mutual satisfaction of the both parties. According to Beckman et’al [1995], Personal selling is seller’s promotional presentation conducted on a personal basis with the buyer. Similarly, M.C. Cathy and Perreantt [1996] see personal selling as a later aspect of promotional tools which involves direct spoken communications between seller and potential customers. Okafor [1996] defined personal selling as the aspect of the total promo tools which makes possible the occurrence of direct personal communication between the organization and prospective buyers for the purpose of facilitating exchange. Personal selling unlike other promo tools communicates information about company’s product to the prospective customers on an interpersonal basis. Charles [1992] confirmed the views when he said that nothing happens until somebody sells something.

More so, personal selling according to Kotler [1987] is an oral presentation of a conversation with one or more prospective buyer for the purpose of making sales. It consists of individual personal communication in contrast to mass impersonal communication of advertising, sales promotion and other promo tools. Consequently compared with these other tools, personal selling has the advantage of being more flexible in operation, sales people can tailor their sales presentation to fit the needs and behavior of individual customers. Also sales person can see the reactions to a particular sales approach and then make the necessary adjustments on the spot.

Personal selling makes for minimum wasted efforts. In advertising mulch of the cost is devoted in sending messages to people who are in no way real prospects. In personal selling, a company has an opportunity to pinpoint its target market more effectively than any other promotional device.

Advertising attracts buying action or complete the transfer of the title. Personal selling can perform pretty well for management and many other services that are not strictly customer attitudes and relate complaints to management.

Nevertheless, every manufacturing organization has some kind of objectives and goals whether they are corporate marketing or has any other objective or mission. Among these objectives are profit maximization increase in market shares and revenue, corporate growth industry leadership, competitive advantages over other and maintenance of positive relations with its various publics among others.

All these objectives anchor the marketing performance of the firm, though marketing of goods and services is an integration of various variables. However personal selling is one of the marketing tools that are supposed to improve marketing performance hence the researcher wants to study the influence of personal selling on the marketing performance of small scale firms in Aba using selected wear dealers as case study.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Personal selling as a form of promotion is normally embarked upon by most firms, small scale ones inclusive. When personal selling is adopted, it is supposed to help the firm achieve increase market share, profit maximization, competitive advantage over others, industry leadership and maintenance of positive relations with its various publics among others.

For personal selling to be meaningful, the sales people are supposed to be trained, supervised and motivated.

But it is uncertain to the researcher the extent to which personal selling influences the marketing performance of small scale firms in Aba state.

The researcher is in doubt, whether personal selling increases the market share of small scale firms in Abia State. It is doubtful to the researcher, whether personal selling as carried out by wear dealers in Aba really helps to maximize profit. It is uncertain to the researcher if training and motivation contributes to the marketing performance of small-scale firms in Abia State. The researcher wants to ascertain if situational factors interfere in the relationship between personal selling and marketing performance of small-scale firms.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

Of concern to the researcher are the following specific objectives:

  1. To ascertain the extent to which personal selling influences the marketing performance of small scale business in Abia state.
  2. Whether personal selling increases the market share of small-scale firms.
  3. Whether personal selling contributes to profit maximization of small scale firms
  4. The extent of the relations between training and motivation and performances.
  5. How situation factors mediates between personal selling and marketing performance of small scale firms.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated to give the research work a direction.

  1. To what extent does personal selling influence the performance of small scale firms?
  2. To what extent does personal selling influence the market share of a firm?
  3. To what extent does personal selling influence the maximization of profit in small scale firms?
  4. Does training contribute significantly to the marketing performance of small scale firms?
  5. Does a situational factor interfere in the relationship between personal selling and marketing performance of small scale firms?

1.5 Statement Of Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are formulated:

  1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between personal selling and marketing performance of small scale firms.
    Hi: There is a significant relationship between personal selling and marketing performance of small scale firms.
  2. Ho: Training does not affect the performance of small scale firms
    Hi: Training affects the performance of small scale firms.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This research work is vital in many aspects in the area of manufacturing. It will go a long way in providing answers to sales managers on the need to improve personal selling strategies of their organization and corporations. It is also significant in demonstrating how personal selling affects the overall marketing performance of firms and other organization.

Further more, it will x-ray the positive influence and impacts of personal selling in the marketing performance of small scale firms. This research work will show that marketing is an integration of variables. no single tool will perform it all but a combination of several variables. This research can serve as a reference to practitioners and students


1.7 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

This research focuses on the influence of personal selling on the marketing performance of selected small scale firms based in Abia state. It does not attempt to cover the entire firms but limited itself to consider these selected firms.

Questionnaires were distributed to various departments in the firms like marketing, accounting and sales where relevant data and responses were collected. The researcher was faced with a lot of constraints in the course of carrying out this research.

First, the researcher who is a student had problem of time. The burden and stress of travelling to Aba and to these different selected firms to gather information seriously hampered the scope of this research.

Secondly, it was difficult to collect the data and information necessary for this study. This was as results of official protocol some data and information required were not given easily and some data which the researcher could lay her hands on were incomplete.

Thirdly, finance was another constraint for the research, normally a research of this magnitude requires a considerable amount of money for gathering of information and relevant data including other relevant exercises carried out in order to produce credible research work.

The hake warm attitude of some officers which were supposed to have attended to me with reasonable and relevant data and informant were also of the limiting factors to this research work.


1.8 Operational Definition Of Terms

Personal Selling: This is a face-to-face interaction between the seller and the prospective buyer to facilitate and actualize sales.

Recruitment:

Establishing the manpower needed in the organization as it relates to personal selling.
Motivation: The right use of incentive to obtain the desired performance standard. A way of stimulating interest for doing something.

Customer:

An individual/organization that buys something from a shop/store, individual or business. A customer makes buying purchase of goods and services take place.

Marketing Performance:

This is the effect of an organization towards their sales growth, profit growth and the ability to be overall leader in the market.

Situational Factors:

These are the challenges that affect or limit an organization from attaining its goals or objectives. They are competition, market demand, technology, economic factors and government policies.

Training:

This is an effort put forth by an employer to provide the opportunity for the sales person to receive job related culture, skills, knowledge and attitude that results to improved performance in the selling environment.

Supervision:

This is the field inspection of the sales people, audicting the sales account and expense account of the sales persons, appraisal, evaluation and control of the sales force activities by their immediate superior.


1.9 Organization Of The Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, with references at the end of each chapter. Preliminary pages and appendix featured before and after chapters.

However, chapter one is arranged in the following chronology background of the study, statement of the study, objective of the study, research question and statement of hypothesis, the rest are significance of the study, scope and limitation, operational definition of terms, organization of the study and the conceptual frame work.

In chapter two, related literatures were reviewed. And they came under the following headings, introduction of the meaning of marketing communication, the marketing variable the meaning and status of personal selling in marketing, the nature and features of personal selling objectives, personal qualities required for effective personal selling, the theories of selling, the advantages of personal selling, the disadvantages of personal selling and the basis of selling.

Chapter three centered on research methodology, introduction, research design, the population of the study and sampling procedure. Also, data collection techniques, questionnaire design, validity and reliability and description of data analysis method were treated in this chapter.

Data presentation and analysis, test of hypothesis decision rule and interpretation were dealt in chapter four of this research study.

In chapter five, the entire research work was summarized, conclusion and commendation made with references.


Chapter Five


Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary Of Finding

This study was conducted to investigate the influence of personal selling on marketing performance of small scale firms in Abia State. The following points stated below are the findings.

  1. The first finding based in personal selling variables shows that there is a significant relationship between personal selling and marketing performance of small scale manufacturers.
  2. Training was found to have a strong association (effect) on marketing performance of small scale firms.
  3. The result revels that personal selling strategy of the small scale firms is not totally effective in recruitment and selection. Hence, this calls for improvement in these areas.
  4. The findings shows that any effort made or decision taken towards provision of working aids, sanitary measures and good office accommodation will enhance the sales people’s performance.
  5. Moderating factors (i.e. government policies, technology, competition etc) were found to have a strong effect on marketing performance of small scale firms.

5.2 Conclusion

The past and current literature agreed that personal selling is a vital tool in achieving organizational growth and should be taken very serious by managers. They added that the proficiency of personal selling is most appreciated by organizations that market industrial products, technical goods and intangible goods (services). This assertion was re-affirmed by this study and further revealed that personal selling is also valuable in the small scale manufacturing industry since most manufactures in that sector lacks the ability to carry out advertising frequency as a result of the cost implications.

More so, every business or non-business organization no matter the size must recognize the dynamism and complexity of the environment of an organization as it affects its operation and thus, must stay in consonant with it in order to function well. It also showed that government policies, competition, economic factors and technology are the major environmental factor that affects small scale industries.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following are recommended:

  1. Firms should be enlightened on the influence of personal selling and should improve on their personal selling strategies to make them efficient.
  2. Small scale manufactures should also put more effort towards training their sales force for better performance and to up-date their knowledge and boost productivity.
  3. Recruitment and selection of prospective sales people should be performed jointly by both the organization’s personnel team and external agencies to scrutinize the process and prevent bins.
  4. The working condition in terms of sanitary measures and good office accommodation should be provided to sales people to enable them feel more relaxed and put in more time and effort in executing activities.
  5. They should closely and regularly monitor the environment in order to stay in tune with current trends (opportunities and threat) and to take advantage of them.

The Influence Of Personal Selling On The Marketing Performance Of Small Scale Firms In Abia State (A Study Of Selected Wear Dealers In Aba Metropolis)


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