The study looked the impact of personal selling on sales volume performance using Unilever Nigeria Plc, Aba as a case study. Most companies fail to employ the services high caliber salesman and women. This negatively affects sales volumes performance. Similarity most sales person fail to use the right method on consumers and this affect sales volume performance. In view of this, the study is aimed at determing how the recruitment of sales person increase sales, how person selling can affect an organization sales volume as well as how customers satisfaction can help to increase an organization sales volumen. In carrying out this research data were generated through the use of questionnaire.
The questions of the questionnaire were analyzed using the percentage method of analysis. In the course of this research, the following findings were made personal selling has an impact on the sales volume performance of Unilever Nigeria Plc.
Personal selling brings customers and prospective customers nearer to the organization. In the light of those findings, the following recommendations were made. The company should try to look into components of customers about the quality of the product in the market and finally, timing of target.
The rapid growth in industrial activities has brought a lot thinking on how to come to the base. The detergents markets are highly saturated with organizations manufacturing similar products which include: Elephant, Omo, Omo blue, Ariel Omo, life buoy, surf and Lux, therefore, Unilever Plc has been putting more efforts to survive in the markets. The management decide to carry out promotional activities so as to increase sales volume of the company, through personal selling concept. Personal selling can be defined as an oral presentation in a convention with one or more prospective, purchase buyers and the dynamic relationship between a person (either as individual representing himself or his organization) and his prospect that may be an individual potential buyer or group of buyer and all the efforts orally made in an exchange process to make sales. As one of the promotional tools, it combines the job of awareness creation for the goods and service produce and ready to be sold and accepted, as well as convincing the customers to buy the existing ones, or making efforts to try new ones, disregarding their loyal stores and products and coming over to the sales man’s company and products and all other after sales services required by the customers.
Markin (1982:420) stated that personal selling is considered vital when the product size or cost, make it important when the buyers is likely to be certain about what he or she needs or wants, and in all cases in which specialized requirements needs to be filled. Again, personal selling create the advantages of immediate feedback, because customers reply quickly to the offering of the sales. Organization using personal selling will be more appropriate for manufacturers. It is also a means of creating awareness communication with individuals, group and organizations. On a means of creating awareness is by motivating the consumers by so doing increase the volume of sales. However, the much costs involved in personal selling when compared with other promotional tools is still distributing many marketing organizations. This is because of the human and time efforts spent by the sales force going from one potential and existing customer to the other or group of customers in order, to make sale; the costs that advertising would have reduced to the minimum, another problem is the company getting the caliber of sales people wants, those that can enable it sell its products as desired at the sales territories wanted.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Unilever Nigeria is a big company which is located at No. factory road, Aba Abia State. The head office is at No. 1 Billings way, Oregun, Ikeja Lagos state. Unilever Nigeria OPlc , was incorporated as lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd on 11th April 1923 by Lord Leverhulme, but the company antecedents have to be traced back to his existing trading interests in Nigeria and West Africa generally, and to the fact that he has since the 19th century been greatly involved with the soap business in Britain. Unilever Nigeria Plc started as a soap manufacturing company and is today one of the oldest surviving manufacturing organization in Nigeria. After series of mergers/acquisitions, the company diversifitied into manufacturing and marketing of foods, non-soapy detergents and personal care products. These mergers/acquisitions brought in Lipton Nigeria Ltd in 1985 cheese brought ponds industries Ltd in 1988. the company changed its name to Unilever Nigeria Plc in 2001.
Unilever Nigeria Plc is a public liability company quoted on the Nigeria stock exchange since 1973 with Nigeria currently having 49% of equity holdings. Unilever is proudly one of the country leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods, such as:
Foods (e.g) packet tea with the lipton –brand, foods and beverages category, margrrine with Blue band, Roco and Known brands. Home and personal care (eg) home care include cleansing and hygene products like mo and sunlight then for personal care include lux, pears and close-up etc. no matter who you are, or where in the country you are, the chances are that their products are a familiar part of every one’s daily routine. Every day, all over the country, people reach for unilever products.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The ultimate aim of the sales person is to sell his products in a way that it will maximize his profits. Equally of great concern is whether the company under study employs high caliber salemen, the nature of training, if any provided for the persons. The method used by the sales person on the consumers will determine the effect (positive or negative) of personal selling on the purchase and consumption of the products. When memorized way is used by the sales person, the inability to convince the consumers will discourage prospects from participating in the sale interactions. This means the real need of the buyer may not be known and is not practicable when a sales person has many products to sell. When the salesman using memorized presentation is interrupted, he fined it difficult starting the talk again.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the write up are:
1. To find how personal selling can affect the sales volume of an organization.
2. To determine the roles of personal selling as a promotional tool and its impact on sales.
3. To determine how the recruitment of sales force increases sales volume.
4. To find out how customers satisfaction can help to increase the sales volume of an organization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What effect does personal selling have on sales volume performance?
2. Does the quality of products have any impacts on sales volume of the company?
3. Does the quality of sales force affect personal selling?
4. Does the personal selling policy of the company affect its volume?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study focuses on the benefits to be derived from this research work. first of all, this research work would be of great benefit to the organization under study. It will expose the need for personal selling and its impact on sales volume performance.
Secondly, this research work would also be of great benefits to other researchers. This is because, if it will assist them in carried out their own research.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is not concerning on any company except Unilever Nigeria Plc, Aba, here, the scope of the study embraces the impact of personal selling on sales volume performance.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
a) Time: As a result of other academic engagements, the time allocation to this work is inadequate.
b) Finance: Since there is no subvention from the government or school authority, the financial capacity of the researchers is slim and that effected the coverage of the work.
c) Organization Concerned: The companies power and programmes are placed in such a way that vital information are withheld by stag and that makes them to see the researcher makes them to see the researcher as an intruder.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Personal Selling: Is an oral presentation in a conversation with one or more prospective purchaser for the purpose of making sales (AMA, 1960).
Consumers: Are those who buy and use products or service for their own personal or house hold use (Stanton, 1978).
Communications: Is the transfer of information’s from the sender to the receivers, with information being understood by the receiver, (knootz, O’ Donnel and Weihrich, 1980:688).
Sales Volume: Is the number of sales chose expense to sales, ratio, and sales of personal merchandize (busch and Houston, 1985).
Performance: The act of doing a piece of work, duty etc. the performance of his official duties. How well or badly you do at a particular job activity. Longman dictionary of Contemporary English (1995).
Organization: An organization is an institution involved in providing services or goods to the public for either profit making or base on charitable, many organizations involved in personal selling (i.e unilever).