Introduction to Sales - Continuous Assessment
James Marsh - C14540887 - DT364/2
L'Oréal is a Cosmetics, Skincare, Hair color and Haircare manufacturer based in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, a North Western Suburb of Paris.
It employs over 82,000 people worldwide & is the leading cosmetics company in the world(1).
It has an International Portfolio of 32 Brands such as Kiehls , Matrix & La Roche Posay.
L'Oréal's products are split into different divisions such as L'Oréal Luxe, Consumer products division & Professional Products division.
L'Oréal Professional Products Division
The L'Oréal Professional Products division deals directly with products under the L'Oréal umbrella that relate to Shampoo , Colour, styling & general hair care needs and distribute these products to Salons worldwide with the help of 1000's of Sales reps based through out the world.
Under the the PPD the products and brands include Matrix, Redken & Kérastase.
It's customers and market are the Salon owners & Hairdresser that are in need of new products.
L'Oréal's main competitors are other transnational corporations such as Proctor & Gamble and Unilever.
Organisational Chart of Company
As previously mentioned L'Oréal is split into 5 divisions with heads of each that report to the Chairman & CEO of L'Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon.
Each Division has a President or MD that reports to the Board of Directors below the CEO.
For Instance the head of PPD Is An Verhulst-Santos.
Under these Division Heads are the brands that are associated with the Division and the different area managers tasked with over seeing the different employees in Sales , Legal , Marketing etc.
Sales Department & Marketing
-The PPV Sales & Marketing teams work in Cohesion with the Marketing team promoting the product and then the sales team complimenting the Marketing team and selling it.
(e.g a Sales Representative will get a Percentage profit share on new promotions that they sell that the Marketing team created.)
Sales Executive Profile
Name : Lynda Kelly
Educational Qualifications :
Bachelor of Social Science , Major in Politics & International Relations , 2.1 (UCD)
Master of Science (M.Sc.), Management 2.1 (Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School)
Previous Sales Experience :
Sales Associate at Dyson
Salon Owner (Reds at the Four Seasons)
Senior Stylist at Brown Sugar Hair Group
Mobile Account Executive at L'Oréal.
Current Role :
- Mobile Sales Executive at L'Oréal Professional Products Division. (+3 Years )
Specifically tasked with looking after the Matrix brand Contracts.
She is entitled to a Basic Salary with a Bonus Structure put in place, whereby for every new account that is opened with an opening order that surpasses €800 she is entitled to a bonus called a “buying point”. There is also opportunity for another bonus through the Monthly Promotion Targets which I previously mentioned. Here she gets a % of the New promotions she's able to add into the buyers orders.
Lynda works off of a Monthly Cycle , where she has made thorough journey plans for when she has to conduct cold calling or meet with Clients to deliver goods.
She makes 10 calls a day , two appointments with clients and 8 Cold Calls as to make anymore than 2 appointments can result in delays and thus not being in control of timing.
The L'Oréal PPD also run a 45 Day credit scheme so Lynda gives the biggest clients the credit at the start of the month and then begins visiting the biggest clients and works down throughout the month.The brand she mainly looks after is Matrix and helps supply this to her clients.
At the end of each day she uses “Trackers” to log everything done that day and report to her Area Manager.
Pattern of the Shadow day
The Shadow day was very similar to a normal day for Lynda , we drove to Cork to correct a mistake that had been made on an order that resulted a tube of hair colour being misplaced.
She then began her day as normal visiting her different clients that she had planned to do so according to her journey plan and Monthly cycle. Most were just check-up with clients and to see if they needed any new orders and to promote new Matrix products. She also gave me a look at the L'Oréal Sales Academy handouts which provided more context for what she had to do implementing the different theories in real life and to adhere to cliches such as “Always be Closing”.
A noticeable sale was made to “Hair by Trina” in Clonakilty, Cork for an Opening order of €500.
Type of Sales Job
Lynda is a Mobile Account Manager. There is numerous aspects to this role. Some days she is covering for Colleagues within the company, managing their accounts. (Lynda covers all brands within the PPV but at the moment is specific to Matrix.) Some days are assigned to “conquesting” new businesses. L'Oréal has invested a considerable amount of money into creating a database that Lynda uses to tap into potential customers throughout Ireland.
Buying Structures Encountered
The customers place an order and it takes 3 days for delivery / 2 Days in Dublin. They are given 45 days credit once they have placed an order if they have signed up to a direct debit scheme. Lynda tells me that Smaller businesses , in rural Ireland, however are very reluctant to open direct debits so these customers would prefer cash up front and pay over the phone. This is becoming more tedious and most Multinational Companies like L'Oréal much prefer direct debit lines and some are beginning to introduce Direct Debit only options on payment.
Nature of Sales Planning
Monthly meetings , Set targets , the use of Trackers so they are accountable for where they are everyday. Lynda also uses a journey plan to reach the largest number of accounts in the quickest time starting with the biggest clients and working down.
Her objectives are to open 5 accounts a month , preferably direct debit lines that have a first order that surpasses €800, as well as any new promotions that have been established with the help of the Marketing Department.
Common Sales Strategies & Process employed
As well as having monthly promotion targets and bonus structures in place, Lynda adheres to the L'Oréal “7 Steps of a Sales call” which is similar to the Four Phases of the buying cycle.
The 7 Steps involve :
Preparation (With the use of The L'Oréal database)
Contact (Through cold calling or appointment)
Desire ( Use of “storytelling” to attract the customer)
Overcoming Objectives (If any previous steps failed)
Agreement (Set up account preferably direct debit line)
Confirmation & Followup (Continue to build relationship) . (3)
Lynda's selling style is Solution orientated rather than Price Orientated whereby she uses Consultative behaviour. Consultative selling is all about the dialogue between the salesperson and the customer, and I can see why L'Oréal have adopted this approach due to their personal “storytelling method”. This solution orientated practise involves Offering advice and is heavy on customer interaction with active listeners rather than the Transactional Behaviour that is Price oriented and focused on Passive Customers and building a Status Quo Relationship. (4)
Lynda also uses the Honey and Mumford Learning style in to be able to apply in it a real world and splitting the salon owners into either Activists , Pragmatists , Theorists or Reflectors and how to deal with each of them unique to their learning style.(5)
Overall I see aspects of most theories incorporated into L'Oréal's own style. The seven steps to me feel like a detailed version of the AIDAS theory which stands for :
Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and Satisfaction
The Seven steps expands on these points and go further into detail on the likes of Satisfaction where they say “Confirm the deal and follow up”.(6)
Customer call agenda
She adheres to a strict customer call agenda thats laid out in her manual with the main point being to make the sale straight away and then discuss the relationship with such tips as to ask the customer if they order a substantial amount “Are you doing well?” to possibly entice them to more orders.
Sales Automation tools Employed
Throughout the day I noticed numerous tools employed but Lynda always had her iPad on hand for the majority of Sales related queries and activities.The tracker system she uses to report her activities that day is also done through the iPad. L'Oréal also has their own Intranet system that helps her reach the back office system in regards to any account details.The use of CRM software is obvious by Lynda's use of the L'Oréal database to monitor customers.
Social Media is also a tool used with Lynda being active on Instagram to keep in touch with different Hairdressers and customers and promote the Matrix brand and other brands to her followers. LinkedIn is also a platform she uses for more internal methods of communication and promotion of L'Oréal's activities.
Value creation Activities of Sales
- Expanding their business acumen.
- Bringing them up to date on trends both online and in person.
Helping them get return on their investments.
Reflections of the Salesperson on their role
Lynda strongly believes that every client should adopt and debit line of payment rather than cash over the phone but believes that the more rural Salons don't feel comfortable with that.
The trend she thinks will continue is more technology being integrated whether its back office or mobile or more advanced CRM Software. She believes once Salons are more in tune with trends and the digital media there will be significantly easier methods of selling.
After the Shadow day I had a much better understanding of first hand selling with Lynda giving me great insight into what also goes on behind the scenes.
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