Book Review – Sales Management: A Primer for Frontier Markets

Book: Sales Management: A Primer for Frontier Markets

Book Formats: Hardcover, Soft Cover; Kindle

Book Size: 229 pages

Publisher: Information Age Pub Inc. (December 31, 2018)

Authors: Robert E. Hinson, Ogechi Adeola, Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey

Review

For years, sales and marketing experts have cited many reasons for the high failure rates of businesses in Africa, including management incompetence, lack of sales experience; and a lack of a strategic focus. The answer to some of these impediments to the growth of firms in Africa (and by extension frontier markets), could lie in the adoption of the modern sales management techniques. Sales Management: A Primer for Frontier Markets covers in its various chapters, the key components of modern sales practices and covers topics like sales planning, ethics, negotiation skills, account management, technology in sales, sales forecasting; and people management. Discussions on consultative selling, the role of ethics in sales, and the stages of the personal selling process have been specifically detailed and grounded in practical case studies that are found at the end of each chapter.

Africa keeps jostling for a piece of the global hospitality and tourism pie with several African countries striving to formulate tourism management strategies that will create more appealing hotels, more appealing forts; and more appealing restaurants; to name a few. At the same time the financial services sector in Africa is also trying to leverage technology to increase the profitability of the sector. In the public sector as well, nation branding agencies and national investment promotion agencies are all striving to sell the promises their nations offer in a bid to attract more investment dollars into those nations. Whether in the public, private, or not-for-profit sectors therefore, enhanced sales management practices hold great promise for improving the economic circumstances of all African countries.

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In Sales Management: A Primer for Frontier Markets, authors with expert knowledge of frontier markets, share a framework for analysing key issues within sales management in the African context, and discuss strategic sales actions that will help organisations and nations emerge as winners in the face of market obstacles. The expert opinions provided in this textbook capture valuable insights from leading sales and marketing practitioners across the continent of Africa.

Hinson, Adeola and Amartey have delivered a book on sales that has a clear focus on frontier markets; especially Africa. Interesting case studies and the innovative views of sales experts lay out marketing and selling concepts in new and refreshing ways that offer insights into the complex world of sales management. Lots of books have been written on sales and selling, but Sales Management: A Primer for Frontier Markets is a standout. This sales book is not just a good academic textbook that it also holds your interest and provides you with great ideas that you can implement in your business; to immediately improve your sales performance and ultimately your profitability.

The first two chapters are based on core selling tenets so readers will find topics centering on principles for effective sales; and what has necessitated the shift from hard selling to consultative selling. The two chapters also discuss principles for engaging customers in ‘win-win’ negotiations; and the twenty-four attributes of outstanding salespeople. In addition, the evolution of personal selling is addressed, along with the personal selling process.

Chapters three to six help clear the myth that marketing and sales are the same thing. Chapter three highlights the general principle of sales management which is the art and science of managing a firm’s personal selling function. The authors provide a useful framework for managing the sales process; illustrating the major stages of the sales management process whiles also providing a simplified model for the planning and deployment of sales teams within the sales organisation. Within the chapters, the authors discuss the critical role of sales forecasting, and provide various classifications of sales forecasts for frontier markets. In order to ensure the right people are recruited for the right jobs, these chapters also dwell on sales planning and recruitment.

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The authors in the concluding chapters of this book offer compelling guidelines on how sales managers can manage, motivate, lead and support a sales force. In this book, managers are made to understand the essential role of sales training in achieving sales force success. The authors also describe sales force reward systems which includes a discussion of compensation plans which are vital to motivating salespeople. Real-word ideas on how to lead the sales force are also provided as this is essential to the bottom line of an organisation. The authors then sum up their arguments with a detailed guide on evaluating sales force performances.

What I enjoyed most from reading this book (other than the practical cases which everyone can relate to and learn from) was the expert sales views which showcased experiences of top sales executives who have clearly lived the life and dealt with sales issues firsthand. Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate students; choosing a practical real-world sales book to read, has never been easier.

By John Paul Basewa Kosiba

Department of Marketing, University of Professional Studies; Accra

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