Adapting to Career Changes

In 5-7 years, the sales industry will rely on information and sales thought the Internet. In my career, the main changes will tough information accessibility and informational literacy skills applied to the global market. The first change will deal with new approach to marketing based on global distribution and customer needs. Much the practice of global mass-customization is starting to impact on our everyday lives, it is important to recognize that it only goes so far. It is important to recognize that global mass-customization allows customers to choose, but only within certain parameters that the manufacturer prescribes: it does not free customers to make their own choice. For example, while we can tell Volvo that we want a certain model, size of engine, type of steering wheel and so on, we cannot get them to install the seats of a Saab (Jacobsen, 2008). Global mass-customization is not necessarily about giving customers what they want, but is currently about giving them a limited choice within a set of rules that the manufacturer defines. In order to prepare myself to this change, I will have to study cross cultural management and global sales industry. Technology and much more detailed information are making this kind of individualized analysis feasible even for organizations with enormous numbers of customers. One technique used by retailers is market basket analysis, where the contents of a customer's shopping are analyzed in order to identify 'affinity purchases', that is, those purchases which a customer makes because he or she connects the individual products (buying fresh orange juice with cold remedies being one of the most often-quoted examples). Using information on such purchases, it is possible to change the placement of products within a store to prompt people into making the connection (and thus purchasing an extra item) on a regular basis.

The second change in sales industry will deal with the increasing role of virtual sales and online payment. In 5-7 years, a company will not exist and prosper without Internet sales. The exchange of information takes place in the virtual domain without the requirement of a physical presence — all the cooperatives have to do is find a cost-effective method of distribution. The point is not to emphasize the essentially niche aspects of the service that is being provided. Clearly, organic (and relatively expensive) goods are not going to be to everyone's taste. However, just as with financial services, it illustrates that it is possible to provide home deliveries of relatively low-cost but still bulky items. Larger retailers may use slightly different tactics — they may, for example, rely on their brand to be able to convince shoppers that they can be trusted to deliver high-quality goods (Jacobsen, 2008). Supermarkets, with their departments that examine in great detail the demographics of an area before a new store site is developed, have no advantage in cyberspace. Any site can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Equally, and perhaps to the chagrin of the early Internet prospectors, any site can also be ignored from anywhere in the world (Kotler and Armstrong, 2007). There is, however, an even bigger issue with marketing on the Internet. Not only is it difficult to select and purchase a prime site, in a good demographic area away from your competitors, that virtually guarantees you sales, but it is also increasingly difficult to differentiate your offering from the offerings of companies that are maybe a tenth, or even a hundredth, of your size. However, the fact that the price for an Internet site has fallen so markedly poses a problem for larger, more established companies that are accustomed to using their superior spending power to maintain their position in a given market. Indeed, many of these existing approaches paradigms will be a handicap to organizations attempting to implement a virtual sales presence. In order to meet this challenge, I will have to study and acquire skills in virtual value chains and distribution models. This is true of any new product or service, but, so far as the Internet is concerned, such fears are compounded because consumers will be purchasing goods via a system that they do not fully understand. In fact, consumers are already worried about the security aspects of the Internet, so sales personal and sales industry should ensure ID security for their customers.



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