MKT 4430

INTERNET EXERCISES 1-8

 

The purpose of the Internet Exercises is to explore and learn about the Internet as a vehicle for sales and marketing information, activities, and processes.  While these Exercises are assignments, I am hoping that each of you and your team members will experience the marvelous awe and wonder of what the Internet is, how it can be effectively and creatively used, and the joy and excitement of discovering new possibilities, particularly for sales and marketing.

 

I have provided you with sample links on most pieces of each Internet Exercise.  However, you are not limited to these suggested links.  Please explore as many as you would like to understand more about online marketing.  If some links change during the semester, then google an equivalent link and use that instead.  It is up to you to make this as enjoyable and learning-rich as it can be.

 

We will not meet in our formal classroom on the days that Internet Exercises are scheduled.  Instead, each of you will meet in your groups of 3-4 or work independently as required by the assignment.  I will be in my office during these times if you want to interact with me, or we can meet online, phone, whatever you need.  At the end of the semester, each individual confidentially will hand in one overall peer evaluation of the group members’ behavior and contributions to the Internet Exercises as a whole.  Grades will be adjusted based on these peer evaluations.

 

Internet Exercise 1:  Group Communication System (August 21 and 28 – In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     Create a group communication system via website, social media, phone apps, Skype, conference calls, Bb, Google, etc., or any combination thereof, where the 3-4 of you can meet online as a study group, that is, where you can be signed in and live/real time with each other so that you do not have to meet physically if you choose. I would like you to begin by creating a grid of possible options with advantages and disadvantages of each.  Here are some websites you can start with:

·       http://www.schools.com/articles/create-your-own-community-online-study-group.html

·       http://groups.google.com/

·       http://www.google.com/drive/about.html

·       http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/homepage

·       http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/03/04/forming-a-study-group-with-your-online-classmates/

·       http://community.pennfoster.edu/thread/1171

·       http://www.educationandtech.com/2012/09/tips-for-forming-successful-online.html

·       http://news.everestonline.edu/post/2010/10/online-study-group/?dmredirect=IFLSC001

·       http://www.unisa.ac.za/default.asp?Cmd=ViewContent&ContentID=15151

·       http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/10/11/starting-a-virtual-study-group/

·       http://infed.org/mobi/what-is-a-group/

2.     Turn in an approximately 3-5 page, typed paper explaining your group communication system – what possibilities are available or did you explore, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each possibility, what you set up, how you did it, any problems you had, how you worked out the bugs, is it up and running fully at this time, are you already using it, why you set it up as you did, what contingency plan is available, how did the members participate as a group, journal of activities, and what you learned overall as a group from doing this exercise.

 

Due:  September 25 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 3-5 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 2:  Selling in General (September 4 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     A unique resource for the latest developments in personal selling and sales management is the Sales Marketing Network (SMN).  SMN provides highly readable reports and articles on a variety of topics including motivation, trade shows, sales management, selling, travel, meetings, and even golf.  These reports contain concise overviews, definitions, statistics, and reviews of critical issues.  They also include references to additional information and links to related material elsewhere on the SMN site.  Registration (at no cost) is required to view some of the reports.  Visit the SMN site at http://www.info-now.com/pma/422.html and do the following:

·       Select a chapter topic, and update the statistics, for say, sales training costs or the popularity of different sales force incentives.

·       Select a topic covered in the chapter such as telemarketing or motivation, and summarize the critical issues identified for this practice.

2.     Explore the various search engines listed on http://www.thesearchenginelist.com/.  What possibilities do you find that might be useful for sellers, sales managers, and marketers?  How could a seller or sales manager make use of these search engines?

3.     What are the latest trends in selling and sales management?

 

Due:  September 25 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 3:  Sales and Social Media (September 4 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     Here is a list of the top 15 social media sites:  http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites.  How could you specifically use these sites to generate leads and close sales?

2.     Here are additional social media sites (a list of the top 25 and a list of 101 social media sites):  http://www.seomoz.org/article/social-media-marketing-tactics#101-social-media-sites.  In addition to the 15 social media sites you explored in question #1, find an additional 15 sites from this link that could be used advantageously in sales.  Please describe how they could be used.

3.     Do you think that live chat is a good sales method:  http://www.articlesbase.com/customer-service-articles/personal-selling-through-live-chat-362460.html?

4.     If you were creating a social media site that sells something, what would you make sure to include in it?  What would you be sure to not include in it?  What philosophy(ies) would guide its design?

 

Due:  October 16 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 4:  Making a Great Sales Presentation (September 18 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     Here are some wonderful websites about how to make great sales presentations.  I would like for you to look at these and any other sites you may find interesting that inform about this topic.  Then, come up with your own set of presentation steps and/or presentation tips that will empower your own speaking and sales activity.  You are not limited to these sites, and I would like you to be as creative as possible, i.e., what can I actually use in the future; for example, in my in-class sales presentation and beyond.

·       http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/salesselling/a/presentationkr.htm

·       http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques/809-1.html

·       http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/make-a-strong-sales-presentation-HA001140523.aspx

·       http://www.cbsnews.com/news/20-quick-rules-to-make-your-presentation-better/

·       http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-a-Good-Sales-Presentation-Great---The-Role-of-the-Presenter&id=1928558

·       http://www.1-on-1selling.com/sales-presentations-style-or-content/

·       http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505183_162-28542940-10391735/how-to-give-a-killer-sales-presentation/

·       http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Sales-Presentation

·       http://www.toddbinghamfineart.com/blog/?p=261

·       http://www.sagepresence.com/tag/sales-presentation-skills/

·       http://gleez.com/articles/general/how-to-make-a-great-powerpoint-presentation

2.     What are your best tips about handling objections?  Does it vary by product type, e.g., selling a TV, car insurance, car repair, or computer?  Here is some extra information about handling objections: 

·       http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sales/objection/objection_handling.htm

·       http://sales.about.com/od/salesbasics/ht/How-To-Handle-Objections-In-Six-Easy-Steps.htm

·       http://www.trainingcoursematerial.com/free-training-articles/professional-sales-skills-and-sales-techniques/techniques-for-objections-handling

·       http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/the_secret_to_handling_objections/

Also, find 3 really good YouTube or Internet videos about handling objections.  Why did you choose them?

3.     What is your best advice about closing?  Feel free to consider these:

·       http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/1138/1/AT_5-Tips-For-Closing-Deal.asp

·       http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sales/closing/closing_tips.htm

·       http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sales/closing/closing_techniques.htm

·       http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques-closing-sales/450-1.html

·       http://www.phcconsulting.com/sales-job-interview-tips.htm

·       http://salestrainingconnection.com/2012/04/06/sales-tip-closing/

·       http://blog.quoteroller.com/2013/07/04/closing-a-sale/

·       http://symmetryfinancialgroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/how-to-close-sales-symmetry-financial-group/

·       http://www.salesdialers.com/blog/my-best-closing-tactic/

Also, find 3 really good YouTube or Internet videos about handling objections.  Why did you choose them?

 

Due:  October 16 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 5:  Bits and Pieces of Selling (September 18 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     You are a sales manager of a small retail store.  You are very interested in establishing close customer/company relationships.  You feel that this strategy will improve your sales and, of course, your bottom line.  Develop a plan for hiring a sales force that will help you achieve your goals.  You may want to start by considering these: 

·       http://www.business2community.com/sales-management/you-dont-just-hire-a-sales-team-you-build-it-0147616

·       http://www.qiem.com/sales-hiring.php

·       http://www.inc.com/guides/201103/how-to-manage-a-virtual-sales-force.html

·       http://money.howstuffworks.com/business-communications/sales-hiring1.htm

2.     Here is a report describing the top 10 Sales Force Automation Software Vendors and their products.  Please review these, describe each, and compare and contrast what is offered (maybe using a grid format).  You will need to register to get the free download.

3.     Here is a list of the Internet’s top 20 auction sites:  http://auctions.nettop20.com/.  Examine these 20 auction sites, i.e., how are they the same, how are they unique, which do you personally prefer, which ones are focused on the ultimate consumer, which ones are focused on the business community, which ones seem to be very successful and why, is there anything unique among them that really stands out, and what trends are important with regard to online auctions?  You also may enjoy The Internet Auction List at http://www.internetauctionlist.com/.

4.     At Computer Discount Warehouse website a buyer can easily compare the features and prices of competing products:  http://www.cdw.com/?cm_mmc=acquirgy-_-Google-_-CDW_Brand-_-computer_discount_warehouse&AcquirgyID=9822570.  Click on desktop computers and then on the CDW Compare feature to do a comparison of two “high end” computers from two different manufacturers.  How helpful would this analysis be if you were a computer buyer?  How could this help you if you were a seller or sales manager?  And, as a consumer, how does this help?

5.     Aftermarketing (included in the follow-up effort) consists of the steps which a firm takes after a sale is completed, to retain loyalty of the customer for repeat sales.  What forms of aftermarketing would you suggest for a car dealership?  You can read more about aftermarketing here:

·       http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/after-marketing.html

·       http://marketingpractice.blogspot.com/2010/04/marketing-strategy-after-marketing.html

·       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftermarket_(automotive)

6.     If you are serious about a career in sales, an important piece of advice is to learn from others’ mistakes rather than make them all yourself.  Visit http://www.salesautopsy.com/ and see some of the great mistakes that salespeople have made.  Which is your favorite?  What did you learn from this person’s mistakes?  In general, what are most of the mistakes about?

 

Due:  November 13 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 6:  Training  (October 9 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     Search the Internet for effective training and coaching methods.  Prepare a list with descriptions of these methods.  Also, prepare a list with explanations of indicators that show whether or not a training and coaching method has been successful.  You can begin with:

·       http://www.thedecisiveedge.com/effective-training-and-coaching-methods/

·       http://www.businessballs.com

·       http://www.richardson.com/Top-Sales-Challenges/?gclid=CMKxq6XN1a8CFQ1jhwodTxTudA

·       http://www.stepbystepmarketing.com/daily/effective_sales_techniques/strategic-sales-training/

·       http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/mtdblog/7-ways-to-effective-sales-coaching.html

·       http://www.axiomsfd.com/

·       http://www.ehow.com/about_6299437_sales-training-exercise.html

·       http://salesclasses.acozo.com/recommendations-for-types-of-sales-training-exercises/

·       http://www.sales-class.net/sales-training-online.html, http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/education/topgun/

·       http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/coaching-and-training-training-and-coaching/

·       http://hbr.org/2014/01/find-the-coaching-in-criticism/ar/1

·       http://www.insightsquared.com/2014/02/what-all-the-best-sales-training-programs-have-in-common/

·       http://www.salesstarsoftware.com/sales-coaching/seven-habits-of-highly-effective-sales-coaches-background/

·       http://topsalesworld.com/topsalesmanagement/resources/7-effective-sales-coaching-practices/

What is needed for effective and efficient training and coaching?

2.     Next, I would like you to explore sales training videos.  The Motivating Tape Company sells various sales training videos.  Go to the firm’s website at http://www.achievementlibrary.com/.  Also, go to http://www.enterprisemedia.com/corporate_training_videos_by_topic.html and explore their videos.  Review the list of sales training videos offered.  If a sales manager were going to rely on some of these tapes for training people just moving into a sales career, what key areas of sales training would he or she have to cover by some other approach?  How is this different or the same for the veteran seller?

3.     Explore podcasts, blogs, and YouTube videos as sales training methods.  What do you discover?  Find three of each that you feel are very effective for sales purposes and tell me why you think that way.

4.     I want you to search for the best sales blogging sites.  Find three or four (depending on how many members your group has) that you really like and make some posted contribution(s) to each.  Cut and paste your contributions only into your Internet Exercise paper.  However, you may need to provide some context to me so that I will understand what is going on in the thread.  Each member should make at least one contribution to the blogging site.

 

Due:  November 13 (15 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.  Please include a journal of activities with each member’s contributions.  How is the group working as a team?

 

Internet Exercise 7:  Selling Odds and Ends (October 9 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     The ONSALE Auction Supersite features a number of on-line auctions in which different sellers auction off computers, consumer electronics, and other products to buyers.  Visit the website at www.onsale.com and review an open auction for a consumer electronics product.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of this market for sellers?  For buyers? 

2.     The L.L. Bean website (www.llbean.com) offers consumers a lot of information, including information about national parks.  Do you think that this helps Bean to build relationships with its target customers? 

3.     To make it easier for consumers to visualize how certain fashions will look together, the GAP’s website (www.gap.com) has a “get dressed interactive” feature.  Go the GAP website and check out this feature.  Do you think that it makes it easier to evaluate a potential purchase? 

4.     Avon sells cosmetics and other products through independent sales representatives (agents) and also though a catalog (both on-line and printed).  Review the Avon website (www.avon.com).  Do you think that Avon’s independent sales representatives would view the website as competing for their customers’ purchases and a source of conflict or would they think that it helps them promote the product and identify new prospects?  Explain your thinking. 

5.     Visit the Fastenal website (www.fastenal.com).  Check out the different aspects of the Fastenal website.  Give examples of ways that the website is intended to help Fastenal’s customers and suppliers. 

6.     Evergreen Information Technology launched an Internet auction site for many different categories of sporting goods.  Go to the auction website (www.sportingauction.com) and review the activities in two auction categories, one for a sport that is in season and one for another sport that is not.  For example, you might compare snowboarding and golfing.  Do you think that season makes a difference in the bidding activity?  Explain your thinking. 

7.     Tiffany & Co. is widely recognized as one of the world’s premiere jewelers.  It commands high prices for what it offers.  Go to the Tiffany website (www.tiffany.com) and review the different sections.  Do you think that the website communicates superior customer value to the Tiffany target market?  Explain your opinion and point to specific aspects of the website that support your view.  How could a seller make effective use of the website?

8.     Ikea is an innovative furniture company that is using its website to refine its strategy.  It has always relied on information technology to keep costs low by tracking sales at individual stores and using the information to control inventory and reduce shipping costs between the factory, distribution centers, and its massive retail stores.  Go to the Ikea website (www.ikea.com).  What else does the website tell you about Ikea’s strategy?  Will the website help Ikea offer superior value?  Explain your answer.  How will it help you as a seller?

9.     Do you think that it is important to continue your sales education/training?  Why or why not?  How could you use this website to better your career in sales?  http://www.worldwidelearn.com/business-course/sales-training.htm

10.  Find three examples of websites that sell something unique or unusual.  What do they do well?  How would you improve the three sites?

 

Due:  December 4 (15 points).  This is an individual exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.

 

Internet Exercise 8:  Selling and Sales Management Integration (October 30 – No In-Class Meeting)

 

1.     Now, I would like for you to integrate what you have learned from the Internet Exercises, textbook, class, possible work experience, speakers, etc.  That is, I want you to go onto the Blackboard site and make one substantive blog that is your own on each of the five discussions:  characteristics of successful sellers, your best ideas for managing yourself and your life, what I need to do to give my best sales presentations, handling objections and closing, and do’s and don’ts for the sales manager.  Your contributions need to not copy your group’s work; however, you can integrate it as much as possible while maintaining your own unique contribution. 

2.     Also, join in others’ conversations as much as possible.  The last day of class you will hand in approximately 4-6 pages containing the five blog contributions (you can cut and paste your blogs) and any posts to which you have responded. 

 

Due:  December 4 (15 points).  This is an individual exercise.  Hand in an approximately 4-6 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.

 

Click here to return to MKT 4430 Syllabi Guide

Click here to return to Kaylene Williams' Homepage