FRAM and SONY
(Throughout the assignment I have referred to the staff mainly as salespeople and counter staff to correspond with the case study. Each quote or extract from academic journals are numbered and relate to the reference list at the back) Word count:1592
1)The sales manager’s (at FRAM oil filters) key objective is to provide his or her salespeople with the skills and traits that will push FRAM products through the distribution channels at a faster rate and larger scale, skills that will encourage distributors to stock FRAM products and buy extra amounts. In order for a sales manager to achieve this objective, he or she must look at ways that will motivate their sales people through theoretical solutions devised by experts on motivation.  Managers and supervisors need to give attention to the appropriateness of rewards in terms of individual performance, establish clear relationships between effort, performance and rewards, and clearly establish procedures for evaluating individual levels of performance. I have researched various theorists on motivation and found that there is no one way to motivate salespeople, or anyone for that matter. Every person is different. Frederick Winslow Taylor had the idea that workers (and in this case salespeople) are motivated by pay. He wanted to have total control and so he came up with the theory of scientific management. He said that workers need close supervision, as people in general do not enjoy work, and breaking bigger objectives down into smaller tasks would allow workers to gain better skills and knowledge on those smaller, particular tasks. He then said that workers would be paid according to the number of units they produced or sold (or accounts set up). This resulted in ‘salespeople’ working harder, maximising sales, maximising profits. Elton Mayo also had an interesting theory. He believed that ‘salespeople’ are not only interested in pay; they could be better motivated if their social needs were also met. If they felt like they were treated as people rather than part of a production line or a group of sales robots. This was something that Taylor ignored. Mayo found that ‘salespeople’ were better motivated through simple factors such as better communication between sales managers and their sales team, with a greater manager involvement and teamwork.
With regards FRAM motivating their ‘salespeople’, they could combine both these theories into one. Taylor looks at the pay and control factors whilst Mayo looks at the social factors, in fact he takes a paternal or warm approach. The certificates for SONY products corresponds with Taylor’s pay motivation, but if FRAM were to adapt Mayo’s social needs theory and have effective communication with their salespeople (earning trust, loyalty etc)they would surely see a more motivated sales team that feels they contribute more to the organisation than just maximising sales and profits.  As we see in the workplace, most motivation strategies are “push” or “pull” based: keeping people moving either with a kick from behind (threats, fear, tough targets) or by offering choc-drops (bonuses, grand presentations of the company vision, team-building games). 2) A sales person can be motivated in many ways, financial rewards can be main contenders, but pay is not the be all and end all in order to keep a person happy and motivated in their work place.  Salespeople from Western cultures are more motivated by the needs for achievement, relationships, and power. Frederick Herzberg believed in a two-factor theory of motivation and in a way, he was closely linked to Maslow and his beliefs of the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. Herzberg said there certain factors that an organisation could incorporate that would motivate their salespeople to work harder; he described these factors as ‘The Motivators’. On the other hand, there were also factors that would do the opposite. He called these de-motivational factors ‘The Hygiene factors’. Motivators are related to the actual job and examples of these include opportunities the job itself presents or how enjoyable or interesting the work is. These factors can be results of intrinsic motivation(intrinsic meaning from inside the sales person).  Survey data gathered from 79 operations managers holding positions in 55 companies were utilized to test extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for using microcomputers in the workplace. Three motivators for usage were investigated: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived enjoyment. Usefulness is an example of extrinsic motivation whereas enjoyment is intrinsic. The Hygienic/extrinsic factors are those of which surround a job. They are factors like the secure/safe conditions of a workplace or the mediocre pay that a salesperson may receive. These factors are important but they will not motivate someone, they tend to be expected.
Herzberg viewed financial factors as hygiene factors and this argues with Taylor’s theory, as Taylor believed that money would get people to work harder to earn more. The incentive scheme that FRAM introduced would have motivated the salespeople in many non-financial ways, in relation again to Maslow’s theory, the salespeople would receive great job satisfaction from setting up new accounts with other automotive distributors and as a result receiving quality SONY products. They would also get a great sense of job enrichment knowing they contributed to that huge jump in sales. A wise sales manager would reward this also with encouragement and praise, it costs nothing and it goes a long way in a salespersons mind. 3) Every human being has needs and every person is different. There are many ways to motivate a person. If an employee of an organisation is promised a company car, a rise in their salary or in this case, the chance to receive expensive SONY products, that member of staff (counter staff) will obviously motivate themselves and strive to do well for that organisation. Abraham Maslow put forward a theory which consisted of five levels of human needs, upon fulfilment will motivate a member of the counter staff. These human needs were portrayed in the form of a hierarchy. It worked in a way that when only a lower level of need had been fully met, would a sales person be motivated by the chance of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied.  When these needs are fulfilled, safety needs become preponderant and important determinants of behaviour. When these are satisfied, belongingness becomes important- and so on up the hierarchy. FRAM’s aim was to motivate counter staff at the distributors to recommend their products as opposed to competing products. If I apply Maslow’s hierarchy to the counter staff I can see how the incentive scheme addresses their needs. Being a member of a firms counter staff may not come with a very high salary but a salary nonetheless and this would contribute to physiological needs(food, clothing etc). Also as the automotive distributors are joining up with FRAM, the success of the incentive scheme would assure the counter staff of job security as their distribution company positively availed of the partnership with FRAM, this would correspond with the safety level of the hierarchy.
The opportunity to redeem the certificates for SONY goods applies to the social level of the hierarchy. People strive to be accepted by those they feel closest to (family) and to be an important person to them. They could provide the SONY products as gifts to the ones they love. Their self esteem and social status will also be enhanced because the more certificates they receive, the higher or more prestige reputation they will have amongst their work peers. Finally, a person will recognise his or her own self-actualisation in the comfort of knowing that by receiving the certificates for the SONY products, that they too are ambassadors for a firm as large as FRAM and they are also good quality salespeople in a way. The understanding of behaviour needs to be expanded beyond an understanding of inner psychological needs to an understanding of the wider social setting in which behaviour takes place. 4) It is said that  advertising and sales promotion are most effective in the introduction and growth stages of the life-cycle, whereas it is suggested that the emphasis o personal selling needs to increase as the market matures and eventually declines. FRAM’s aim was to motivate the FRAM salespeople, the distributors and counter staff to move the products out to the customers at the end of the chain. They also wanted their staff to encourage more and more customers to use FRAM products ahead of any competing products.  The strength of personal selling lies in the fact that it allows for communicative interchange, a process more subtle but, at the same time, more hazardous than classical methods such as advertising, which rely on one-way communication. In undertaking with the incentive scheme, they skipped the lengthy and costly process of creating an advertising campaign. The scheme resulted in FRAM attaining highly motivated staff to be better salespeople, personal sellers and advocates for their organisation(invaluable assets). Not only did the scheme encourage the staff to work harder and create a better brand image to the customer, they were a very effective and cost efficient way of advertising FRAM products. It is clear from the information in the case study that the incentive scheme proved to be an excellent investment, costing just 4% of £7 million in extra sales in a period of three months.
I also believe that advertising on television or in a car magazine may not be as effective as first hand advice and approval of a product from a trusted sales person. Although they are a very popular way to show a brand or a particular product to the target audience, I believe they can be costly and, sometimes may not fit into an organisations budget. If they had created an advertising campaign, customers/consumers may take the message portrayed in those advertisements
in a way that wasn’t intended by the organisation. With the counter staff and salespeople encouraging customers, there can be no ambiguity. A clear crisp message “Pay a little more now- or pay a lot later. In conclusion, I think the incentive scheme between FRAM and Sony was very successful. It developed their salespeople and counter staff’s skills through many motivational factors and generated millions of pounds for their organisation. Although motivational theories are very unique and effective in their way, through my research I found that they may be dated in relation to today’s society.  Motivating people to work in the twenty-first century with theories conceived in the 1800s and early 1900s is likely to be infeasible. After reviewing the major events in the management history of the last 100 years, the authors try to distil the knowledge that will help illuminate the motivation path for present and future managers. The core message is that managers should reconsider the outdated motivational patterns utilized to maintain role performance in organizations. A sales manager today should perhaps be versatile in their approach to the theorists methods and adapt them to the present day. They could take effective theories and combine them to make one suit their organisation or group of sales people, after all, every organisation is different.