Ethics refers to the deep-seated standards of rights and wrong, which is a prescription of how we are supposed to behave in sales management situations of business. It entails doing what is right even in situations where one is tempted to compromise and do what is only right.
Failure of sales person to resolve ethical issues amicably often lead to frustration and anxiety as a result of decreased performance and increased tension in the job.Ethical Dilemmas Underlying Measures of Increasing SalesWhen our CEO discovered the way the business sales was declining, he immediately summoned the chief financial analyst to explain what was to be done in order to curb the problem before it became more serious. Improvement was to be done in the sales department in view of the fact that sales had declined by 7% and much finance was directed to sales and promotional management. We were later called by the CEO to explain ourselves given that we had on our targets in sales and promotion. The exhortation was that I should use any possible means to increase the sales including deception, even if it amounted to compromise of business ethics. Other business ethics aspects that would be compromised are justice, honesty and loyalty. However, being the sales manager, I was to ensure that the ethical dilemma was dealt with promptly. Another ethical issue I have identified are sexual harassment of new sales staff, as their supervisors wanted sexual complicity to provide cover-ups whenever expected sales were not realised.
Options Available To Resolve the Issues IdentifiedEvading taxes to increase operating incomeIn order to experience more profits in the business, the sales management department opted for the business not to pay tax since it was seen to be a means of increasing revenue. Though this seems to be right at first, it is an unethical to evade tax. The best solution for this is for the business not to escape from paying taxes but do the right and fair business with no cheating while choosing to guide their integrity in operation. In one of our attempt of failing to pay taxes, we had to loss one of our new customer who refused to buy our non-taxed products. Payment of taxes is the way out: This forced us to convince the management to start paying taxes in view of the fact that most customers feared to purchase goods which were not taxed during production. This fosters good business ethics and shows a sense of accountability of the company since the business confirms that it’s not greedy.Lower quality of products so that we attract more profitsAnother option was to lower quality of our products. Sometimes in our struggles of trying to remain competitive in the market by ensuring low prices for the products, the business may decide to be less accurate in packaging and quality of the product.
Although this activity appears to be a way of saving cost of production, the outcome can be very punitive to the organization. To counter all the problems associated with dishonesty and inaccuracy, we, the sales management campaigns for accuracy in the production sector. This mostly occurs when the business wants to attract more profit through greater sales thus pressurizing the sales department. Employment of new technology in production process in order to produce quality products should be implemented. Furthermore, ethics focuses on how we treat our customers in stressful situations even as we endeavour to remain focused in our services and ensuring safety of our dear customers.The sales person sometimes accepts bribes in order to make contracts with the customers. Such contacts may be harmful to the company’s operation and therefore should be dealt with promptly. A person may ignore the bribe and loss a good amount of money or take the bribe and undermine his/her character.
This occurs when the deal involves a good amount of money. For a person to refuse to get involved in such offences even if he will get a loss, their integrity is highly protected. Avoiding corruption is the solution. Salesmen are to avoid any form of corrupt deals and not to accept bribes. Unless when we find ourselves in positions where after offering good services to our customers’ who offers positive impact to their status, they may decide to appreciate us with small tokens so that we continue to be faithful. This is not corruption given that we contributed nothing to deserve such remunerations.Opting to be ignore morality issuesIn addition to the above, ethical dilemmas manifest it when we find ourselves at a cross-way while offering services. As sales people we mostly interact with the public in various spheres and we do enjoy commission from the sales that we do make on each occasion.
This makes it hard for us to treasure each customer who happens to come our way. In one of our sales we were forced to send a customer away whose dressing appeared to be unacceptable. The fact that we really had to make sales could not allow us to tolerate her since she was topless while we do serve parents who come to do business with us together with their kids. It was painful to loss good money but she acted not in accordance with our morals.Morality is the key: We used to encourage our sales representatives to ensure morality is maintained at whatever cost.Sharing of customers’ information to third partiesThe drive to make sales by satisfying the demand of one customer should not lead to breach of ethics, especially concerning sharing information among competitors. One ethical issue facing sales persons is when a customer asks for information about one of their competitor who is one of our customers. Though a sales person may have the full information required, he/she is supposed to act ethically and do what deems to be right by holding the information thus protecting their customer.
But can do so with the customers consent.Trustworthiness is the solution: Customers’ private information is to be protected because none is permitted to share that information with the competitors of their customers’. Sales management is characterized by a variety of ethical dilemmas in the interaction of managers with internal and external stakeholders. Sales managers are responsible for generating revenues to the organization in a relatively unsupervised environment which at times proves to be stressful. In sales management, particularly, managers need a closer analysis of the various ethical issues due to the relationship that surrounds sales person and buyers. This is in view of the fact that sales persons at times do make decisions in the field of their operation in response to the customer’s demand while contradicting competition spirit in the market.Deceiving customers during promotion to increases salesA good sales person engages in amplification, the use of puns and excursion which results to the customer’s conditional acceptance of the deal. In the process of promoting the business products, the sales person may encounter ethical problems.
Providing more claims in favour of their products which at times comes out to be deceiving makes a business to lack goodwill and to be less sensitive to the needs of its customers. New sales representatives are mostly the victims of this given that their superior may want them to indulge in unethical behaviour. They may be requested to falsify a number on a report or make a mountain out of a molehill for the business products and since they don’t want to put their new position at risk by doing what is right, they sacrifice their ethical character. Integrity is the solution. This calls for business to operate in integrity and honesty. A sales person is expected to observe integrity while in the business of promoting the firms products. Though situations may present themselves which requires a person to compromise his stand they should ensure genuine information is delivered to their customers.My Preferred Course of Action to Resolve the IssuesJustice in business dealingsThe practices that are likely to cause injury to consumers should be avoided even as the business plans of how to raise more profits.
Justice does make certain that consumers are well-informed of the product and this tends to improve the quality of the company’s products. Employments of a considerable price to manufactured goods which are not punitive to consumers act as a means of resolving the problem. Furthermore, production of what consumers need rather than what the business feels fit to produce makes an enterprise activity to be justified.Justice is to be delivered. It involves how benefits and penalties are distributed in a fair manner and equitably among the sales personnel. The form of advertisement ought to be just and fair. Another way of ensuring justice is done is by presenting sales personnel with good package, a good working condition and fair treatmentHonesty and business goodwillIn sales management, honesty also leads to issues of ethics. The fact that advertising as a mode of sales promotion is aimed at satisfying a particular need since it convinces the customers of the benefits associated with the product.
Customers may be influenced in delicate ways thus taking advantage of them. Though the customers will be influenced, the moment they will discover that the products are not in accordance to the advertised degree they find the business to be dishonest. This will affect the business goodwill given that most of its advertising is considered deceptive and untruthful. And when customers discover that advertisement falsely represents a product and consumers believe the information, the business is perceived as deceptive. Accuracy and honesty should be observed. In order to resolve the misleading deceptive adverts, corrective adverts should be employed so that the confidence of consumers can be restored. This will foster positive goodwill and the business name will be restored.Enhancing loyalty in businessThe business loyalty to employees when it is in difficult economic condition or even in favourable ones can be dilemmatic.
The problem that arises in trying to be loyal to the ethical principles like protecting the business image from false accusations set out by competitors. Undertakings of how to improve the business products by the sales management team and proper promotional services makes a business to have good legacy thus sustaining customer’s loyalty. Loyalty is negatively affected by low wage to employees, low level of invention and production of low quality merchandise. This poses a threat to the firms’ future since the main stakeholders of the business are affected.Customers and employees are to be motivated in the business. In order to resolve this ethical dilemma, employees are to be motivated through good payment and favourable commission. The business must be loyal to its customers by guaranteeing quality products are produced and that brand piracy does not find way in the market. Moreover, researching on new technology in order to improve the quality of products in an effort to out win competitors facilitates customer loyalty.
Rooting out sexual harassment in the work placeThe manner in which my colleagues react to sexual harassment in the work place forms an ethical dilemma. However, due to fear for there jobs security or ostracism majority are swayed by the unethical wind. Employees are sexually harassed after making mistakes as their supervisors wanted sexual complicity to provide cover-ups whenever expected sales were not realised. Majority comply with this vice in order to be safe and protect their positions in the job.The appropriate remedy is courage, the presence of which ensures ethics is protected even if one will be required to loss a job. We make an effort in assisting new employees in sales department to stand up to sexual harassers as we tell them that it takes courage for one to act ethically Therefore this calls for new sales representatives to directly confront ethical dilemmas with extraordinary courage.Interaction with the Sales RepresentativeEffective communication about the business ethical policies concerning the corporate social responsibility cannot be left out. Setting high ethical standard for the company and self-evaluation on ethical performance via ethical audit contributes to sustainable economic development thus improved quality of life.
Mostly businesses do concentrate on how to generate more profit. It can achieve this by dumping or promoting unhealthy products. In resolving this conflict, a sales person attends to the social responsibility carefully in order to get positive publicity and goodwill of the society. As sales management puts their concentration of conducting their business in social responsible manner it ensures ethics standards are met. Issues to do with respect trustworthiness, caring, responsibility, fairness and good citizenship forms the basis of ethics in the business sphere. Ethical inconsistency may result when individual experience pressure in taking actions that are conflicting with expected conduct.The sales management due to their internal and external involvement find itself in many ethical dilemmas unlike other department in the organization. Therefore, pressure is directed our way and we have to counter it by doing what is right.
Virtues like integrity, loyalty, focus, trustworthiness and justice should be observed by the sales management in their operation. This will smooth the progress of positive reputation for the business hence good legacy and goodwill leading to more profits to the company.
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