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This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of motivation on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN in South-East. The major objective of this work is to examine the comparative implications of motivation on sales force performance in manufacturing and service companies. Sales force are not active and effective as most of them are late to appointments, fail to keep business appointments, give incorrect information to customers, supply wrong product brand, revert to office before responding to customers’ enquiries and poorly manage customer relationship. Survey design was adopted and data was sourced from both primary and secondary areas. Data generated was presented and analyzed using tables, simple percentages and mean. The copies of the questionnaire were directed to a sample size of 400 marketing and sales personnel which were deduced from a population of 892 using Taro Yamane formula. The study was validated and tested for reliability using Cronbach Alpha giving alpha 0.97. The hypotheses were tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). From the test of hypotheses, it was revealed that there was no significant difference in the level of sales force motivation in Guinness Nigeria Plc. And MTN; it was observed that salary increase, bonus, profit sharing, wages and team-building were some of the motivational tools mostly used in manufacture and service companies; it was disclosed that preferred leave period and participation in decision making did not have significant effect on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN; it was revealed that insurance scheme, commissions and regular salary payment had significant effect as most effective motivational tools used for performance of sales force by the manufacturing and service companies. Based on the findings, Recommendations were made: financial support, commission and compensation should be maintained and increased in manufacturing and service companies because they are good motivating factors, every employee should be highly motivated because comfortable employees will never think of acting negatively. Bonus and team-building as motivational factors should be considered in every company to encourage employees to perform their duties well. Taking part in workshops, organizational support, and constant training of the sales force are empowering activities which should be encouraged. Conclusively, phone recharge card allowance, vehicle fuel allowance, luncheon voucher, travelling/tour allowance and dressing allowance were found to be the modern tools for motivation of the sales force.



1.1 Background Of The Study

To compete in today‟s global markets, organizations strive to deliver their products (physical) and services (intangible) in both an efficient and effective manner. In service supply chain, human labour forms a significant component of the value delivery process and physical handling of a product leads to standardized and centralized procedures and controls in manufacturing supply chains, (Sengupta et al 2008:1). The focus of efficiencies in service supply chains is on management of capacity, flexibility of resources, information flows, service performance and cash flow management. Critical factors are demand management, customer relationship management and supplier relationship management in manufacturing supply chains and service supply chains. Sales force in any company – big or small, manufacturing or service, are charged with generating product sales from assigned customer accounts in independent territories. However, the evolving selling environment today is much more complex, demanding significant changes in performance metrics, goals, control and compensation. South-East zone is an epitome of developing and concentrated businesses that engage sales force east of the Niger. The role of sales and marketing is becoming increasingly important to manufacturing and service firms (big and SMEs) in the South-East. Unfortunately, most of these companies do not apply the theories of sales management to their sales operations. They usually rely on past experience or judgment. Sales management is considered to be recognized management process activities involving the need to plan, set objectives, develop policies, procedures, strategies and tactics, to organize and co-ordinate, direct operations, motivate, communicate, develop staff, supervise and control and evaluate results, (Bolt 1987:28).

In sales management, Alexander Hamilton Institute reported in Kalu (2005:29) that motivation and supervision are two of the most important topics. Four success factors for sales success include: Product and Application, Selling Skills, Time and Territory Management, and Motivation. Among these elements, only motivation is important in all kinds of selling. Ubanagu (2006:190) stated that motivation is the effective managerial application of tangible and intangible incentives


to improve the performance of the workforce. The obvious and distinctive feature of sales force activity is that it involves personal contact with the customers, that is, the need to persuade through personal visits, and the need to undertake other activities not directly associated with personation. Thus, all classes of sales force or salespeople, namely Route sales people, Sales clerk, Detail sales persons, Account representatives, Sales engineers and Creative sales persons require adequate and proper motivation. The three popular methods of compensating sales people identified by Ubanagu (2006:190) are straight salary, straight commission and combined plans. He further explained thus:-

1. Straight salary: This system is mostly adopted when the management wants to motivate sales people to achieve objectives other than short run volume. Straight salary method of compensation is adopted in the following situations:-

a. When the individual sales person‟s impact on sales volume is very difficult to measure in a reasonable time;

b. Where the sales people are engaged in missionary selling as in the MTN Nigeria; and

c. When the selling process is complex and involves a team or multi-level selling effort as in that of Guinness Nigeria Plc.

2. Straight commission: A commission is payment for achieving a given level of performance and are based on a certain percentage (%) of the sales essence units volume. However, MTN and Guinness companies base their commission on the profitability of sales to motivate the sales force in order to extend effort on the most profitable product or customers.

3. Combination Plan: It put the basic salary with commissions/bonus or both. If salary is combined with commission, the commission is tied to sales volume as in the case of straight commission plan. A bonus is a payment made at the discretion of management for achieving or surpassing some level of performance. The attainment of quota is often the minimum requirement for a sales person to earn a bonus as it is the case in Guinness Nigeria Plc.

The purpose of motivating subordinates/sales force is to get them to achieve objectives (results) that help the organizations, how to motivate employees remains a perennial challenge faced by managers. This study will therefore examine the effects of motivation on sales force performance in manufacturing and service companies with a view to making a comparative analysis, bringing out the areas of differences and similarities, and projecting more effective and modern ways of


motivating the sales force for optimum productivity. So, Guinness Nigeria Plc and Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) in South-East, Nigeria were used for this purpose.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Customers are more demanding today than ever before. The target market require better goods, services and quick and reliable support than they had in the past. The sales force in the field who should have some wealth of knowledge and experience about the products, market, competitors, industry trends, do not seem to be active and effective as exemplified by failure to keep business promises, giving incorrect information to customers, and poor customer relationship management. Specifically, greater percentage of the sales force in manufacturing and service companies have been major culprits in these practices including lateness to work and not keeping appointment at all. Others could be very unfriendly and even become hostile while attending to customers. Some sales force lose focus and consequently supply wrong brand of products to customers. These result in long waiting time for customers to receive the needed goods and services, and the consequent low performance as some customers lose patience and consequently take their leave and even go the alternatives. The poor attitudes of the sales force such as lateness to work, delayed sales calls, lack of information for customers problems, could contribute to the low growth of sales force performance in manufacturing and service companies. The foregoing situations of the sales force in manufacturing and service companies in relation to economic performance raise issues on whether these companies can achieve and sustain high rates of output and growth, able to generate and sustain large numbers of employees, and whether they can compete effectively in the global market. The failure of sales force could have industrial, managerial and marketing implications which this study is set to explore, and which constitutes its research problem. Particularly in the context of how the sales force are motivated towards improving productivity using the incentives of salaries, sales calls allowances, sales bonuses, access to sales vans, product availability and continuous training and updating of the sales force.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

Consequent upon the background of the study and the statement of the problem, the researcher will endeavour to:-

i) determine the direction from very high to very low levels of motivation of sales force in

Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN.

ii) Identify the differences in the motivational tools used on the sales force by manufacturing and service companies.

iii) ascertain whether staff preferred leave period and participation in decision making have significant effect on sales force performance in the two companies.

iv) determine the most effective motivational incentives - insurance scheme, commissions, and regular pay used by either of the companies under study.

1.4 Research Questions

Based on the background of the study, statement of the problem and the objectives of the study, the following research questions were raised to guide the study:-

1. What is the level of sales force motivation in the two manufacturing and service companies (Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN) under study?

2. What are the different motivational tools used on the sales force by the manufacturing and service companies?

3. What are the motivational effects of staff preferred leave period and participation in decision making on sales force performance of the two companies under study?

4. What are the most effective sales force motivational incentives used by either of the companies

under study.


1.5 Hypotheses Of The study

Following the statement of the problem, the objectives of the study and the research questions raised therefrom, the following hypotheses were formulated to guide the survey:-

1. There is no significant difference in the level of sales force motivation in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN.

2. There is no significant difference in the sales force motivational tools used by the manufacturing and service companies. 3. Preferred schedule leave period and participation in decision making do not have significant effect on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria PLc and MTN. 4. There are no most effective motivational incentives used by manufacturing and service companies in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This study of the effects of motivation on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN Nigeria will be of immense benefit to the growth of manufacturing and service output in the economy. The study will provide the marketing managers with better conceptual, human and technical skills for assessing and increasing the efficiency of their sales force and other levels of employee towards achieving both personal and organizational goals. This study will also be relevant to companies operating in Nigeria. The management of these companies will be refreshed and educated more on the needed adequate knowledge and application of appropriate motivational strategies that will enhance industrial harmony and growth. This will facilitate peace, commitment and interpersonal relationship. The study will encourage the management of various companies and corporations to make policies that will harvest “happy sales force, happy company ” situations.

In the educational sector, the study will equip the teachers and educational administrators/managers with the right mindset to “invite students to learn”. Through this study, they will see more reasons to helpfully but objectively commit the students to the pursuit of successful teaching and learning process. The students themselves will be prepared through this study to adequately handle some economic functions involving human resource management especially the sales force issues. This


work is intended to help the students get ready for the additional management responsibilities they are likely to encounter in the real world.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

This research work will be confined to assessing the effects of motivation on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN as manufacturing and service companies in the South-East states. This study will identify the available sales force motivational tools, the ones used differently or otherwise by the two companies, and proffer the way forward. However, lack of adequate time and finance will not permit the extension of the study to their head offices, but it is believed that what will be obtained from their South-East branch offices will represent the general true situation.

1.8 Area Of Study

This study will be carried out in the South-East area of the country, Nigeria. Specifically, Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, and Owerri will be covered because of the time frame for this study. Moreover, Guinness has its South-Eastern manufacturing plant at Aba, while the MTN‟s service centres are located in Aba, Onitsha, Owerri and Enugu amongst others. The two companies will be studied as respective representatives of manufacturing and service companies in the East of the Niger.

1.9 Limitations Of The Study

The conduct of research in Nigeria and of course all developing countries is hindered by a lot of problems. In this particular study on the effects of the motivation on sales force performance in Guinness Nigeria Plc and MTN in the South-East, the following problems were encountered:

a. Power supply: Poor power supply is the greatest problem of this research. Sometimes there will be no light for about one month or more. When light is on, it would be very epileptic thereby forcing the researcher to incur more cost to power the generator otherwise nothing would be done. Browsing, studying, processing of data progress, etc were all affected by inefficient power supply even in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

b. Family distractions: Combining and co-ordinating office work, family duties and rigorous academic exercise as this research is a herculean task. Besides, hostel accommodation was not available to make the study easy.

c. Data collection problem: There were delay in executing and returning the questionnaire by the respondents. This called for repeated visits to the two companies studied, so also the poor


attitude of some target respondents who did not execute the instrument at all. In fact, sourcing data from corporations was a very difficult case as the staff were secretive the extent of which depend largely on the level of exposure and mindset of staff of the two companies, and the individual differences of all concerned with this research work..

d. Financial problems: This depicts the prevailing economic condition in the country and the consequent financial state of average Nigerian student. Financing this research was therefore a big task. There is nothing like research grant to aid self-sponsored study.

e. Time constraint: As time waits for no man, the time frame for this study did not allow the use of many analytical techniques and expansion of the scope. The overall academic pressure, lapsing of programmes and fear of NUC‟s screening harmer on researcher‟s job would not permit extension of period slated for this study.

1.10 Definition of Terms

In the course of this study, definitive meaning of some relevant terms will be understood as follows:- Motivation: Motivation refers to the desire and effort to satisfy a want or goal (Akpala 1990:237). It is a drive towards an outcome, human resources management action directed to the sales force to elicit their optimum performance. Motivational Practice: This consists of all the activities habitually performed by the management and directed towards the organizational members in order to exact loyalty and appreciable level of task performance (Carter 1990: 216). Motivational Reward: This refers to cash or any other form of compensation in liquid assets for services rendered, task performance or merit achieved (Chime 1990:196). Sales force: The term refers to sales people (men and women) employed by a firm or a company to find prospective buyers of their commodities, convert these prospective buyers to customers and ensure that they are continually satisfied to facilitate repeat performance (Nwokoye 1988:154). Marketing: The performance of business activities that directs the flow of goods and services from producers to users (American Marketing Association). The Institute of Marketing, London defines marketing as “the management of processes responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers‟ requirement profitably” (Onah and Allison 2007:124).


Communication: This refers to the exchange of thought or information to bring about mutual understanding and confidence or good human relations. It is an intercourse by words, letters, symbols, or messages, and a way one organization member shares meaning and understanding with another (Osuala and Okeke 2006:118). Manufacturing: This is the business or industry of producing goods and services in large quantities in factories. The sales force present these goods and services to prospective buyers/users, convince them and get their patronage. Service: This is a system that provides something relevant (intangible) which the public needs, organized by the government or a private company. It is a business whose work involves doing something for customers but not producing goods - a service industry serving customers in hotel, shop, restaurant, etc (Hornby 2000:1075).


References Akpala, A. (1993) Management: An Introduction and the Nigerian Perspective, Enugu, Precision Printers and Publishers. Bolt, G. J. (1987), Practical Sales Management, London, Pitman Publishing. Carter, R. (1990), Business Administration: The Human Relations Approach, Britain, 2nd Edition, Heinemann Professional Publishing Ltd. Hornby, A. S. (2000), Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, 3rd Edition, P. 1075. Isidoro, S. E. and Ibanga, A. J. (2007), “Selling Booze: Alcohol Marketing in Nigeria,” Unpublished Conference Paper, Centre for Research and Information on Substance. Kalu, S. E. (2005), “Sales Force Motivation and Supervision in Office Equipment Marketing,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 3. No. 1, P. 29. Kazeem, O and Atili, A (2010), “Zain, MTN, Glo and the Struggle for Market Share,” The Nation, Monday, June 28, 2010, P. 23. . Kotler, P. (1997), Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control, New Jersey, Prentice Hill Inc. Rick, C. (2008), “Common Sales Problems and How SFA Solves Them,” Journal of

Customer Research Management, Sengupta, K., Heiser, D. R., and Cook, L. S. (2008), “Manufacturing and Service Supply Chain Performance: A Comparative Analysis,” Journal of Supply Chain Management, September 22 2008, Retrieved 2/9/2010. Ubanagu, O (2006), “Motivation – A Sine-Qua-Non for the Effective Performance of the Workforce,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 4, No. 1, March 2006, P. 190.

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