A Study on the Relationship between Competency and Performance of Sales Personnel
The recent competitive business environment is calling for momentum based competency adequate enough to sustain the business and match the degree of competition in the market. Firms try as much as possible to make sure sales representatives demonstrate enough skill in this critical to market conditions to gain an upper hand in revenue generation and sales expansion. With models of pitching developing to react to the commercial center, there are changes in the competency necessities and parts individuals must play for future achievement, bringing about the rise of new sorts of offers experts. While there has been research on the level of competencies of salespersons particularly those in the telecommunication industry. There is enough evidence to prove that in recent time technology is playing a vital role in the volume of sales a company is able to make on daily basis, but that is only if they train their staff well enough to adapt to the current trend of satisfying the customers by applying advance methods to business with respect to the overall corporate Competence. In spite of potential for deals faculty to impact businessperson execution in the advancing deals models, explore concentrating on deals director choice, improvement, and execution is restricted. The motivation behind this examination was to integrate deals faculty competency discernments, propose a stock of capabilities for bleeding edge deals people for associations that can help with enhancing individual, group, and authoritative execution, and produce prescribed employments of the competency display that could fill in as a guide for HR activities to expand levels of offers constrain adequacy.
Through traditional selling has taken a new dimension, organizations have made adequate arrangement to adjust particularly at the board level where major corporate decisions are taken to achieve the long term goals. The four (4) major telecommunication companies in Ghana are fiercely competing on the basis of internal capabilities to overtake each other. .
Chapter 1 Introduction 11-17
Every business organization is exposed to competition so far as there is sustainability, profits goodwill and some degree of value on asset as indicated by Becker’s (1993). However the success of such business does not depend on the amount of resources they can command but rather an outstanding human capital capable of handling and turning these resources into revenue generating tools to yield returns on investment. This about, putting human resource at the care of every organization that requires competent management team to excel in the market to record high sales otherwise investors will be quick enough to withdraw their capital from the organization. This is same with sales personnel who are termed as the drivers of organizations fortunes because of their skills and ability to sell the products and services to the complex customer. Most the sales personnel take interest in learning and gaining more abilities to promote the business interests in gear up market development.
There are several factors that drive sales and performance of sales personnel in Ghana in recent times; some are the overall financial impacts and general objectives and interest of the organization, giving motivating to the sales force to both the individual employee and sales team
. An expanding number of marketing companies in Ghana now understand the relevance of information the role it plays in their human capital contribution in making the financial position of the company esteem. As human resource experts suggest every organization must educate their sales personnel adequately enough about the market trends and any available information about their competitors at the any point so that the strategies and policies of the company can be achieved. The most vital is to achieve the objectives reaching high sales records but the abilities of its workforce depends on the level of training and undertaking of how the market operate and how to handle the complex customer who mainly have a strong bargaining power . We are in a one of a kind position to distinguish and create human capability, utilizing supreme resources base to create value and money to drive development and goad advancement for the company.
Since the1980s, McLagan has conducted a series of research in the field to recognize clear competency criteria to help choose companies decide on which component of the competence model they need to focus more to help them position themselves well in the industry, develop strategies to prepare for any turbulent business environment and get ready for the competitors who are ready to drive sales on key industry success factors. While a few companies have focused their strength on, for example, unique marketing strategies such as advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, sponsorships of sports and massive radio advertising which are bringing results, a majority of them are simply making use of technology and innovation to bring improvement to meet people’s high expectations as suggested by McLagan ( ).Whether there is technology or not the core objective is to drive business and keep pace with other competitors in the industry as well make a headway in the human asset advancement ( ). As indicated by the U.S. Branch of Labour’s, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010), there are near 14 million individuals working in the marketing and sales industry and about 11% of the United States sales personnel perceive threat of losing their jobs to technology since mobile applications have simply taken over the tradition functions ( ). The marketing and sales business in recent time deals with creation of non-traditional customers or people who are originally are not part of the core target markets, that mean the creating a wider market space rather than compete for a wider market share of the industry with little resources ( ) . This also includes the company’s ability identify the key drivers of change in the industry in order to align their strategies and work towards generating high level income in revenue driven markets with applicable sales and marketing practices in an economy or the nation as stated by the . (United Professional Sales Association [UPSA], 2002). The business scene has changed significantly over the most recent 30 years and is developing quickly because of an evolving commercial center. The rate of innovation exchange is expanding and the quantity of contenders has become extensively because of globalization of business sectors. A Harvard Business Review study of boss deals officers (CSOs) presumed that 85% of organizations report increments in their product offering broadness, item many-sided quality, and support in new markets ( ) .With new models of pitching developing to react to the commercial center, new sorts of offers experts, deals supervisors, and deals pioneers are rising. Advancements in how providers and clients communicate have required changes in the way deals strengths are organized, adjusted, created, and assessed keeping in mind the end goal to maintain an elite deals culture fit for making progress in today’s exceedingly aggressive what’s more, worldwide business economy ( ) The Business people assume a basic part in associations in conveying client esteem, and the way they satisfy this part is straightforwardly affected by deals administrators, the most basic component in a profitable deals compel ( ) However, in spite of the potential for deals supervisors to impact businessperson execution in the advancing deals display given perceivability into their representatives’ day by day work process, examine concentrating on deals chief determination and execution is constrained. Progressively director fitness demonstrates testing since organizations have a tendency to elevate sales representatives to first-line administrator positions in light of solid execution in the individual patron part. Indeed however, the abilities intrinsic to and shown by compelling supervisors vary from those of high3 performing salesmen given the part is multi-faceted with one of a kind needs that require adjusting skills ( ). Deals administration has constantly assumed a basic part in associations. Directors lead a group, react to clients, consistently enhance items and administrations, and transform approaches vigorously. The effect of high-performing supervisors on incomes and benefits is all around archived. Henceforth, skilled deals chiefs are one of the key resources expected to beat contenders ( ) this significance, there are various reviews referred to in the writing on administrator fitness; and keeping in mind that there is a suspicion of comparative abilities in administration works crosswise over associations and levels of administration, it has been resolved that not all competency things or practices are similarly valuable for all occupations, work levels, business portions, or locales ( ). Hone in the business calling and flow explore on skills demonstrate that sales representative abilities are vital to authoritative upper hand. While there has been research in the territory of passage level sales representative competency, there is a crevice in the writing among other expert deals levels, e.g., deals administration ( ) .What is required now is a more cognizant comprehension of the capabilities of bleeding edge deals chiefs in revenue driven associations to handle what is expected to accomplish new levels of individual, group, and hierarchical execution.
- Background of the Telecommunication industry in Ghana.
In assessing an organisations human resource ability and execution particularly in a focused business condition like the telecommunication industry, efforts must be made by industry players and stakeholders to recognize the individuals capabilities and skills necessary to drive sales and increase the efficiency ( ) For a telecommunication company to possibly be advanced or for any reason go beyond the industry standard in terms of revenue , market share and vast assets is a matter of maintaining the best marketing and sales team that is capable of turning the fortunes of the organisation from a mere brand name to a household name superior enough to overtake the competitors . Through execution major marketing strategies does not guarantee a clear leadership position in the industry due to imitation and substitution and even threat of new entrants , most leading telecommunication companies are able to maintain their positions based on certain unique survives they offer to the public that are of necessity and free of cost . It might be found that there is an inadequate number of companies who are set up to enter telecommunication but end up in the advertising and sales industry because of their inability to compete with the existing companies like MTN , Ghana Telecom ,Tigo and recently Glo from Nigeria fail to survive the competition in its first years of operation ( ). Studies have shown that most of these companies can be made for more competent if their research and development department focus on identifying the exact needs of the customer and how best technology can aid the sales activities in the country instead of focusing all their attention of winning the bigger part of the market and earning high revenue . Some studies have also found out that government is not doing much in terms of passing the laws necessary to compel the top four (4) to offer better services to their customers in the country. As it stands none of them is assured of a 100% command over the market share due to poor services to their subscribers across the all ten regions of Ghana. The few who are able to make are those are better off in administration advancement in establishing well organised business structure to outline and allocate all functions and responsibilities and ensure control mechanisms to check performance of all departments especially the sales department and ensure review and correction where necessary( ) . The sales department must ask a fundamental question such who we are and what do we stand for. Are we making marketing the brand and our expertise to discover clients for the organisation who are willing to business with us for the next five ten years with exercising the power to switch to another company? Chart …….industry
Progression arranging is a key worry for all organizations attempting to accomplish more noteworthy piece of the overall industry in any industry they get themselves. A very much outlined evaluation framework gives a profile of the association’s human asset qualities and shortcomings to bolster this exertion. For some associations, the essential objective of an examination for deals work force is to enhance individual and authoritative execution however with sensible commission and pay rates. There might be different objectives, be that as it may. A potential issue with deals work force assessment is in Guinea is settling an all-around organized pay scale and compensation to fill in as motivational variable to stay away from any conceivable reason for much disappointment among the business staff. Much is normal from an evaluation arranged implied for deals faculty chipping away at the field especially those occupied with retail benefit? For instance, an arrangement that is viable for creating representatives may not be the best to determine pay increments. However, a legitimately planned framework can help accomplish authoritative goals and upgrade worker execution. Truth be told the whole framework depends on the level of preparing and ability given to the workers in that field since promoting and deals assumes a critical part in deciding the general monetary position of the association.
In assessing a firm’s human resources capability and performance especially in a competitive business environment, records must be accessible to identify those who have the potential to be promoted or for any area of internal employee relations mostly in the case of sales personnel. Through performance appraisal it may be discovered that there is an insufficient number of workers who are prepared to enter management. Plans can then be made for greater emphasis on management development for those sales personnel who do well to create market and find customers for the organisation.
Succession planning is a key concern for all firms trying to achieve greater market share in any industry they find themselves. A well-designed appraisal system provides a profile of the organization’s human resource strengths and weaknesses to support this effort.
For many organizations, the primary goal of an appraisal for sales personnel is to improve individual and organizational performance but with reasonable commission and salaries. There may be other goals, however. A potential problem with sales personnel evaluation is in Guinea is fixing a well-structured salary scale and remuneration to serve as motivational factor to avoid any possible cause of much dissatisfaction among the sales personnel. Much is expected from an appraisal plan meant for sales personnel working on the field particularly those engaged in retail service. For example, a plan that is effective for developing employees may not be the best for determining pay increases. Yet, a properly designed system can help achieve organizational objectives and enhance employee performance. In fact the entire system is based on the level of training and competence given to the employees in that field since marketing and sales plays a pivotal role in determining the overall financial position of the organisation.
Statement of the problem
As cited in the previous to literature, new technologies are taking over the telecommunication industry of Ghana and the relevance of sales personnel is gradually reducing as scientific models are offering explanations as to how the companies can stand the drastic change without losing their vital human resources to more advanced industries . Meanwhile the core activities of the sales personnel cannot be ruled out of any industry as they are the vehicle on which the company’s revenue is transported. Most researchers have suggested training and development but the question is how long the organization can sustain training activities with its associated cost and logistical challenges. If training personnel on regular basis will make them competent and the organization is not able to fund the cost of regular training to keep pace with technology then what are the other factors that influence the performance of the sales personnel to boost their competence on the job? The main motivation behind this study is to identify the other factors that are capable of influencing the performance of the sales personnel skills and capacity to increase sales and revenue for the companies beyond the traditional method of selling in this challenging business environment. The telecommunication industry of Ghana has seen a rapid growth over the years notwithstanding the fierce competition from revels, suppliers, industry, new entrants and high buyer power to switch from one company to the other. This report will seek to investigate and determine whether the factors listed have any relationship with the skills, competence and performance of the sales personnel in order to offer recommendations for better strategies for sustainability.
- The overall aims research 11-12
The aim of this research is the conduct a thorough analysis of the MTN Ghana limited regarding their ability to sell using the competent model. Since the emergence of new models for sales are improving the competence and skills necessary for marketing and performance enhancement the study would focus on other elements that are capable influencing the sales personnel competence to perform better than their rivals in the industry Therefore, this study is directed to partially fill the gap in literature by investigating the competencies required for optimum frontline sales personnel performance in the Telecommunication industry of Ghana . The study will share and contribute to knowledge in the area of human resource management and competence expected of sales personnel to address current challenges that is driving the industry sales.
There is a lopsided measure of research directed towards an organizations ability to distinguish itself from others with evidence from and proof of critical skills to drive revenue viability. The Constrained research accessible focuses on wide attributes or qualities identified with deals supervisor determination from the viewpoint of offers administrators or general chiefs. Be that as it may, to acknowledge these general skills as huge for the part of offers directors, one must deduce that the notable attributes of offers administrators or general administrators are like the qualities of offers chiefs, which is not bolstered with experimental confirmation (Dubinsky and Ingram, 1983). By characterizing deals chief skills, representatives, supervisors, and pioneers can get a handle on what is required to achieve new levels of execution (Learning Organization, 1997). Hence, this examination means to mostly fill the crevice in writing by exploring the abilities required for ideal cutting edge deals administrator execution in the revenue driven setting. It is normal that this exploration will add to the comprehension of compelling HRD methodologies to
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this research is to throw more light on the impact of technology on the telecommunication industry and the challenges currently confronting the sales profession in Ghana. Most of the companies have lain off over 500 workers in the past one year for their inability to cope with salaries and cost of marinating a high organizational structure to control the human resources and some overlapping activities. Industry leaders and stakeholders including government have express deep concerns on the ,matter but so far there has not been any précised decision on how to cope with the replacement of the services of the sales personnel with technology . No doubt it very convenient for customers to access certain critical services without walking to the company itself. Most companies have also involved money transfer services to their variety of features which is equally a means innovation that is driving customers from undertaking the traditional banking business thereby making it possible for the general public to transact business online using this telecom services with instructions online without the help from sales personnel. This certainly requires a high level skills and additional competence to match the trend and change.
- To determine the specific `competencies required of a sales persons to boost performance.
- To find out and determine the relationship between training and performance of sales personnel.
- To determine the relationship between employee reward and overall performance.
- What are the specific competencies required of a sales personnel to boost performance.
- What is the relationship between training and performance development of Seles personnel.
- What is the relationship between employee reward and performance on sales and overall market share of the organisation
Assumptions of the study
- The participants willingly without any undue influence decided to take part in the by responding to the survey questions.
- Individuals responding to this survey could use personal perception to identify the competencies needed within the occupation
- The research instruments used were the best and appropriate tools for gathering evidence on the subject matter.
- The instrument was the deemed the best and appropriate for the study in order to ascertain the competency level of the participants and also serve as a fair platform to evaluate the skills of the respondents
Limitation of the study
- The information and data collected relates to only a particular point in time and could not represent the opinion and sales trend over a long period of time.
- Sales is a continuous exercise which does not remain static but goes through a constant evolution therefore the study should have taken a longer period of time to take into accounts accuracy .
Significance of the study
Newmodels have emerged in recent time to enhance sales and boost performance of sales personnel however it is not clear whether all companies and their representatives on the market are practising the best methods or even are able to distinguish between the best and old method s of achieving high sales. The research is aimed at testing the skills and competencies of sales personnel as against their performance the determine the organisations level of competitive advantage.
Chapter 2 Literature review
The purpose of this chapter is to give and wide and comprehensive overview of the literature related to competence and capacity building level of the sales personnel and compares the thoughts and augments from leading authorities in sales and marketing profession to aid our study.
- What is the meaning of competency
- The models relating to competencies
- The long term evolution of the sales as an occupation
- What are the factors responsible for the competence of sales personnel? .
What is competency? (The three major dimensions)
There are various and numerous definitions of the term competency or competencies by many authorities , however there seem to be lack of agreement on the specific statement describing the level of the competence of and personnel whether senior or junior rank . In order to provide a wide and comprehensive view from theoretical angles we will look at the competence in this context from three main categories. (a) From the educational level ( b) the business perspective (c) The psychological point of view.
The Educational Approach (Skills development, Awards and Achievements)
Competencies from educational point of view were defined to mean an achievement of a specific level or standard set. ( ). The current and modern theory of competence that is in discussion now primarily relates to educational discipline and the originator was Benjamin S Bloom who for the first time initiated a number of seminars and conferences between the period of 1949 -1953 with the notions that there was the need for scholars plays much emphasis on educational goals and achievements and come out with a system of assessment. The outcome of that conference gave birth to the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives:
Book 1, Cognitive Domain, a theoretical idea to come with a common language to aid a smooth communication and assessment of results and outcomes by professionals. The taxonomy predominantly focused on only the cognitive domain, which involves people and individuals capability to recollect and have a retentive memory with the aim of building their intellectual ability and necessary skills needed to pursue higher education. Since then, the taxonomies eventually brought or set the foundation for grading and evaluating academic performances in the United States of America and the world at large including countries under colonisation taking care of all persons under school going age which also catered for children. Finally the rules and regulations guiding this educational evaluation system provided the basic approach to competency and the justification for funding education by countries and organisations.
According to literature, in the middle of 1990’s Lorin Anderson, who happens to be aan old student of the Blooms, took the initiative to lead an educational team including psychologies to revise the cognitive domain taxonomy to relate to current and dynamic situations instead of assessing and evaluating people based on the same set of standard and curriculum. The team proposed modalities such as (a)Expanding the categories of English verbs (b) Changing the top most taxonomy levels to suit the dynamics of the society in order to place the educational level into an advanced level .
Figure 1. Blooms Taxonomy ( )
Atsame time when Bloom took the initiative to work on the creating of objectives, other great personalities called Gagne and Briggs in late 1974 also made the effort to address the limitation by bringing in the behaviourist approach, with the application of the taxonomy foundation to further give insight on their objectives with specific outcomes for educational development. Since then, the combination of the behavioural factors that we have discussed in the following pages included the new models and concepts that become popular shortly after the industries and educationist accepted the competency models for training and for corporate achievements.
The psychological approach
According to literature the method of evaluating individual’s level of intelligence base on series of test in the form of examinations are totally not relevant to life and individuals performance consequences. The argument added that even the grading system and scores of over 75% does not reflect real life situation or determine the level of intelligence since a real life situation does not take into account the intelligence or certain supernatural attributes to be successful in life. Drawing knowledge from the above assertion we sought to relate this to the performance of the sales personnel and their necessary skills needed to excel on the job. According to ( ) Competencies test or any form of educational evaluation to determine the skills , abilities , characteristics and traits of a person does not necessarily have to base on the knowledge but their desire and satisfaction on the job . Testing someone’s academic competence to determine their successful placement on the job is no assurance that they will perform on the job. Therefore he suggests the competency testing be an alternative means of assessing a person’s ability to perform on the job. This argument raised a lot of discussion in literature with some leading authorities claiming that there is no guarantee that a person’s academic achievement will be demonstrated on the job therefore competency testing which is the traditional intelligence measure must be made rather an alternative option to assessing individuals .
In order to thoroughly assess the individual functional abilities and behavioural competence, several views came up in the late 80’s throwing an opposing at the out-dated methods. The McClelland movement also called the competencies evaluating movement came out with a new idea termed the Practical Intelligence meant for reshaping the teaching and learning activities cantered on the competencies directed towards behaviour and ability to function and improve performance. This idea was facilitated by factors identifying certain thoughts and abilities that are highly influential in determining a person’s performance on the job then based on that subsequent judgements and evaluations can be done periodically or such a time that is deemed necessary. Upon identifying those factors and influential elements management can confidently base on it to set foundation and standard to teach other employees.
McClelland ( ) came out with a modality to aid the identification of competencies that and capable of setting the differences between a superior performance. The difference behavioural approach as stipulated certain characteristics portrayed by high standard individuals compared to those that perform lower or below, for example a person who displays certain traits , knowledge , capability , efficiency , high skills and command on the job that are often not demonstrated are termed as casual relationships to effective and highly efficient performance on the field .
However, social science approach which focuses on individual variances in their abilities, comprehension and foresight while the psychological and education approach relates to standard of performance and productivity. The concept and theory of practical intelligence is highly commendable looking at the feasibility and it practical approach to business and management. This concept of practical knowledge also spread through learning from others, seeking assistance from colleagues, supervisors and management to improve performance on the job .Clear knowledge in this discipline as more and more employees interact with each other on the job they turn to learn from each other a daily basis making the work place serve as a training ground for the organisation without any formal induction or capacity building training and its associate cost. Another scenario of the usefulness of these practical method is that as management issue instructions on daily through departmental heads and unit heads to the rank and file , the entire organisation including newly recruited staff also learn the practical aspect on daily basis especially marketing and sales personnel .
The Business Approach to measuring competencies (Seeking for Competitive Advantage)
Literature has it that profitability, wealth and value on any form of investment of any kind requires competence ( ). Anytime a new business policy is introduced it automatically changes the strategy of the business which definitely requires a high level of competence is requirement. The idea requires the level of competence an organisation demands at any point in time and the responsibilities required of people in charge of positions within the organisation. Competencies can be categorized into monetary that is capital and labour which is also the human intangible resource contribution to the organisation. The capital and shareholders over the years have realised that human resource comes first ahead of financial requirement, this re-emphasized on the fact that competence is a fundamental requirement to business survival but not the amount of capital a firm has. According to ( ), research has not deliberately agreed on a particular side however, much significance is associated with knowledge and intellectual abilities of the of individuals to contribute effectively towards the success of the organisation. Knowledge of a personnel or the qualification one has determines the position in any organisation and it is assumed that a competent body carried out it work to critically evaluate the abilities of the individual thoroughly before awarding any certificate that correspond to the current position and relative remuneration at work . At this point there is no doubt the competence of a person is related to the work and contribution to the overall organisations success. The marketing and for that matter the sales profession is increasingly depending heavily on human capital as a critical success factors for business development , profitability , a source of competitive advantage and overall efficiency for the growth of market share . It theory according to leading authors has it that the entire strategy of an organisation should be cantered on available human resource capabilities. The strategies and policies of the organisation whether to expand, increases investment or take major strategy should first of all consider the human resource ability to ascertain whether it can absorb the new strategy and quickly abide by any new technology that may come with it. In a competitive world of business, an organisation cannot survive a fierce competition or sustain beyond a reasonable period of time in a turbulent or volatile industry without competency sales personnel and management. In 1980, McLagan, one of the biggest achievements of the corporate world was the fact that human thinking, competency and capacity to develop became an integral part of organisation development strategy. The idea was that in the end competence could finally become a vital tool for organisational key drivers for change in a turbulent market and if the organisation is able to apply key elements of competencies, it will not only reflect in their marketing and sales abilities but will include financial performance, efficiency in asset management, value chain and the overall functioning system considering the demands and expectations of stakeholders.
Figure 2. Defining competence ( )
In the business scenario, competencies include a variety of definitions and can be categorised into various groups such as, (a) functional competencies which normally include vocation and technical skills that are often demonstrated on the job and reflect on overall company output, (b) The personal and attitude or behavioural competencies which are normally not seen or demonstrated openly on the job but often reflect on employees output and method of application to the daily business activities for results . These forms the overall characteristics of the employees and staff engaged in the day to day business activities with their knowledge, technical abilities, skills, attitudes and culture that forms the policies and visions of the organisation. From figure 2 above, Attributes comprises the behaviour and functioning competencies of the sales personnel or any employees with the ability to create a high level efficiency in problem solving with some high degree of technical knowledge and abilities from the job and industry to satisfy stakeholders. Drawing from the competency framework above while attributes represent a variety of potential competency levels including ability to provide leadership qualities it actually does not encompass the fundamental determinants of performance on the job as a sales personnel or even the role of a sales manager therefore it is quite challenging is deploying the best human resource strategies such as recruiting and selection, employee development schemes and even performance measurement. The distinction between the functional competencies which is behavioural which are opposite in nature and visible and invisible level of competencies sought to create a lot of misunderstanding and controversy in management literature especially regarding sales personnel and the marking profession as the profession requires a visible and more vibrant and active participation to promote a product, brand and the overall performance of the product lines in the market. The sales profession in recent years has taken a different dimension to include the ability to drive sales throw several methods such as such as direct selling, word of mouth, promotion, and advertising. All these methods require a clear understanding of the concept and responsibilities of each sales person to navigate the complex and very hostile market environment which is why most scholars sees the profession as a kind of vacation that needs to be practised over and over again irrespective of one’s qualification . According to ( ) .The competency theory involves and interconnection of several factors influencing performance on the job including reward, training, environments, innovation and technology. For the sake of research and the ethics governing every empirical study, competency is defined as the knowledge, skills and one’s technical ability and attitude to work or a particular profession for some specific reward or achievement.
The history of the theory of competency models can be traced back to the 1959 and can be liken to be in a spherical form considering the numerous scopes that the concepts has followed and its application in contemporary business . The pioneers of the competency models and a founding father of the first competency model was Drucker who propounded the term knowledge worker back in 1959. The term refers to someone who works mainly according to available information at hand or base his work on knowledge acquired from workplace develops and applies them at the workplace or to business.
Being abreast with knowledge and business practices is now considered critical success factor to gaining competitive advantage in an environment hosting a good number of businesses and competitors either in a perfect competitive market or in a monopoly market structure. The current business practice is suffering from the emergence of powerful technologies which is making way for innovation in the form of technology as it is fast becoming the area of competitions. Technology is taking over from the traditional marketing practice thereby rendering the traditional marking obsolete and outmoded overnight. Business sustainability and survival is now based the level of technology an organisation is able to deploy which is termed as tacit knowledge ( ). The jobs that require high application of knowledge are mostly define by the ability , capacity and requisite skills unlike discreet function that does not require a high level of qualification . Knowledge or tacit jobs are those that demand that a person is fully trained and achieved a level of qualification and certification to perform a certain task.
In a nut shell, knowledge jobs require a high sense of tenacity, creativity, innovative mind and, personal judgement, objectivity professional conduct in order to perform and fit well into a business portfolio.
In the early 1990’s the world witnessed a progressive a shift of some top industry leaders to low level performers in the industry especially the telecommunication companies like MTN Ghana which happens to be the unit of study in this research. According the information available on n the market. The companies who made it or survived the technological shock that eliminated a more than 40% of industry players, with a good number of them going bankrupt had to rebrand or repackage themselves for a re-lunch quickly to take advantage of the few opportunities that the industry might present in the near future. During this period these companies had to apply certain critical strategies to draw expertise from other successful companies either through merger takeover or acquisition. A good example is chief Executive of IBM. The company over the years have demonstrated that in order to adjust quickly to the changing face of technology ,intelligence knowledge creation must form part of their company philosophy and must be the backbone of the organisational policies if they are to survive the next turmoil and see growth within the next couple of years .
Top CEO’s such as the Lou Gerstur who knows much about nurturing talent and knowledge took the initiative to make provisions for human resource development, management people, personnel and resources in order to match the competence with the changing trends in the industry, technology and the melting market condition.
Since sales and the marketing business in recent time is taking a global dimension and is recently encountering a devastating challenge , the only means by which businesses can survive the trend is access to timely information needed to match the global trends and the dynamics the companies are facing . According , ( ) , any strategy for growth and expansion must adequately correspond with the vision and long term objectives of the organisations and the ability to build , create abundant of highly skilled human resource capable of working towards improving the overall financial position of the organisation .
In 1980, Mclagan came out with a competency model describing a set of mechanisms, capabilities and some useful elements needed to function perfectly on the job with the aim of adding value. The competency elements are referred to as decision tools that have a direct relationship and correlation with key activities of every organisation. The elements pointed out in the this argument are made up of Skills, knowledge, creativity and technical expertise with requisite ability such attitude to perform on a particular job ( )
|REAL , PROVIDE , ATTAIN ,OBTAIN , RECHECK
|OBSERVE, CLARIFY, CONVERT, DEFINE, DISCUSS.
|DIRECT , PERFORM , MAINTAIN , IMPLEMENT , CONTROL , RETRIEVE , EXECUTE ,CORRECT OPERATE
|Analyse , identify , train , calculate , document, inspect , investigate solicit , survey
|Develop , Coordinate , Modify , Design , Consult , Plan , manage replace , Update
|Monitor , Review , evaluate , determine , recommend , assess , interpret , suggest , study
According to some leading authorities who argued in favour of the competency model stated that whenever an organisation applies the competency modelling strategy to evaluate performance of any sought, the modelling must take account of all technical aspects it means that the organisation is enjoying an added advantage indicating that they have a focus point od analysis which can take account of any long term eventualities to put the organisation in the right position to align itself with knowledge requirements for both short and long term vision . This equally implies that the roles and responsibilities will be assigned in anticipation of long term requirement. Certain skills that may be needed in the future to facilitation major sales projects can now the provided in advance. The use of the competency model is simply to assess the current position of the organisation as against their competitors in terms of resources based view and the ability to project viability and future gains.
A study conducted in The united states by the General Electronics based on the above competency parameters indicated that the most relevant and most applied element of the competency model is the Synthesis after it received a total rating of 46% making it the most sought after element . The same studies also highlighted that, the second highest or second most significant element on the competency model is Analysis which subsequently received 25% rating after it was declared that the competency model is fast gaining ground in contemporary business environment. It is interesting to note that knowledge followed by comprehension both attracted 5% rating according to its application by managers in business practice. There is no doubt that Synthesis came first, considering the number of elements and variables capable of positively influencing the sale personnel performance and overall impact on the organisations financial performance and market share.
In effect, competency level must reflect the outcome of every business management irrespective of the department or section; process especially the marketing activities which involve sales personnel going out to the field. However, in order to achieve this, emphasis should be placed on the behaviour which depicts the action and the ability to produce results after deploying the competence strategy model. Moreover, the application of the competency model in sales and marketing activities must come with clear rules on the object, good channels of communication and flow of authority to whoever is being instructed to carry out an activity in the interest of the organisation. The instruction must come with the specific time the task must be completed in order to measure performance and against standards.
Drawing knowledge from the above literature one can emphatically mention that skills , knowledge and technical abilities of employees and the entire organisation is dependent on the leadership style , training , the business environment and ability of the organisation to adapt to new technology . Meanwhile talking about competence in the telecommunication industry of Ghana, sales personnel and the management as a whole can improve their level of competence by looking out for key attributes during recruitment process, induction training for newly recruited employees or they can equally enrich their human resource capabilities through
- Various capacity building programmes
- On the job training
- Sponsorship to support higher education and acquire professional certifications
- Opportunity to serve the organisation or perform activities over long time.
- Ability of management to adapt and adjust quickly to technology.
Sales profession and performance
The sales profession over the years has seen drastic movement from the traditional selling to an innovation driven selling activity of which every sale personnel is challenged to adapt quickly to remain prolong their stay in business and maintain a market share. According a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review on the roles of Chief sales officers and their sales personnel , 85% of those executives testified that there has been a sharp increase in their product lines , greater market , their product saw a higher market penetration , longer product life cycle even in a complex industry with introduction of new products in new markets after the introduction of modern marketing and sales activities apart which is a departure from the traditional selling methods . Among the 85 % sales Executives 60% said they apply only modern marketing strategies in recent time with the aid of technology. Two decades ago, the ability of a company to record high sales volumes depends on the level of cordiality between sales executives of the company and their customers. ( ). However, over the years the trend has changed to include technology and some unique product features, service marketing direct customer satisfaction and personal attributes of the sale representatives ( ). It is therefore evidenced that in recent time customers are not mandated to walk several miles to purchase or get access to a product but rather stay in the comfort of their homes to order their items and receive instant service right on internet with high efficiency . Leading authorities in marketing believe that the marketing and sales activities no longer focus on only the product or service but rather emphasize on their personal attributes, appearance, value to the customer and ability to understand the needs of the complex customers. ( ). Failure to adapt a modern marketing planning and forecasting strategy would mean that the company and its sale personnel are ineffective enough to win maximum share of the target market and possibly overtake their competitors ( ). At every point of the product life cycle or service life cycle, the duties of the sales personnel is required right from time a new product is introduced into the market to the end of its life span. Studies have shown that the most competent and well trained sales personnel are the ones responsible for the long life span of a particular product in the market. Other schools of thought believe that reward and appraisal plus good incentives account for high productivity of most companies. In another view, many believe that the overall company strategy is what drives the sales of a company but not specific individuals who are in charge of retail or wholesale activities ( ). Most organisations according to leading marketing theories and literature give credit to ability of the company to blend all technology and traditional marketing and ability to train their sales personnel to quickly adapt and train their staff to flexibly use technology to reach out to a wider market while efforts are put in place to maintain the traditional sales method since majority of the customers still cannot adapt the technology means of buying or buying on internet.
The challenges most salespersons and their respective companies are facing include that of increase in competition resulting in global marketing strategies, internationalisation and establishment of foreign branches to spread risk and increase the profit base. Apart from the above increase in population and unique customer specification requires a specialized team of sales executives to face the competition. ( ). One aspect of sales and marketing and sales that has seen a major reform is the competition from suppliers , buyers ability to switch , the industry competition , rivalry , product substitution and threat from the environment ( ) . Contemporary marketing and sales activities are suffering from increasing price of goods from suppliers with low quality with the aim of increasing the supplier power, meaning that a lot is expected from the sales executives to lift their contribution to dominate the market to recoup the high cost of inputs . ( ). The action of the suppliers will deliberately cut down on profitability and add up to the fierce competition they are facing therefore most organisations are forced to embark on backward integration to own a source of raw material and resources in order to do away with the high cost . ( ). Similar Buyers are potential competitors is a company has less cost.
In order to create a sustainable and maintain high revenue over a period of time in a highly contested and competitive business environment , sales personnel success is accumulating sales became an issue of culture and the ability to break ethnic and religious barriers in this global business era . This is due to the fact that the dynamic business environment poses a very complex industry drivers couple with the devastating effect of technological innovation that is causing disruptive within the market. These forces are driving and controlling selling towards customer’s results. Currently the market has become very volatile that products are to be priced according to superior quality to in order to sustain it position in the market. However, customization of products features and specialized services for specific customers is a source of competitive advantage.
Contrasting Transactional and Solution SELLING MODEL
Sales personnel Competency
As sales personnel migrate from traditional selling model to a more robust and sophisticated and integrated marketing strategy, so are the general skills pertaining to the profession such that the new skills are required of a sales person to be able to excel in the sales profession with the intention of increasing sales. In recent time , the pre-requisite and expertise required of sales personnel are quite demanding considering the highly contested market space available to many existing industry players and a couple of new entrants . The current nature of the market and the its dynamics warrant a high level competence to navigate the through the industry. Employees are mandated to possess special skills to contribute positively towards gaining a competitive advantage as against their competitors. Sales personnel can equally contribute and bring their competence to bear by translating company policies into action on the field. Employee employee’s competence is key and critical to achieving a high organisational performance since majority of them interact with customers on daily basis. According to literature, sales personnel have more responsibilities than any other staff due to the fact they sell products and services to the complex customers as well as serve the interest of the organisation with the superiors they are responsible to. As sales evolve the sales personnel must also adapt additional knowledge and expertise as shown below.
CHANGING SALES MODEL
According to the model above the sales managers and the sales management competencies and that of the sales personnel are termed as a set of good attributes such of knowledge, positive traits, skills, behavioural efficiency capable enough to put the employee or manager in the right position to represent and act in the interest of the organisation and the clients who are the customers. The model above prescribed a set of qualities the sales person must possess in order to qualify and better fit into the position where they can effectively bargain on behalf of the organisation.
The conceptual framework gives a representation of the research study by emphasizing patterns of elements and their interrelation with key concepts of the research (Fisher et al., 2010). The essence of conceptual framework is to help present the ideas in a more concise form through diagrams for easy understaning. The conceptual framework for this study is adapted from Gohari et al. (2013). The framework captures the factors that influence sales personnel performance in an organization which includes rewards/payment, promotion, job security, training and friendly environment. These factors will lead to sales personnel performance.
Adapted from Gohari, Ahmadloo, Boroujeni, and Hosseinipour (2013)
2.6.1 Reward System
Extant literature suggests that an appraisal system is often linked to rewards. According to Armstrong (1993), rewards are used to recognize past achievements and provide motivation for employees’ contributions and competences. In a reward system, both basic and performance pay belong to the financial (or extrinsic) rewards. Additionally, there are non-financial (or intrinsic) rewards that include recognition, praise, achievement, responsibility, and personal growth. Lawler (1981) has provided supportive evidence that employees are motivated to perform effectively in situations where a performance appraisal is linked to pay and reward decisions and where high performers receive greater rewards. This practice, in turn, makes all parties have serious concerns regarding the system as it currently stands.
The reward system also has drawbacks that overshadow other important issues (e.g., training and development), by setting lower goals for easy achievement and putting pressure on appraisers to give high ratings. This in turn makes for less open discussion and does not allow for honest issues to be raised (Anderson, 1993). Drawing on the empirical findings of a study on pay satisfaction, Ducharme, Singh, and Podolsky (2005) found that the linkage of performance appraisal to employees’ salary can serve as an important indicator of pay satisfaction. The evaluation function of performance appraisal can also be used as a reference for determining salary increase and year-end bonus for hotel employees. Similarly, Allen and Helms (2001) indicated that the reward practices are linked to motivation, which directly affects the individual performance of employees, and eventually has an effect on the organization’s overall performance.
Sales personnel performance can increase organizational productivity by varying the inputs needed to attain their expected outputs. However, there are many factors, which affect organizational productivity other than employee performance. Akerlof and Kranton (2010) reported that many organisations would be successful in their goals and purposes if they understand the identity economics. People’s identity that is their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be, may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives and may indicate what would be the most appropriate incentives for them to perform in their job.
There seems to be evidence to confirm the positive relationship between financial factors and job performance in service organizations. Money is the fundamental inducement; no other incentive or motivational technique comes even close to it with respect to its influential value. All businesses use pay, promotion, bonuses or other types of rewards to motivate and encourage high-level performances of employees. It has the supremacy to magnetize, maintain and motivate individuals towards higher performance. According to Lemieux et al. (2009), the existing evidence shows that when there is a good performance measures, performance-pay can enhance employee productivity and improve match quality. However, the use of performance-pay is constrained by the quality of available performance.
Herzberg (1986), in his Two Factor Theory, listed offering training and development opportunities, so that people can pursue the positions they want within the company as motivators related to work. Roca et al. (2006) found that there is a significant correlation between training and job performance factor in the multinational organization. Additionally, in any organizations, the training of employees seems to be one of the motivational driving factors, which leads to a direct correlation with performance of employees (Min et al, 2006). Besides, training the employees of the organizations, it is believed that providing learning opportunities is a significant motivational factor for job performance (Kress et al., 2004). In other words, the management must apply efforts of essential meaningfulness dynamics to set up the job motivators such as training program (Zapata -Phelan, 2009).
Training plays an important role in employee performance. This is because through training, skills and knowledge are passed from the trainer to the trainee especially on new products/services and technology. It is through training that one builds the right attitudes towards work and unlearns the negative ones. When training is administered, it leads to effectiveness in service delivery and also makes the employees more confident at work hence job satisfaction is achieved. Training builds loyalty towards the organization and the same is passed on tom the customer hence better employee performance. Training acts as an avenue to personal growth and career advancement as promotion opportunities can be easily availed to employees who may have had specific skills to handle greater challenges in those positions.
Empirical investigation indicates that there is a positive relationship between job security as a motivational factor and job performance (Gabris & Simo, 1995). Miller et al. (2001) found that job security has significant effect on the performance of workers and employees are less motivated to work when job security is low. Researches investigating effects of job loss and having a job indicate that employee behaviors start going bad as soon as they start worrying about job loss (Domenighett, 2000; Özyaman, 2007). Thus, researchers on this subject (ŞenoL, 2010; Poyraz & Kama, 2008; Özyaman, 2007) suggest that job security provides employee with high motivation and it affects other motivation levels. For example in Şenol’s research (Şenol, 2010) job security was rated as one of the three most important motivational tools in all subcategories. Poyraz and Kama’s (2008) study on hotel staff also showed that job security functions as an important motivational tool since it changes negative work behaviors and the thought of leaving the job. Lack of job security has been found to be the reason for high turnover of employees. While there are many studies, linking job security as a motivational factor for employees’ work performance, some studies have found results to the contrary (Gohari, Ahmadloo, Boroujeni, & Hosseinipour, 2013). However, most studies have highlighted job security as a motivational factor for job performance.
Gohari et al. (2013) state that providing employees with opportunities to advance in their company through internal promotions acts as a motivator related to work. Simon and Enz (1995) and Wiley (1997) found that promotion and advancement opportunity to be among the best tools to motivate employees. Riketta and Dick (2005) suggested that behaviour of employees in the workplace is related to satisfaction in their careers. Empirical research by Harrison and Novak (2006) showed that efforts by management to establish promotion opportunities contributes to employee’s job satisfaction and acts as a motivator for job performance.
Another factor that influences people at work is a friendly environment because this factor has been found to have a direct impact on job performance of employees in service organizations. Chen and Lien (2008) stated that a large number of employees are likely to change their jobs when they are under pressure. Friendly environment at work is able to influence employees to commit themselves to carrying out their tasks and duties effectively. Similarly, respect among colleagues and managements will assist in creating a good work environment thus serves as an incentive for employees in workplaces (Halbesleben et al., 2007). Roca et al (2006) found a significant correlation between friendly environment and job performance factor in the multinational organization. Furthermore, Jamal (2007) studied the correlation between stressful work environment and the level of a person’s work ability among workforce of North American companies. The results showed in 90% of the companies, there was negative association between stressful work environment and job performance. This suggests that if the work environment seems stressful, managers must make effort to develop and implement programs that can foster a friendly job environment to motivate the employees (Hourani et al, 2006). For this reason, managements should play a constructive role in creating a harmonious atmosphere. They can create such an atmosphere by arranging events like tea breaks, birthday or wedding anniversary parties and trips. These programs can act as stimulus to motivate their employees (Campbell, 1990).
This chapter describes the research design and methodology of the study, including the population, sampling and sample, data collection and analysis, data-collection instrument, and ethical considerations. Quantitative researchers consult possible designs and select or develop one from the models available (De Vos, 2003). In this study, a cross-sectional design was adopted to solicit views from the staff or employees of Ghana MTN Ghana Limited on the impact of performance appraisal on employees’ performance in an organization.
There are three main approaches/techniques in conducting a research. These are the qualitative approach, quantitative approach and mixed method approach (Creswell, 2008).
This study will employ quantitative method approach. Hair et al. (1998), Alvesson and Skoldberg (2008), and Harwell (2011) explain that the quantitative study consists of standardized variables which describe people‘s experiences or opinions that are given numbers through usage of response alternatives that are determined before-hand. Christensen et al (2001) explain that the quantitative information is collected through surveys, interviews and archive material, which is often presented in the form of tables, diagrams and graphs.
Furthermore, it can be argued that the numeric focus allows the researches to analyze the variables in an objective way. Quantitative research measures the properties of phenomena systematically, using structured data-collection techniques, and requires that data collected be expressed in numbers; that is quantified (Babbie & Mouton, 2003).
The method for analysis of data is regression and frequencies and correlation analysis. This is because this quantitative technique will be appropriate for the study because of its effectiveness in analyzing the impact and relationship between variables (Hair et al., 1998; Creswell, 2008; Palinkas et al., 2013).
The study adopts a cross-sectional survey to elicit employees’ perceptions on the relationship between factors that influence sales personnel performance in an organization. The study will be conducted within the MTN Ghana Limited, Head Office. The study design and the valid instrument will help to find out the relationships that exist between factors that influence sales personnel performance in an organization. The following studies employed cross-sectional survey: Hinson and Amidu (2006) employed cross-sectional survey in a study internet adoption amongst final year students in Ghana’s oldest business school. Asase et al. (2009) came out with a cross-sectional survey of 660 households using structured questionnaire. Chien et al. (2013) conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2011 with 743 registered nurses randomly selected from four general hospitals in China. On their part Kiatrungrit and Hongsanguansri (2014) also adopted a cross-sectional study on the use of electronic media by secondary school students in Thailand. Again, Duke et al. (2014) research into the use of social media by state tobacco control programs to promote smoking cessation, which was also cross-sectional study.
The study focuses on a cross section of the MTN Ghana Limited employees. The objectives of the study are to find out specific competencies require of a sales personnel, relationship between training and performance, relationship between rewards and overall performance in an organization, the factors that influence the sales personnel performance using MTN Ghana Limited as a case. According to De Vos (2005) and Malhotra and Dash (2011) population can be defined as any complete group of entities such as people, organizations, institutions, or the like that share some common set of characteristics in agreement with the purpose of the study under investigation and about which researchers want to be able to draw conclusions and plan to generalize. Hence the population for this studies MTN Ghana Limited employees.
Data was collected from primary source. The primary data was sourced from questionnaires. The questionnaires were self-administered and were divided into two sections. Section A was made up of items that elicited information on the specific competencies require of a sales personnel, relationship between training and performance, relationship between rewards and overall performance in an organization, the factors that influence the sales personnel performance using MTN Ghana Limited as a case and Section B was made up of the bio data of respondents (staff from MTN Ghana Limited). The items was measured on a five point Likert scale- Strongly Disagree (1) point, Disagree (2) points, Neutral (3) points, Agree (4) points and Strongly Agree (5) points.
The study adopted non-probability sampling techniques for this study.
The study adopted purposive sampling techniques for this study. Purposive sampling was employed in targeting the MTN Ghana Limited. The justification for using purposive sampling lies in the fact that, according to Mack et al (2005) and Palinkas et al. (2013) purposive sampling may be used with both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Those who are not suitable for the sampling study or who do not fit the bill would be eliminated, so only the most suitable candidates remain and again, it saves time, money and effort (Patton, 1990).
Convenience sampling was used to select 100 employees from the MTN Ghana Limited. It is one of the only methods you can use when you can’t get a list of all the members of a population. For example, let’s say you were conducting a survey for a company who wanted to know what employees think of their wages. It is unlikely you will be able to get a list of employees, so you may have to resort to standing outside of the company and grabbing whichever employees come out of the door. Again, it is relatively easy to get a sample, inexpensive compared to other techniques and participants are readily available (Patton, 1990).
Based on the conceptual framework which was adapted from Gohari et al. (2013), this study adopted a multiple regression model to find out the specific competencies require of a sales personnel, relationship between training and performance, relationship between rewards and overall performance in an organization, the factors that influence the sales personnel performance using MTN Ghana Limited as a case to enable the researchers achieve the objectives of the study. To test the specific competencies require of a sales personnel, relationship between training and performance, relationship between rewards and overall performance in an organization, the factors that influence the sales personnel performance using MTN Ghana Limited as a case, a multiple regression model was estimated using employees’ performance as the dependent variable and Components of performance appraisal were used as the independent variables. The model is stated as follows:
Let: employees’ performance = Y1, Rewards= X1, Promotion = X2, Job security = X3, Training = X4, Friendly Environment = X5, and Error Term = e Then: Y1 = β0 + β1 X1 + β2 X2 + β 3 X 3 + β 4 X4 β 5+ X5 +e, where X1 … X5 are the independent variables, β1 … β5 are the coefficients of the independent variables, β0 = intercept and e = error term.
1.4 Research Methods 14-15
1.5 Innovation 15-17
Chapter 2 Literature Review 17-29
Competency and Competency Model
2.1.1 the emergence of competency 17
2.1.2 The concept of competency 17-19
2.1.3 competency model 19-21
2.2 Sales staff competency and its dimensions of the study 21-22
2.3 Performance and Sales Performance Research 22-24
2.3.1 Definition of performance 22-23
2.3.2 Research on Sales Performance
2.4 competency and behavior, the relationship between performances 24-26
2.4.1 Competence of competency and behavior
2.4.2 Relationship between competency and performance 24-26
Position and role of competency model in corporate strategy
Chapter 3 Study Hypothesis and Research Model 29-33
3.1 Research hypothesis 29-30
3.1.1 Competency and performance correlation
The relationship between competency and performance
3.1.3 Competency to distinguish between high and low performance employees
3.2 Research Models 30-33
Chapter 4 Research Designs 33-43
4.1 Variable Measurements 33-36
4.1.1. Measurement of competency 33-35
4.1.2 Measurement of performance 35-36
4.2 The formation of the scale 36
4.3 Small sample pre-test 36-42
Analysis of Reliability and Validity of Competency
4.3.2 Reliability and validity analysis of performance items
4.4 Large sample questionnaire issue and recovery 42-43
Chapter 5 Study Results Analysis 43-55
5.1 Demographic Analysis 43-44
5.2 Descriptive analysis
5.3 Reliability Analysis 44-45
5.4 Validity analysis 45-48
5.4.1 Competency analysis of competency scale 45-46
Performance analysis of performance scale 46-48
5.5 Related analysis 48-49
5.6 Regression Analysis 49-52
5.6.1 Regression Analysis of Competency Dimensions and Performance
5.6.2 Competency analysis of competency and relationship performance
5.7 Independent samples t test 52-55
Chapter 6 Findings and Prospects 55-57
6.1 Conclusions and Implications 55-56
Lessons and Expectations 56-57
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