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Machine learning methods have recently gained attention in business applications. We will explore the suitability of machine learning methods, particularly support vector…
Machine learning methods have recently gained attention in business applications. We will explore the suitability of machine learning methods, particularly support vector regression (SVR) and radial basis function (RBF) approximation, in forecasting company sales. We compare the one-step-ahead forecast accuracy of these machine learning methods with traditional statistical forecasting techniques such as moving average (MA), exponential smoothing, and linear and quadratic trend regression on quarterly sales data of 43 Fortune 500 companies. Moreover, we implement an additive seasonal adjustment procedure on the quarterly sales data of 28 of the Fortune 500 companies whose time series exhibited seasonality, referred to as the seasonal group. Furthermore, we prove a mathematical property of this seasonal adjustment procedure that is useful in interpreting the resulting time series model. Our results show that the Gaussian form of a moving RBF model, with or without seasonal adjustment, is a promising method for forecasting company sales. In particular, the moving RBF-Gaussian model with seasonal adjustment yields generally better mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) values than the other methods on the sales data of 28 companies in the seasonal group. In addition, it is competitive with single exponential smoothing and better than the other methods on the sales data of the other 15 companies in the non-seasonal group.
Introduction Operations research, i.e. the application of scientific methodology to operational problems in the search for improved understanding and control, can be said…
Introduction Operations research, i.e. the application of scientific methodology to operational problems in the search for improved understanding and control, can be said to have started with the application of mathematical tools to military problems of supply bombing and strategy, during the Second World War. Post‐war these tools were applied to business problems, particularly production scheduling, inventory control and physical distribution because of the acute shortages of goods and the numerical aspects of these problems.
To achieve a full understanding of the role ofmarketing from plan to profit requires a knowledgeof the basic building blocks. This textbookintroduces the key concepts in…
To achieve a full understanding of the role of marketing from plan to profit requires a knowledge of the basic building blocks. This textbook introduces the key concepts in the art or science of marketing to practising managers. Understanding your customers and consumers, the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) provides the basic tools for effective marketing. Deploying your resources and informing your managerial decision making is dealt with in Unit VII introducing marketing intelligence, competition, budgeting and organisational issues. The logical conclusion of this effort is achieving sales and the particular techniques involved are explored in the final section.
INTRODUCTION A large number of variables influence the approach of the marketing function to the problem of selling, including the state of technology, the economic environment, the social structure, the climate of the age (political, institutional, religious and educational), available communication media, skills which managers apply and so on. Yet personal selling is by far the major promotional method used to increase profitable sales by offering want satisfactions to markets and customers.
The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III…
The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III, contains features to help the reader to retrieve relevant literature from MCB University Press' considerable output. Each entry within has been indexed according to author(s) and the Fifth Edition of the SCIMP/SCAMP Thesaurus. The latter thus provides a full subject index to facilitate rapid retrieval. Each article or book is assigned its own unique number and this is used in both the subject and author index. This Volume indexes 29 journals indicating the depth, coverage and expansion of MCB's portfolio.
This paper argues that the methods of constructing house price indices for UK markets lag behind those employed in Europe, Australasia and North America. This is…
This paper argues that the methods of constructing house price indices for UK markets lag behind those employed in Europe, Australasia and North America. This is particularly evident in terms of the range and level of technical sophistication of the index construction methodologies. Importantly, the paper argues that the absence of reliable house price indicators undermines the decision‐making ability of policy makers and investors operating in urban housing markets. The paper suggests that this can, in part, be remedied by the construction of a system of local house price indices for British cities. The empirical research presents the first UK application of the repeat sales method to UK data. Indices are constructed for four cities and a range of diagnostic tests are used to establish the reliability and accuracy of the indices as a means of monitoring house price change. The research concludes by suggesting that the methods used here should be tested further on data from major metropolitan regions in England and Wales.
Previous research has revealed that sales trainers have been reluctant to incorporate distance education training methods into their programs. This study investigated the…
Previous research has revealed that sales trainers have been reluctant to incorporate distance education training methods into their programs. This study investigated the effectiveness of six different teaching methods in delivering one sales training course to a national salesforce from one organization. Training methods ranged from no‐tech to high‐tec and included: an on‐site instructor, a written manual, a manual plus videotape, video‐conferencing, audio‐graphics and an interactive multi‐media computer‐based training program. Pre‐ and post‐training evaluations of course content indicated significant improvements. Media were evaluated in terms of training required, number of participants to be trained and other technical considerations. Measures of course content revealed no significant differences in terms of delivery methods. Strengths, weaknesses and situations for optimal utilization of media and delivery method were identified. Findings should assist sales training managers in making more informed choices among distance education delivery options.
Companies spend millions on training their sales representatives. Thousands of textbooks have been published; thousands of training videos have been recorded. Hundreds of…
Companies spend millions on training their sales representatives. Thousands of textbooks have been published; thousands of training videos have been recorded. Hundreds of good pieces of advice and tips for sales representatives have been presented along with hundreds of sales methods and techniques. Probably the largest number of indicators and measures are applied in sales and distribution. On the one hand, this is a result of the fact that sales provide revenue and profit to a company; on the other hand, the concept of management by objectives turns out to be most effective in regional sales teams with reference to sales representatives and methods of performance evaluation. As a result, a whole array of indices has been created which enable the evaluation of sales representatives’ work and make it possible to manage goods distribution in a better way.
The indices presented in this chapter are rooted in the consumer market and are applied most often to this type of market (particularly in relation to fast-moving consumer goods at the level of retail trade). Nevertheless, many of them can be used on other markets (services, means of production) and at other trade levels (wholesale).
Although the values of many indices presented herein are usually calculated by market research agencies and delivered to companies in the form of synthetic results, we have placed the emphasis on the ability to determine them independently, both in descriptive and exemplifying terms. We consider it important to understand the genesis of indices and build the ability to interpret them on that basis. What is significant is that the indices can be interpreted differently; the same index may provide a different assessment of a product’s, brand or company’s position in the market depending on the parameters taken into account. Therefore, we strive to show a certain way of thinking rather than give ready-made recipes and cite ‘proven’ principles. Sales and distribution are dynamic phenomena, and limiting them within the framework of ‘one proper’ interpretation would be an intellectual abuse.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the widespread of property sellers choosing to sell by themselves or through an estate agent, what characterises them and the…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the widespread of property sellers choosing to sell by themselves or through an estate agent, what characterises them and the reason for their choice. In addition the paper contains comparisons of the gap between sales price and asking price between the sales methods and satisfaction with the sales process. This study is the first study of these phenomena carried out in Norway.
The data used for this study was obtained from a national survey including 1,649 house sellers. A logistic regression analysis is used to analyse the impact of household’s characteristics on the sales method.
The main findings of this study are that 83 per cent of the house sellers used an estate agent through the whole sales process and differences in the choices are related to urbanisation, age and education. The most important reason for preferring a real estate broker is that doing the sale on your own is considered too much work. Conversely, the most important reason for doing the sale on your own is that estate agents are too expensive. Those selling without an estate agent were more satisfied and the gap between sales price and asking price was smaller than for those selling through a real estate broker.
Issues concerning competition within the market for estate agents should be central topics for property management. Property sellers selling their property by themselves are an important contribution to increase the competition in the market for estate agents. This issue has not been on the agenda in Norway, or in Europe, in the same way as in the USA. This is probably due to the complexity in the legislation and strict laws within property sales in Central and Southern Europe. However, in Norway, UK and in the Nordic countries, the legal system is not complicated. It is rather the lockout of private individuals from the housing web sites and the fact that the property sellers are not familiar with this kind of transaction that has prevented property sellers to sell their house by themselves. Today Norway is one of few countries with a booming housing market, which also has increased the commission for estate agents. From 2010 private individuals got access to advertise their house on the housing web sites in Norway. These have influenced the focus on alternative sales methods.
When negotiation parties belong to different cultures, training can either increase or decrease negotiation differences in order to decrease or increase, respectively, the…
When negotiation parties belong to different cultures, training can either increase or decrease negotiation differences in order to decrease or increase, respectively, the likelihood of achieving successful sales encounters and long‐term relationships. This study analyses sales training implementation practices of 128 northern European (the UK, The Netherlands and Finland) and 160 southern European (Spain and Portugal) small and medium‐sized companies. The authors argue that these two groups of countries have different cultural characteristics, and hence, different sales training practices are expected. As a result, differences have been found in terms of the quantity and the cost of the training as well as the subsidisation of the training. Moreover, differences in terms of sales training methods seem to be greater than in training content. Additionally, the subsidisation of the training, as well as certain training methods, have different effects on salespeople performance in northern and southern European countries. The implications of the findings for international sales negotiations are discussed, and additional research is suggested.