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Organizing a proposal

September 8, 2008
To: Andrea R. Martinez
From: Monica Brennan, John Public, Mary Smith, Jim Jones (initials over each name)
Subject: Proposal for a Plan to Achieve Improve Communication Skills, Resulting in
Effective Sales Presentations and Income Gains for Blue Ridge Enterprise

Good purpose statement here.
Problem
Poor communication at Blue Ridge Enterprise is costing the organization heavily. When there is poor communication with customers it leads to distrust and loss of business. When there is poor communication with employees there is fear and lack of motivation. It has been observed that in Blue Ridge employees talk but don't listen. There is loss of time of the employees because accuracy and retention decreases at every transmission, and after a couple of transmissions the message is so distorted that it can hardly be recognized. It seems that the distortion in information takes place because of poor communication planning. Written communications have wrong sentence structure and grammatical mistakes. The receiver misunderstands memos, letters, messages and e-mails causing harmful delay. The presentation of sales persons lacks planning and is made on wrong assumptions about the customer. The result is loss of 9% profits for Blue Ridge because of poor communication.

Sales presentations made by Blue Ridge sales persons showed the following drawbacks. The sales persons often read out bullet points from the slides making the presentations very boring and predictable. Some of the slides were prepared in such small print that half the presentation venue could not read the matter on the slides. In addition, sales persons used jargon and technical terms that were not known to the potential customers. The result was that the key decision makers were not reached. New competitors have been able to establish a foothold in our sales territories and even our loyal customers are reluctant to give repeat orders to our company.

Blue Ridge sales person have been blamed for rambling, using unnecessary color, flash and animation in their presentations, reading during presentations, overcrowding their slides, using technical language the customers do not understand, creating a negative perception for the company, presenting without preparation and meandering during the presentation.
Somewhere here I need help in breaking down what goes in what category (Background, Problem, Feasibility, Topics to Investigate, Audiences, Methods, Qualifications/Facilities/Resources, Work Schedule, Activity, Call to Action)

There are several actions that I propose Blue Ridge should take to improve the communication of its sales persons. Initially, I propose that the sales persons of Blue Ridge should be trained by a communications expert. He will teach them to make effective presentations. In addition, every presentation should have a reader friendly handout that should be well-organized and should communicate the essential facts to the potential customers. Further, the slides used for sales presentation should be edited and text should be eliminated, instead strong images and graphics should be used in the presentation. The sales managers should inspect each slide before these are used by sales persons. The presentation should be tailor- made to the needs of the customer and should focus on satisfying his needs. Finally, the message presented by the sales persons should be refined to address the needs of the customer. There should not be a standard presentation for all customers. Every presentation must be customized.

To improve communication within the company training should be provided in phases to all employees including the managers of Blue Ridge. The training should focus on issues of paying full attention to communication, being interested in what is being communicated and showing interest in communication. Strategies for handling of emotional outbursts should be taught. Supervisors and managers should know how to listen to an angry employee. All the employees should be taught not to use counterproductive language and phrases. The training should include modules that will train person to avoid resurfacing or escalation of conflicts. Those higher up in the hierarchy should not exercise too much control and there should be a more open culture in the organization that will encourage open sharing of thoughts.

The managers in particular should be trained not to communicate with double messages. They should not promise a reward and then backtrack. Further, the Blue Ridge managers and supervisors should be taught that making incorrect statements with an intention to deceive employees breaks down the relationship with employees and leads to communication breakdown. Finally, the managers at Blue Ridge have used communication to control and influence employees. When this is done in an unfair manner, relationships suffer. The top managers should not use communication for unfair control or manipulation.

In conclusion, the communication weaknesses of employees at Blue Ridge have cost the company a lot. Business has been lost and delays have taken place. It is proposed that a program of training be undertaken at different levels so that the managers, employees and sales persons improve their communication. The result will be an improved working environment, an improved culture and increasing sales.

References:

Cross-Cultural Business Communication Research: State of the Art and Hypotheses for the 1990s Mohan R. Limaye, Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 28, No. 3, 277-299 (1991)

Formal language for business communication: sketch of a basic theory
SO Kimbrogh, International Journal of Electronic Commerce archive
Volume 3 , Issue 2 (December 1998) Pages: 23 - 44

The Theoretical Foundation for Intercultural Business Communication: A Conceptual Model Iris I. Varner, Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 37, No. 1, 39-57 (2000)

Solution Preview

September 8, 2008

To: Andrea R. Martinez

From: Monica Brennan, John Public, Mary Smith, Jim Jones (initials over each name)

Subject: Proposal for a Plan to Achieve Improve Communication Skills, Resulting in
Effective Sales Presentations and Income Gains for Blue Ridge Enterprise

Good purpose statement here.
Background
Poor communication at Blue Ridge Enterprise is costing the organization heavily. When there is poor communication with customers it leads to distrust and loss of business. When there is poor communication with employees there is fear and lack of motivation. It has been observed that in Blue Ridge employees talk but don't listen. There is loss of time of the employees because accuracy and retention decreases at every transmission, and after a couple of transmissions the message is so distorted that it can hardly be recognized. It seems that the distortion in information takes place because of poor communication planning. Written communications have wrong sentence structure and grammatical mistakes. The receiver misunderstands memos, letters, messages and e-mails causing harmful delay. The presentation of sales persons lacks planning and is made on wrong assumptions about the customer. The result is loss of 9% profits for Blue Ridge because of poor communication.
Background
Sales presentations made by Blue Ridge sales persons showed the following drawbacks. The sales persons often read out bullet points from the slides making the ...

Solution Summary

The solution organizes a proposal for Blue Ridge Communication.

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