The Case for Deploying Sales Agents
This paper outlines the principles of deploying specifically trained sales agents as an instrument for outsourcing marketing functions in MFIs. Sales agents represent an economically viable alternative to the traditional, loan-officer-led marketing approach, the latter being high on (opportunity) costs. The paper attempts to show how a sales agent based approach is a socially responsible alternative to relying on the technical networks to increase the customer base.
The authors also describe the benefits associated with deploying trained sales agents, namely:
- Allowing loan officers to concentrate on their core tasks such as loan analysis and monitoring;
- Sales agents are better in aggressive marketing activities;
- Increase in geographic outreach as the sales agents engage in marketing activities in their communities;
- Deploying sales agents would also be an excellent way to foster financial literacy in their communities.
The paper also contains an implementation guide and mentions potential pitfalls associated with embracing this new strategy. It states that from a purely business-point, deploying sales agents in order to outsource marketing measures is advisable as long as reputational risks are contained.