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Sales Management

Geneva-based trading company Trafigura opened a position of a sales manager. This company specializes in crude oil trading. The position requires skills regarding the direct sales approach to sell crude oil in Switzerland. Thus, the current paper will demonstrate the specific direct sales approach to marketing of crude oil in this country on a basis of the personal direct selling phases.

The multinational trading company Trafigura was founded in 1993 (Trafigura, n.d.). Currently, it is one of the biggest global independent offspring marketing companies, which specializes in the crude oil, energy, and precious metals. The company is headquartered in Geneva and it has more than 55 trading offices in more than 36 countries around the world, including Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia, equipping all its clients, numerous independent manufacturers, and consumers worldwide (Trafigura, n.d.). The company operates as an agent or an advisor for the last. The company is one of the biggest global independent marketers when one considers the volume of oil and petroleum offsprings. They purchase, market, and transport barrels more effectively and deposit in valuable assets, which provide benefits for their end-users. The company keeps the cutting edge by constantly enhancing logistics, services, and its overall performance (Trafigura, n.d.).

Tranigura has a very peculiar business and sales management model, which suits Switzerland as a target country extremely well.

The model is subdivided into four categories. The first category, known as source, encompasses the provision of technical and financial endurance for all oil manufacturers, refiners, colliers, and casters. The company is highly responsible in providing access to strategically placed infrastructure (Trafigura, n.d.). The second category, known as store, incorporates all oil and petroleum products, which are produced and marketed in Puma Energy (Trafigura’s subsidiary), all metals and minerals produced and marketed in Impala Terminals (Trafigura’s subsidiary) as well as financial leasing of numerous third-party belonging facilities (Trafigura, n.d.). The third category is known as blend. It regards the organization of meetings with regional, market, and customer representatives in strategically situated terminals in all parts of the planet (Trafigura, n.d.). The last category is delivering. The company is ready to transport its various offsprings around the world safely, effectively, and responsibly, using barges, trucks, rails, pipelines, and vessels (Trafigura, n.d.).

Prospecting. The facts demonstrate that direct selling has strengthened its position as a distribution channel, which was definitely valued by Swiss customers in 2014. They appreciate its propinquity and individual service. Thus, taking into account the unexpected increase of Internet retailing, the majority of direct selling organizations exhibit a tendency to operate, revise, and enhance their own websites and put maximal efforts into compounding the two distribution channels efficiently. The direct sales approach stands for straight communication with the target customer and markets it as the target commodity. Due to the fact that Switzerland does not have domestic oil production, it is dependent on crude oil companies. The country’s demand for energy sources is growing. Nowadays, Switzerland daily consumption of crude oil reaches 282 thousand barrels (Index Mundi, n.d.). As a result, Switzerland has numerous potential customers, both qualified leads, meaning customers who have an urgent need for an offspring, and leads who would buy an offspring if they are contacted by a salesperson.


The current need of Swiss customers for oil has increased by 5.20 percent. Crude oil is believed to be a dominant energy source in the country. It accounts for 40 percent of Swiss total primary energy supply (Index Mundi, n.d.). Moreover, the transport sector accounts for more than 60 percent of the overall oil consumption in the country. Due to the fact that Switzerland does not have domestic production of crude oil, its demand should be fully covered by import.

Need Assessment

The oil imports of Switzerland account for 236 kilo barrels of oil per day, which incorporates approximately 88 kilo barrels of crude oil per day (Index Mundi, n.d.). Consequently, in regard to crude oil import sources, the country is extremely dependent on countries of the former Soviet Union, which stood for more than 62 percent of the overall crude oil imports in 2014 (Index Mundi, n.d.). In fact, Kazakhstan (41 percent) was the largest supply source of crude oil in 2013, followed by Azerbaijan (22 percent), Algeria (20 percent), and Nigeria (6 percent) (Index Mundi, n.d.). The country spends enormous amounts of money on delivering of the commodity; so, clients have an urgent need for a more approachable importer.


Trafigura requires enhancement of customer interaction in Switzerland in order to market crude oil in the country efficiently. Trafigura will have to utilize some of the most common types of direct selling strategies in order to improve its customer interaction in Switzerland. These types include those strategies that are the most preferable and efficient for Swiss customers, incorporating direct mailing, direct responding, and websites. Direct mailing is an effective strategy, which involves marketing that is performed merely and entirely via mail. This technique can have different formats, depending on the customer, for instance, whether it is a manufacturer or refiner, but it typically complies with standard mailing requirements. Thus, the company should remember that a direct mail package has to include a letter, brochure, or even both. The second strategy is direct responding. This is a particular advertising technique, which actually induces clients to respond in a specific manner, typically to purchase an offspring (crude oil), and it supplies customers with the means to make such an operation. Thus, for example, a business reply card is believed to be a direct response tool. As it was already mentioned, websites and Internet retailing have become highly important for Swiss customers. The fast-propelling commodity market requires a highly adjustable network. Despite the fact that the company has numerous trading offices, which are actually. Although many trading do not need more than hired lines and ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) lines, Trafigura requires a specific IT department, which would be able to maintain its data centers and core websites. It is also important for Tranfigura to support its centers with a help of MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, which would put the emphasis on major applications, incorporating video conferencing, database links, VoIP (Voice over IP), HTTP web browsing, and email. Additionally, due to the fact that Swiss customers prefer Internet retailing, the company should develop their website in the target language, designed specifically for Swiss customers, demonstrating the benefits of purchasing their products, which specifically concern such categories as source, blend, and delivering, which have been discussed previously. The company should also not forget about social networks. They help in getting more clients, making important advertisements, and demonstrating the overall interest in current and future clients. Thus, the company should have its page in all current popular social networks, where all users can find the most significant information about the company, its current developments, and changes. This is a mean of practically a cost-free advertisement, in which each like or share can bring new customers who have been informed of the product. People who work in this sphere have a tendency to monitor all essential pages, groups, or public pages, which might provide them with necessary information. Moreover, it gives the company a possibility to heat up customers’ interest with fresh offers, unexpected propositions, and new designs. The facts demonstrate that information presented through social pages reaches clients faster than that from news broadcasts. Moreover, the company should not forget about Twitter, as it provides a possibility to make significant announcements about the company’s future. The chief representative of the company in Switzerland can create a Twitter account and present this information, which will connect the company with its clients, making them feel friendly and involved. For example, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has stated that such a simple thing as his tweets demonstrated essential influence on company’s share prices (Bruno, 2015). Musk is sure that this impact has been even stronger than the company’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filings. Moreover, the tweets can take investors by surprise, which is highly positive for the company’s health and sales (Bruno, 2015). Finally, the company should also remember about the users of smartphones and tablets. Firstly, it is highly important to design their website in such way that it has a theme for smatphones and tables. Secondly, it is much better to design specific applications, which would be installed on these gadgets as the users would constantly see the icon on their devices and remember about the company. Thirdly, the menu of the website and applications should have a language bar, which would allow selecting a suitable language for each user. This would allow Tranfigura to have a direct link with its customers, omitting conflicts of interest for dealerships.


The company would also have to combine two types of direct selling types, including single level marketing (SLM) and multilevel marketing (MLM). This strategy would enhance customer interaction more efficiently, benefiting different types of clients as well as the company’s employees. SLM would allow to reward marketers for their individual sales operations. It practically means that marketers cannot sustain any other distributorship or sales cadres. The income of employees would come merely in the form of bonuses or commissions. Marketers would work with a prospective or a regular client more effectively. On the other hand, MLM would help to incorporate more clients. This strategy enables the company managers to recruit other issuers or sales people. These downliners are highly important for the company as they help in enhancing the overall company’s sales force and, therefore, allow the company to generate immense amounts of sales.

Follow Up

The figures demonstrate that Trafigura has record profits and doubling of trading margins, which make it one of the biggest global commodity trading houses. The company is able to make maximum use of the global network and storage facilities to market crude oil. The company is known to trade more than 3m barrels of crude oil and other petroleum offsprings per day (Trafigura, n.d.). This is equivalent to approximately 4 percent of the worldwide demand or the typical daily consumption of Great Britain and Spain together (Trafigura, n.d.). Thus, the company can become highly beneficial for Switzerland, which requires crude oil for its transport sector and population, who would obtain serious advantages from purchasing Trafigura’s crude oil at decreased delivering costs.