Sales maximization model is an alternative model for profit maximization. This model is developed by Prof. Boumol, an American economist. This alternative goal has assumed greater significance in the context of the growth of Oligopolistic firms.
The model highlights that the primary objective of a firm is to maximize its sales rather than profit maximization. It states that the goal of the firm is maximization of sales revenue subject to a minimum profit constraint. The minimum profit constraint is determined by the expectations of the share holders. This is because no company can displease the share holders.
It is to be noted here that maximization of sales does not mean maximization of physical sales but maximization of total sales revenue. Hence, the managers are more interested in maximizing sales rather than profit. The basic philosophy is that when sales are maximized automatically profits of the company would also go up. Hence, attention is diverted to increase the sales of the company in recent years in the context of highly competitive markets.
Rationalization of the Sales Maximization Model
- There is evidence that salaries and other earnings of top managers are correlated more closely with sales than with profits.
- The banks and other financial institutions keep a close eye on the sales of firms and are more willing to finance firms with large and growing sales.
- Personnel problems are handled more satisfactorily when sales are growing. The employees at all levels can be given higher earnings and better terms of work in general.
- Large sales, growing over time, give prestige to the managers, while large profits go into the pockets of shareholders.
- Managers, prefer a steady performance with satisfactory profits to spectacular profit maximization projects. If they realize maximum high profits in one period, they might find themselves in trouble in other periods when profits are less than maximum.
- Large growing sales strengthen the power to adopt competitive tactics, while a low or declining share of the market weakens the competitive position of the firm and its bargaining power vis-à-vis rivals.
Arguments Against Sales Maximization Model
In defence of this model, the following arguments are given.
- Increase in sales and expansion in its market share is a sign of healthy growth of a normal company.
- It increases the competitive ability of the firm and enhances its influence in the market.
- The amount of slack earnings and salaries of the top managers are directly linked to it.
- It helps in enhancing the prestige and reputation of top management, distribute more dividends to share holders and increase the wages of workers and keep them happy.
- The financial and other lending institutions always keep a watch on the sales revenues of a firm as it is an indication of financial health of a firm.
- It helps the managers to pursue a policy of steady performance with satisfactory levels of profits rather than spectacular profit maximization over a period of time.
Managers are reluctant to take up those kinds of projects which yield high level of profits having high degree of risks and uncertainties. The risk averting and avoiding managers prefer to select those projects which ensure steady and satisfactory levels of profits.
Prof. Boumol has developed two models. The first is static model and the second one is the dynamic model.
The Static Model of Sales Maximization
This model is based on the following assumptions.
- The model is applicable to a particular time period and the model does not operate at different periods of time.
- The firm aims at maximizing its sales revenue subject to a minimum profit constraint.
- The demand curve of the firm slope downwards from left to right.
- The average cost curve of the firm is unshaped one.
The Dynamic Model of Sales Maximization
In the real world many changes takes place which affects business decisions of a firm. In order to include such changes, Boumol has developed another dynamic model. This model explains how changes in advertisement expenditure, a major determinant of demand, would affect the sales revenue of a firm under severe competitions.
Assumptions of dynamic model:
- Higher advertisement expenditure would certainly increase sales revenue of a firm.
- Market price remains constant.
- Demand and cost curves of the firm are conventional in nature.
Generally under competitive conditions, a firm in order to increase its volume of sales and sales revenue would go for aggressive advertisements. This leads to a shift in the demand curve to the right. Forward shift in demand curve implies increased advertisement expenditure resulting in higher sales and sales revenue. A price cut may increase sales in general. But increase in sales mainly depends on whether the demand for a product is elastic or inelastic.
A price reduction policy may increase its sales only when the demand is elastic and if the demand is inelastic; such a policy would have adverse effects on sales. Hence, to promote sales, advertisements become an effective instrument today. It is the experience of most of the firms that with an increase in advertisement expenditure, sales of the company would also go up.
A sales maximizer would generally incur higher amounts of advertisement expenditure than a profit maximizer. However, it is to be remembered that amount allotted for sales promotion should bring more than proportionate increase in sales and total profits of a firm. Otherwise, it will have a negative effect on business decisions
Thus, by introducing, a non-price variable in to his model, Boumol makes a successful attempt to analyze the behavior of a competitive firm under oligopoly market conditions. Under oligopoly conditions as there are only a few big firms competing with each other either producing similar or differentiated products, would resort to heavy advertisements as an effective means to increase their sales and sales revenue. This appears to be more practical in the present day situations.
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Credit: Managerial Economics-MGU