Marriott International Inc.'s 'Sales Force One': New Sales Force Strategy for Competitive Advantage

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG210 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Sales Force Management / Sales Organization / Strategic Accounts Management
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Marriott International, Inc.
Industry : Hospitality
Countries : US; Global


This case is about Marriott International, Inc., the leading lodging development, management, and franchising company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In 2007, the company was faced with tough market conditions and a need to improve its sales force effectiveness.. David Marriott, who was then the Sr. Vice President Global Sales, decided to launch a new sales force strategy. The initiative, named Sales Force One (SFO), was an effort to centralize its sales organization structure - it aimed at placing the sales associate where the customer was, rather than at individual Marriott properties. The case describes the challenges before Marriott which led to the conceptualization of SFO. It gives an account of the implementation of the SFO strategy and describes the basic structure of the SFO organization.

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The case goes on to examine the responses that SFO received from various quarters in the hospitality industry. It ends with a look at Marriott's position in early 2009 and the challenges faced by Stephanie Coleman Linnartz, who succeeded David Marriott as the Sr. Vice President Global Sales, in carrying forward the initiative and rolling it out through out US and later globally.


Understand the various issues and challenges in revamping a sales force strategy.
Understand the issues which led to the implementation of the Sales Force One strategy by Marriott in 2007.
Appraise the SFO strategy and its significance in increasing sales force effectiveness.
Critically analyze the various facets of the SFO strategy and the effects it had on the various stakeholders
Assess the challenge that Marriott faced in 2009 given the prevailing declining economic scenario and the scope which SFO had in helping Marriott keep abreast of the situation.
Explore how the SFO initiative can be rolled out effectively at more locations.


  Page No.
Strategic Account Management: A Paradigm Shift 1
Background Note 3
The Challenge 3
Implementing Sales Force One 5
Criticisms and Initial Results 7
Outlook 9
Exhibits 13


Sales force strategy, Strategic account management, Sales force effectiveness, Sales Force One, Sales organization, Competitive advantage, Customer relationship management, Customer service, Customer-centric, Marketing Distribution channels, Hospitality industry, First-mover advantage

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