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Chapter 19 : Sales Force Strategies

Developing and Implementing Sales Force Strategy

   Role of Sales Force
   Defining the Selling Process

Sales Channels

   Mail Order or Catalogs
   Direct Response through Media

Designing the Sales Organization
   Line Organization
   Line and Staff Organization
   Functional Organization
   Horizontal Organization
   Product-based Sales Force Specialization
   Geographic Sales Force Specialization
   Market Based Sales Force Specialization
   Role of Sales Force in Sales Organization

Managing the Sales Force

   Performance Measurement
   Evaluating the Sales Force Performance

Personal Selling

   Personal Selling Objectives

Chapter Summary

The role of the sales force in the overall promotion mix is to be identified as the first step in developing and implementing sales force strategies. A salesperson generally plays various roles like seller, information provider, service provider, relationship builder, and so on. The role of the sales force also depends on the type of selling adopted by them. Four types of selling which include trade selling, missionary selling, technical selling, and new business selling are commonly adopted by the sales force. Once the role of the sales force has been determined, the selling process is decided on. The selling process typically involves prospecting, pre-approach, approach, sales presentation, handling of objections from customers, close of sale, and sales follow up.

The sales channels used for sales generally involve mail orders or catalogs, tele-marketing, teleshopping, direct response through media, etc. The next step is the designing of the sales organization. An effective sales organization will be able to create long-lasting relationships with the customers. Managing the sales force is the next step in developing and implementing a sales force strategy.

The management of the sales force involves functions like selecting salespersons, providing training, measuring performance, and motivating them with the aid of monetary and non-monetary incentives. If performance measurement shows significant deviations from the performance standards set, then corrective actions have to be initiated.

Personal selling, which is a component of promotion, involves direct face-to-face interaction with the customers. The role of personal selling varies from organization to organization, depending on factors like the nature of the target market and the type of product to be sold. An organization can adopt a strategy of personal selling or advertising. This strategic decision is to be taken considering various aspects like expenditure involved, nature of the product to be sold, and so on. The objectives of personal selling can be classified as qualitative objectives and quantitative objectives. Qualitative objectives are long term in nature and relate to the organization's expectation from personal selling toward achievement of organizational objectives. Quantitative objectives are short term in nature and are related to an increase in sales volume, market share, and so on. The sales strategies of an organization depend on the marketing strategies adopted by it. Strategies for new products, new businesses, distribution channels, pricing, and so on affect the sales strategies.

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