The significance of the search for sales organization effectiveness is underlined by the major costs represented by the field salesforce for many organizations, and it is heightened by the pressures of global competition and new challenges to develop long‐term customer relationships as the foundation for competitive and sustainable marketing strategies. A study of sales management in British companies adds to an emerging research stream by identifying certain characteristics of superior performance and effectiveness in the business‐to‐business sales organization. We find that conventional measures of salesforce size, call‐rates, costs and productivity reveal relatively little about the differences between more effective and less effective sales organizations and may be dangerously misleading. The hallmarks of effective sales organizations we found to be: balanced compensation strategy; successful salesperson characteristics, in terms of motivation, customer orientation, team orientation, and sales support orientation; high performance in the drivers of sales effectiveness, i.e. sales presentation, technical knowledge, but most particularly adaptiveness, teamwork, sales planning, and sales support; the use of behaviour‐based control approaches involving effective monitoring, directing, evaluating and rewarding activities by sales managers; and, sound organizational structures. The research findings contribute benchmarks to a powerful management agenda to be addressed by executives in pursuing sales organization effectiveness.
Piercy, N.F., Cravens, D.W. and Morgan, N.A. (1997), "Sources of effectiveness in the business‐to‐business sales organization", Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 45-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000004320Download as .RIS
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