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Sales Force Management

challenges in the 21st century


Sales Force Management
Challenges in the 21 Century
st

 Customer relationship management (CRM)


 Sales force diversity
 Electronic communication systems and
computer-based technology
 Selling teams
 Complex channels of distribution
 An international perspective
 Ethical behavior and social responsibility
To be successful in the competitive environment in the
years ahead, sales executives must develop greater
expertise in the following seven areas.
1. Customer Relationship Management: 70% of the sales
executives stated that biggest challenge facing them in
the coming years will be to expand their relationships
with existing customers.
These companies recognise that getting new
customers costs more than increasing sales with
existing customers. Thus companies are initiating CRM
programs specifically designed to expand relationships
with existing customers.
2. Salesforce diversity: The workforce is changing in many
ways. The most important is the changing demographics
of those individuals entering the profession. More and
more women are entering the sales management
positions.
3. Electronic communication systems and computer-based
technology: These days most of the organisations keep
their salespeople connected. The internet, intranet,
videoconferencing and other electronic technology all
enable salespeople and managers to improve their
productivity. To compete effectively, salespeople and
managers alike will have to adopt the latest
technologies.
4. Selling Teams: During the 21st century, more
companies will respond to the changes in
customer buying patterns by using selling
teams.
Coordinating the efforts of these teams and
motivating them is a task very different from
supervising and motivating the individual sales
rep. Collaboration and consensus building will be
essential skills required for the manager in the
new millennium.
5. Complex Channels of distribution: Sales
managers will be asked to manage increasingly
complex channels of distribution.
 They will oversee a hybrid sales force, which
includes field sales reps, telesellers, and
electronic sellers. Their work organising and
coordinating the efforts of these diverse
salespeople will become more strategic.
6. International perspective: In the present
scenario, growth of companies in the 21st
century will come from their development of
international markets.
 Differences in culture and ways of doing
business in foreign countries pose real
challenges for sales management.
7. Ethical behaviour and social responsibility:
Ethical standards differ among various companies
and industries, and also among societies. Since a
long period of time, the institution of business, and
specially its personal selling component, has been
accused of unethical behaviour.
 Today, sales managers have no choice but strive
to maintain their ethical standards in selling.