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Decide what sales force is best


In paragraph form, write about the following:

Consider the pros and cons of the different sales force types: direct, independent, distributor and call center.

Explain how you plan to build your sales force.


Tim was a sales rep at a office supplies company which recently went out of business. The company could not compete with the big office product retailer pricing. Tim had 50 loyal customers because he always took care of things quickly and none of his customers wanted to manage their own office supplies. If they needed something, then Tim would get it for them. After doing some research, Tim realized that he could buy office supplies from the big box retailers, mark it up and sell for similar pricing of his old company.
He found that smaller companies would rather pay a little higher prices if someone outside the organization would manage their office supplies. He felt he had the processes in place to grow the business, but the problem was that there was only one sales rep, namely him. He needed more sales help, but really did not want to hire an employee. Tim considered the other options.
A distributor, who took inventory, and re-sold made no sense because their would be no profit for anyone. A call center would not work because their business is built on referrals. Hiring an independent sales rep that sold other products to companies did not quite fit. Tim re-considered hiring a sales rep. He would hire a 2-3 young aggressive reps by paying a salary and commission with a three month probation period. Tim made sure that the economics worked for him and the rep.


Susan’s gift business was growing but she was the limiter to the business. She was the only sales rep. A call center approach would not work because her business required face-to-face selling. She could not rely on independent reps as they tend to focus on only one industry. Susan really could not afford full time reps at least in the beginning. Several weeks later, she was on a parenting website forum for moms who previously were sales professionals.
Susan contacted one of the members, Donna, on the idea that Donna calling on accounts part time on a commission basis. Susan knew Donna’s profile of formerly being a very successful pharmaceutical rep who missed selling, but didn’t want to work full time. Donna was interested in giving it a try. Susan talked through the economics and they decided to go forward.


Alex running apparel business was moving forward. His products sold well through a large running retailer. He knew that he had to get his product placed in other retailers. He could not afford to hire full time sales reps. A call center would not work with busy retailers. Alex contacted some of the sales reps of smaller running shoe companies to see if they would be interested in selling his apparel line on commission. He knew that times were tough and reps could use extra money. Alex found 3 reps that he would give a test try.


FAQ & Resources

Rainbow umbrella amongst black.jpg

What is a sales cycle?
The sales cycle entails breaking down the sales process into stages.
What is a sales force?
The sales force is the type of sales people who sell your product. These include direct sales, independent sales reps, distributors and call center.
What is direct sales?
Direct sales is when company employees sell directly to the end customer.



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