The business to business (B2B) sales force organization for these companies can assume a centralised functional structure in which sales force members are grouped according to roles e.g. sales, product development, marketing communications and even distribution channels (Ellis 2011, p. 202). Sales force organization can also be hinged on geography, product, customer, team size or deal size. Organisation of the sales force can fall under the distribution of human resources. Communications tools reaching out to the masses would be executed via a sizeable sales team using indirect marketing techniques such as mass mailing, telemarketing and mass media. Through these means, the messages are generalised and the feedback is limited. The product-based approach is optimal for companies with multiple product offerings. For the product-based approach, the sales representative would specialize in a few products or would attempt to give equal attention to all products, ensuring the sale of each production. The product-centric approach may be disadvantageous since customers run the risk of being accosted by many sales representatives of the same company. Another reason why this approach is not best is that the sales representative would be saturated with information on diverse product offerings and so would be the customer. In the end, confusion results. The company also risks slow-moving products (since only a few product lines in the brand would most likely be most popular) causing a large remainder of products that are not in favour with the public.
The customer-based approach is illustrated in three-pronged roles of the sales force are encapsulated in the Markov model in which the customer is metaphorical sun around which the business rotates. In other words, this ideal approach is the customer-centric one where the customer’s needs remain central to the sales and management operations. The sales force would be the mechanism that activates awareness, facilitate acquisition and enhance retention. To cultivate awareness among the public, targeting a specific customer segment is one of the functions of the sales force. After completing this, the business is now prepared to acquire customers through sales. The next role for the sales force to fulfill would be to increase customer acquisition by encouraging an initial purchase. These first-time buyers would be very discriminating as they judge the trial product/service and the business’ value against other competitors. To maintain customer retention by doing follow ups and keeping customers aware of other product offering to build customer loyalty.
Geography/territorial oriented marketing would employ a small task force and confine them to a certain region or radius in Manchester. The sales force numbers would be drastically lessened yet more specialised skills and developed competencies in personal selling and customer relationship management. A small business would be able to utilise the geography or territorial sales approach at Manchester, a suburban town. This strategy would facilitate a quicker reach of local points, quicker development of local market, closer supervision of operations and personalised selling (one-to-one). Reduced travelling is another asset with business at Manchester – cutting travel costs and improving energy-efficiency.
Occupying the peak point of the sales force is the key accounts managers. For a small company, key accounts management focuses on the more critical stakeholders of the company whose accounts are high priority, making up a significant volume of sales. Here, salespersons are extremely proficient at handling complex and large customer accounts. Based on this model, the company’s relationship with major clients such as the larger companies or even multinational companies would have to receive more attention than minor ones. The enterprise’s relationship with clients becomes more confidential and committed as more classified information is shared.