Sales Force Management: Integrating Research Advances

by Adrian Ryans, Charles Weinberg

Fall 1981

Volume 24
Issue 1

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The article presents a three-stage conceptual model of personal selling and the management of the personal selling function. This multilevel framework incorporates factors ranging from the specification of the role of personal selling in the marketing mix to individual salesperson factors such as role perceptions and motivation. Three major stages of the frame work reflect the major decision-making levels in the management of the personal selling function. These levels are strategic, tactical and operational. The decisions at each level are made within guidelines set by the levels above it in the organization. The results and feedback obtained from the lower levels in the organization provide one basis for modifying the policies and plans at higher levels. At the strategic level, decisions are made by the top management of the company or business unit. At the tactical level, decisions are typically made by senior sales management but are frequently implemented by managers lower in the sales organization. At the operational or implementation level, the focus is on the salesperson, although many of the decisions are made or influenced by field sales management.

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