Article

Sizing the Sales Force and Designing Sales Territories for Results

Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha and Sally E. Lorimer

in The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569458
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199569458.003.0011

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Sizing the Sales Force and Designing Sales Territories for Results

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This article proposes and applies a market-based decision process for size and allocation decisions. Determining the appropriate relationship between sales force size and customer and product coverage is a major determinant of the productivity of the sales organization. This article discusses five quick tests for use in assessing the correct size of the sales force. A synthesis of the results provides a basis for making a final sizing assessment. A break-even test is used to determine whether a sales force is too large, too small, or about right. Importantly, a sales force that is the right size must also have sales territories that are designed to match sales effort with market opportunity. Salesperson efforts must be allocated to customer needs, and territories formed that balance workload across territories. Finally, this article discusses structured processes and methods to guide sales territory design decisions.

Keywords: sales force; sales organization; break-even test; sales territories; customer needs

Article.  11780 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Marketing ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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