Marketing Aptitude: Sales Organization

According to Allen, “Organization is defined as the process of identifying and grouping the work to be performed, defining and delegating responsibility and authority and establishing relationship for the purpose of enabling people to work most effectively together in accomplishing objectives.”

A sale organization is a group of people working together for the achievement of selling activities of a business unit. It defines duties, responsibilities, roles and rights of salespeople engaged in selling activities meant for the effective execution of the sales function. The term “Sales Organization” has been defined by following eminent scholars:

  • Still and Cundiff: – “A sales organization, like any organization is a group of individuals striving jointly to reach some common goals and bearing informal as well as certain formal relations to each other.”
  • American Marketing Association: – “Sales organization is the planning, direction and control of personal selling including recruiting, selecting, training, equipping, assigning, routing, supervising, paying and motivating, as these tasks apply to the personnel of sa1es force.”
  • R. Toosdal: – “A sales organization consists of human beings working together for the marketing of products manufactured by the firm or marketing of commodities which have been purchased for resale.”
  • American Marketing Association: – “Sales organization is the planning, directing and coordinating the activities of sales force for increasing organizational efficiency.”
  • C L. Boiling: – “Sales organization is a fully fledged department empowered to represent its business before customers and which is liable for the performance of all those activities which are essential for delivering the goods into the hands of consumers.”

Objectives of Sales Organization

Some of the important objectives of an effective sales organization may be explained as under: –

  • To determine the objectives and targets of sales department.
  • To determine the rights, duties and responsibilities of all the officers and employees of sales organization for the achievement of these objectives and targets.
  • To select, train and control salesmen.
  • To introduce incentive wage system for remunerating sales employees.
  • To arrange for effective supervision of all the employees of sales organization.
  • To establish effective co-ordination among various activities of sales organization.
  • To establish effective co-ordination between sales department and other departments of the enterprise.
  • To create an atmosphere of healthy competition among sales employees.
  • To minimize selling overheads.
  • To develop new techniques of sales promotion and to implement these techniques.
  • To meet the social responsibility.

Characteristics of Sales Organization

Some of the characteristics of “Sales Organization” are as follows:

  • It is a group of persons engaged in selling activities.
  • It works for the achievement of some pre-determined sales objectives like maximizing sales volume, maximizing profits, increasing market shares, etc.
  • It is responsible for the selection, recruitment, training, direction, motivation, supervision, remuneration and control of salesmen.
  • It performs all the activities which are considered necessary for delivering the goods and services of the enterprise into the hands of ultimate consumers.
  • It defines the duties, responsibilities and rights of people engaged in selling activities and coordinate their activities.
  • It establishes formal and informal relationships among persons engaged in selling activities.
  • The success of sales organization depends on the unified and coordinated efforts of sales personnel.

Sales manager

The sales manager is the person who is responsible for leading and guiding a team of salespeople of a business unit.  His one of the important tasks is to develop relationship between the salesperson and customers. He set sales goals and quotas, assign sales territories, mentor the members of his sales team, assign sales training, build a sales plan and hire and fire salespeople. Thus, a sales manager plays a key role in the success and failure of an organization. He is the one who plays a key role in achieving the sales targets and eventually generates revenue for the business unit. 


A salesman is a person who is employed in the job of promoting organization’s goods and services and getting people to buy them. The successfulness of a salesman is usually measured by the amount of sales he or she is able to make during a given period and how good that person is in persuading individuals to make a purchase. A salesman is an important cornerstone on which a sales organization is built. Therefore, the sales managers are confronted with the task of planning a sound selection program of salesmen. According to G. Carter, “Salesmanship is an attempt to induce people to buy goods.”

Sources of Recruitment of Salesmen

Recruitment is the process of encouraging and allocating the potential of applicants for the existing jobs.

According to Edwin B. Flippo, “Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization.”  The sources of recruitment of salesmen may be classified into following ways: –

  • Internal Sources of Recruitment: – Persons who are already working in an organization constitute the internal sources. It also includes retrenched employees or retired employees. In other words, it means recruitment within the organization. Some of the important internal sources of recruitment of salesmen are transfer of present employees of the enterprise from one department to the other, promotions of salesmen from lower post to higher post, re-employment of former employees of the enterprise, etc.
  • External Sources of Recruitment: – External sources are those sources which lie outside the organization. Some of the important external sources of the recruitment of salesmen in an enterprise are advertisement, internet, job fairs, educational institutions, training centres, recruitment agencies, salesmen of other enterprises, customers of the enterprise, gate applications, personal contacts, trade unions, CV banks, employee referrals, etc.

Selection of salesmen

The selection is the process in which an enterprise chooses the applicants who best meet the criteria for the available positions. The selection of salesmen means the selection of capable, educated, trained and experienced salesmen as per the needs and requirements of the enterprise. This is an important task of the sales management of an enterprise. The following are the important reasons making the selection of salesmen necessary: –

  • For selling the new products of the business enterprise.
  • For selling the products of a new enterprise.
  • For fulfilling the vacancies created by retirement or death or resignation or termination of old employees.
  • For replacing of ineffective and incapable salesmen.
  • For selling the product in new market and for increasing the sales of the enterprise.

Procedure for selection of salesmen

The following procedure may be adopted for the selection of salesmen:

  • Advertisement: – Through advertisement, the business enterprise may inform and persuade the capable and prospective candidates to offer themselves for employment. It may be in newspapers, magazines and trade-journals, television, radio, internet, etc. Generally, the advertisement give a brief outline of the job responsibilities, compensation, packages, service conditions, prospect in the organization, etc.
  • Short listing of applications: – After collecting the applications of interested candidates, the short listing of applications and arrangement for written tests and interviews takes place.
  • Written test: – These tests are arranged for those applicants (or candidates) whose applications are shortlisted for it. It is to know about the personality, achievements, abilities, etc., of the applicant. With this, an organization sought to know whether the applicant is suitable for job or not.
  • Interview: – Those applicants who qualify the written test are called for interview. With this, the sense of responsibility, conduct and other qualities of the applicant are found out. According to Alford and Beaty, “the employment interview is for the purpose of determining the suitability of the applicant for the job and of the job for the applicant.”
  • Psychological testing: – Those applicants who qualify the employment interview are called for psychological tests like intelligence test, aptitude test, personality test, projective test, interest test, preference test, simulation test, graphology test, ability test, etc. These tests clearly portray the interest or inclination of the candidate for the job.
  • Physical fitness test: – Those applicants who qualify the above tests are called for physical fitness test. It testifies whether the person has the capacity to do the salesman’s job or not. Such tests are conducted by the medical officer of the organization itself or by any other doctor approved by the organization.
  • Placement: – After selecting the suitable candidates for salesmen job, they are put to work. The process of putting to work is called placement. The selection letters are issued for them. Such selection letters specify the terms and conditions of an appointment, scale of pay, allowances, total emoluments, place of working, etc.

The above mentioned selection procedure ensures the best type of candidate for the salesman’s job.

Qualities of a Good Salesman

According to Charles H. Furnald, “A good salesman can sell the products of even weak organizations.”

The following are some of the basic qualities which every salesperson must possess in order to be successful:-

  • Personality: – A good salesman must have an attractive personality such as strong body, attractive face, fair complexion, attractive style of talking, impressive behavior, smart, charming personality, etc. Beside these qualities, he must also possess good health, attractive appearance and impressive voice. With this, he is able to convince the customers more easily. According to Gordon Allport, “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustments to the environment.”
  • Cheerful Temperament: – A good salesman must always have a cheerful simile on his face. He must have good posture, sweet voice, pleasing appearance, etc. To attract more and more customers, he should also be well-dressed, well-equipped with samples of products and sales related literature.
  • Mental Qualities: – To tackle the customers successfully, a salesman must have self-confidence, creativity, sharp memory, maturity, patience, ability to read others, imagination, far-sightedness, ability to read others, etc.
  • Social Qualities: – A good salesman should be polite, respectful, helpful, co-operative, good social behavior, extrovert, courteous, sincere, etc., towards his customers. These qualities of salesman not only help in selling the products of an organization but also help in creating a good impression on the mind of prospective customers, which in future increases the sales & reputation of an organization and salesman.
  • Moral Qualities: – A good salesman should have moral qualities like honesty, integrity, good character, fair dealing, reliability, etc., to create good image for himself and for his organization. For example, if a salesman sell locally made body sprays on the name of branded sprays like Revlon Charlie Blue Perfume, Beckham Instinct Sport Body Spray, Yardley English Rose Body Spray, etc., then it not only diminishes the status of salesman but also diminishes the brand name of a company. Thus, salesman must be honest and reliable.
  • Vocational qualities: – A good salesman should hold adequate educational & professional qualities. He must have adequate and specialized knowledge about the product or service he is selling and the business firm he is representing. This helps him in better presentation and demonstration of the product and also helps in clearing the doubts and quires of the customer at the time of sale. Apart from these, he must also have knowledge about the customer, day-to-day market activities, competition, modern selling techniques, etc.
  • Customer Knowledge: – To be successful, the salesman must know the client’s name, their needs & wants, their buying behavior of customers, etc. This helps the salesman in handling potential customers by improving customer service and reducing customer churn.
  • Develop Good customer relationships: – A salesman should build good customer relationships by keeping regular contacts with them, by listening respectfully their negative feedbacks, complaints and by rectifying their problem areas, etc.

Qualities of Salesperson

According to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but LEGENDARY.”

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