The above questions reflect the critical issues that IBM's management must face and resolve in order to build and maintain an effective sales force. Indeed, the decisions called for are relevant not only for IBM, but also for any firm that uses a sales force to help it market Its goods and services. This chapter looks at the role and nature of personal selling and examines the key issues in managing the sales force.
Robert Louis Stevenson once noted that 'everyone lives by selling something'. We are all familiar with the sales forces used by business organizations to sell products and services to customers around the world. Sales forces are found in non-profit as well as profit organizations. Churches use membership committees to attract new members. Hospitals and museums use fund raisers to contact donors and raise money. In this chapter, we examine the role of personal selling in the organization, sales force management decisions and the basic principles of personal selling.
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