Sales Resource Opportunity Grid
Companies who sell more than one product or service can often utilize cross-selling techniques to sell different products to their existing customers.

In order to minimize duplication of efforts in the sales force and to ensure the company is matching its sales resources to its marketing opportunities, a Sales Resource Opportunity Grid (SROG) is often used to plan and control the sales portfolio.

Using the SROG in Figure 16.4 in your textbook as a guide, create and explain an SROG for a company of your choosing.

This can be your current or former place of employment or a company you have researched in the CSU Online Library or on the Internet.

Make sure you take into account all of the company’s planning and control units when designing your grid.
Chapter 16 Busivzcsx [Mar/eetiizg Commmzicxztions: ll/Izzmzgzfizg the Persomzl Selling Fzmction 429
At various points in deployment decision making, the sales resource opportunity
grid is important for screening the size of the sales force, the territory design, and
the allocation of sales calls to customer segments. This method can isolate deploy-
ment problems or deployment opportunities worthy of sales management attention
and further data analysis.
Personal selling is a significant demand-stimulating force in the business market. Given
the rapidly escalating cost of personal sales calls and the massive resources invested in
personal selling, the business marketer must carefully manage this function and take
full advantage of available technology to enhance sales force productivity. Relation-
ship marketing (RM) activities represent dedicated relationship marketing programs,
developed and implemented to build strong relational bonds with customers. These
activities influence the three important drivers of RNI effectiveness-relationship
quality, breadth, and composition. To strengthen relational ties with customers, three
types of RM programs are used: social, strucmral, and financial. Returns on RM in-
vestments improve when business marketers are able to target customers on the basis
of their relationship orientation rather than size.

To manage the complex web of influences that intersect in buyer-seller relation-
ships, an account manager must initiate, develop, and sustain a network of relationships,
within both the firm and the customer organization. Compared with their colleagues,
high-performing account managers excel at building relationships and develop a richer
base of customer and competitor knowledge that they use to create superior solutions
for the customer.

Managing the sales force is a multifaceted task. First, the marketer must clearly
define the role of personal selling in overall marketing strategy. Second, the sales
organization must be appropriately structured-by geography, product, market, or
some combination of all three. Regardless of the sales force organization, an increas-
ing number of busi11ess-to-business firms are also establishing a key account sales
force so they can profitably serve large customers with complex purchasing require-
ments. Third, the ongoing process of sales force administration includes recruitment
and selection, training, supervision and motivation, and evaluation and control.

A particularly challenging sales management task is deploying sales effort across
products, customer types, and territories. The sales resource opportunity grid is a
useful organizing framework for sales deployment decisions. Likewise, the business
marketer can benefit by implementing a CRM system. Such tools can help the sales
manager pinpoint attractive accounts, deploy the selling effort, coordinate activities
across multiple sales channels, and build customer loyalty.

Discussion Questions

1. As drivers of relationship marketing effectiveness, compare and contrast
relationship breadth and relationship composition.

2. Some customers are more open to relationship marketing initiatives
than others. Under what conditions would customers tend to be more
responsive to relationship-building efforts by the salesperson?
Chapter 16 Bzmfless fl/1m‘/eating Commm2imtz’om.- 1‘!/Immgmg the Person/11 Selling Fzmction 42 7
TABLE 16.2 [ DEPLOYMENT DECISIONS FACING SALES ORGANIZATIONS

Type of Decision Specific Development Decisions

Set total level of selling effort Determine sales force size

Organize selling effort Design sales districts
Design sales territories

Allocate selling effort Allocate effort to trading areas
Allocate sales calls to accounts
Allocate sales calls to prospects
Allocate sales call time to products
Determine length of sales call

SOURCE: Reprinted by permission of the publisher from “Steps in Selling Effort Deployment,†by Raymond LaForgc
and David VV. Cravens, Indnrtri/21 M’m’.{’eti71g.Mmz/zgement 11 (July 1982): p. 184. Copyright © 1982 by Elsevier Science
Publishing Co,, Inc.
TABLE 16.3 [ SELECTED DETERMINANTS or TERRITORY SALEs RESPONSE
1. Environmental factors (e.g., health of economy)
2. Competition (e.g., number of competitive salespersons)
3. Company marketing strategy and tactics
4. Sales force organization, policies, and procedures
5. Field sales manager characteristics
6. Salesperson Characteristics
7. Territory characteristics (e.g., potential)
8. Individual customer factors
SOURCE: Adapted from Adrian B. Ryans and Charles B. Weinberg, “Territory Sales Response,†]‘om*m1l offi/I1z1‘keting
Remzrc/J 16 (November 1979): pp. 45 3-465
of estimating sales response functions. Such estimates are needed, however, to make
meaningful sales allocations.
Three territory traits deserve particular attention in sales response studies:
potential, concentration, and dispersion.“ Potential (as discussed in Chapter 5)
is a measure of the total business opportunity for all sellers in a particular market.
Concentration refers to how much potential lies with a few larger accounts in that
territory. If potential is concentrated, the salesperson can cover with a few calls a large
proportion of the potential. Finally, if the territory is geographically dispersed, sales
are probably lower because of time wasted in travel. Past research often centered on
territory workload-the number of accounts. However, Adrian Ryans and Charles
Weinberg report that workload is of questionable value in estimating sales response:
“From a managerial standpoint, the recurrent finding of an association between po-
tential and sales results suggests that sales managers should stress territory potential
when making sales force decisions.†“9
Sales Resource Opportunity Grid Deployment analysis matches sales resources to
market opportunities. Planning and control units such as sales territories or districts
“Adrian B. Ryans and Charles B. Vlfeinbcrg, “Territory Sales Response,†fozmml qf1l“Im’/eetirzg Rt’.S‘£’(I7T/J 16 (November
1979): pp. 453-465; see also Ryans and Weinberg, “Territory Sales Response Models: Stability over Time,†fozmml fl‘
A/I/17′/eetiizg Reremflv Z 4 (May 1987): pp. 229-233.
“Ryans and Weinberg, “Territory Sales Response,†p. 464.
Part IV Formulating Business Marketing Strategy
FIGURE 16.4 I SALES Resouncrs OPPORTUNITY Gmo
PCU offers good opportunity PCU may offer good opportunity if
because it has high potential and sales organization can strengthen
because sales organization has its position
strong position
High Soles Resource Assignment
Sales Resource Assignment Either direct a high level of sales
High level of sales resources to resources to improve position and
take advantage of opportunity take advantage of opportunity or
shift resources to other PCUS
PCU
Oppommlly Opportunity Analysis Opportunity Analysis
PCU offers stable opportunity PCU offers little opportunity
because sales organization has
strong position Sales Resource Assignment
Minimal level of sales resources;
LOW Sales Resource Assignment selectively eliminate resource
Moderate level of sales resources coverage; possible elimination of
to keep current position strength PCU ly
High low
Sales Organization Strength
SOURCE: Reprinted by permission of the publisher from “Steps in Selling Effort Deployment,†by Raymond LaForge
and David W’. Cravcns, Imz’u.ctri/rl .Mm’leetz’ngiwmuzgezrzerzt 11 (July 1982): p. 187. Copyright © 1982 by Elsevier Science
Publishing Co., Inc.
are part of an overall portfolio, with various units offering various levels of opportunity
and requiring various levels of sales resources. A sales resource opportunity grid can be
used to classify the business-to-business firm’s portfolio of PCUS.So In Figure 16.4, each
PCU is classified on the basis of PCU opportunity and sales organization strength.
PCU opportunity is the PCU’s total potential for all sellers, Whereas sales
organization strength includes the firm’s competitive advantages or distinctive
competencies within the PCU. By positioning all PCUs on the grid, the sales man-
ager can assign sales resources to those that have the greatest level of opportunity
and capitalize on the particular strengths of the sales organization. For example,
existing customers and prospects that are most appropriately positioned in the upper
left cell of the grid represent the most attractive target While those in the lower right
cell represent the least attractive.
5°LaForge and Cravens, “Steps in Selling Effort Deployment,†pp. 183-194.

 

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