The semester-long project for this course is a paper. The paper should represent your best attempt to apply what we discuss in the course by designing a sales force for a company of your choice. Here is specifically what I would like you to do:

1. Select an industry and then a company/organization within that industry.

2. Conduct background research on the company. Learn as much as you can about the products/services they sell, the types of customers they sell to, and any other information you can collect.

3. Optional but ideal: Then contact a sales manager at that company and discuss how they do their job, the challenges s/he faces, the most exciting aspects and so forth. Even how one should prepare for that job. If you do an interview, consider asking these kinds of questions:

a. Describe the way your sales force is organized. Is it organized by product specialty, by customer type, or as a generalist (geographical) sales force? Why is it organized in that way?
b. How do you motivate the salespeople who work for you to perform at the highest level?
c. Do you get involved in recruiting and selecting salespeople who work under you? If so, how much of your time is dedicated to this activity? What is your strategy for recruiting and selecting new people?
d. How is your sales force compensated? Salary? Commission? Bonus? Some combination? How does this compensation relate to your efforts to motivate your salespeople? Does your compensation strategy align well with your company goals?
e. What is your training strategy, both for new employees as well as “maintenance training” for experienced salespeople? Are you involved in training?
f. How do you evaluate the performance of your people? Are there different dimensions of performance that you look at?
g. What do you enjoy the most about your position as a manager of professional salespeople? What are some of your biggest challenges?

4. Once you have insights to the firm and maybe conducted an interview, your next task is to write a paper that explains how you would design a sales force if you were in charge. For the paper, you should begin with a brief description of the company, the nature of their products or services, and the types of customers that they work with.

5. Then, cover all of the topics from the course such as, but not limited to:

a. Organization of the sales force
b. The skills and traits you will look for in the sales force
c. How you will estimate how many reps you need (take a stab at estimating)
d. Hiring processes
e. How you want reps to sell (be detailed here); how should they spend their time?
f. Forecasting approaches
g. Compensation and reward structures
h. Motivation beyond compensation
i. Training
j. Evaluation of the sales force
Here are some guidelines and suggestions:

• shoot for 10-12 pages, double spaced, font 12, 1 inch margins. It is hard to imagine how you could do a good, thorough job of doing this project in less than 10-12 total pages.

• Do not bind the paper in any fancy way – it makes it too hard to read and grade. Just a nice, secure staple in the upper-left corner is fine. Number the pages.

• Quality counts. You need to be crafting written assignments with a high degree of quality. Spelling and grammatical errors detract from the credibility of your work, both now and in the future, so I will absolutely penalize you in terms of a grade for poor quality.


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