Geographical Structure Paper

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3.1 Geographical Structure

The most classic form of organising a sales force is geographically, which involves assigning each salesperson to a specific region or territory and given sole responsibility for sales achievement (Jobber and Lancaster, 2015). An advantage of this structure is that it encourages strong relationships between salespeople and customers due to their close geographical proximity. A geographical structure can also optimise the time spent in the presence of customers as the salespeople retain local knowledge (Hardy & Fisher, 1977). Also, compared with other organisational forms e.g. Product specialisation or industry-based, salespeople do not travel as far, thus saving time and reducing their proneness to work-related stress (Singh, 2000).

A potential weakness of geographical structure is that salespeople may be required to sell the full range of both coffee and tea products. It may be unreasonable to expect the salesperson to have full technical knowledge of all products (Jobber and Lancaster, 2015). Likewise, a salesperson may
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When applied to Taylors of Harrogate, this could involve different salespeople for different products e.g. fruit and herbal tea, ground coffee and Yorkshire Tea. In the past, companies have adopted this sales structure due to the manager’s belief that one of the leading causes of a new product failure is the inadequacy of the sales force’s introduction of the product (Moss, 1979). This is because the benefit of this structure is that salespeople are provided with greater knowledge of products and applications. However, adopting this structure may lead to two or more salespeople from the same firm making a sales call to the same customer at different times. This can become irritating for customers as well as a waste of time, effort and costs for both parties (Rohan,

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