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sales forcethe salespeople employed by a firm to sell its goods or services. Their functions range from relatively passive tasks such as taking repeat orders from established customers and making deliveries, to more active PERSONAL SELLING aimed at securing additional business from established and new customers. See KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT. The sales force can consist of:
- SALES REPRESENTATIVES who visit wholesalers, retailers or final customers, making face-to-face contact with those prospective buyers as a means of selling;
- telephone sales staff who contact prospective customers by telephone to establish an initial contact which can then be followed up by a visit from a sales representative;
- product demonstrators who operate in wholesale or retail stores or visit customers to provide an opportunity for prospective buyers to see a product in action or to sample it;
- sales managers who are responsible for organizing and controlling the activities of the field sales force, and the recruitment, selection and training of sales-force personnel.
In organizing the field sales force, sales persons may be required to represent all the firm's products in small SALES TERRITORIES, or may specialize in selling limited product lines in larger territories. See TEAM SELLING.