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Which of the Sales Force Structures Described in the Text Best Describes Hp's Structure?

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1. Which of the sales force structures described in the text best describes HP's Structure?

Before Hurd took over HP the company wasn't doing so well structurally. Back then it was hard to determine what type of sales force structure was being implemented. It was a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians. The HP reps were responsible for so many products that they lack the knowledge needed to help a customer with any product in specific and the customers were left frustrated with HP's unwieldy and unresponsive sales force. HP sales force consisted of three main product divisions: the personal systems group, the technology solutions group and the image and printing group. However all salespeople reported directly to the customer sales group, which meant that they were responsible for selling products from all three divisions. Because of all the multiple layers of management the sales force decision making and customer responsiveness was slow the salespeople themselves were left feeling frustrated as well and the company had become so centralized with so many layers the it had become unresponsive and out of touch with customers and their needs.

Once Hurd took over HP's he restructured and overhauled its sales structure by eliminating the customer sales group division and doing away with the three layers of management. By eliminating the customer sales group he gave each salesperson the opportunity to develop an expertise in a specific product area working with a smaller number of products. HP started focusing on the customer as well as their products and the role of the customer in the sales process. Hurd strengthen the relationship between HP and his customers by making them feel like they were part of HP family. The customer became the partners of HP by participating in the account planning and the strategy development of HP. Hurd also went out and started working one on one with the customer to help them grow their businesses as well as helping HP grow along with them. This newly restructured sales force could be described as a Complex sales Force. A complex sales force is as a combination of two sales forces. In the case of HP these two sales forces can be identify as Product sales force and Customer sales force. Product sales force is where the sales force sells along the product lines. What this mean is that the salesperson must know each product in detail and is responsible to sell this product and this product only. Customer sales force is where sales forces may be set up for different industries and in doing this servicing the current customers instead of focusing on gaining a new clientele.

2. What are the positive and negative aspects of HP's new sales force Structure?


By giving the salesperson a smaller product group to work with and by becoming more specialized



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