Specialization:

Product specialization is most effective when vast knowledge is required to sell the product or service you are taking to market.  Examples can be found in the High-tech and medical fields. 

 

Specialization by selling activity is found in many industries.  It is illustrated by the delineation between the “Hunter” and “Farmer” roles.  Hunters typically focus on new logo acquisition, while farmers cultivate current customer relationships to drive revenue growth and minimize churn. 

 

Specialization by industry vertical is recommended when a sales professional with deep industry knowledge represents a competitive advantage over a generalist rep with similar offerings.

 

sales force structure and roles

 

Benefits of Specialization:

  • Typically more Effective
  • Knowledge of a Product, Activity, or Vertical
  • Strategic Focus
  • Role Clarity
  • Customer Focus


Disadvantages:

  • More costly
  • Increase travel time
  • Customer confusion

  

 

Generalists sell every offering to all the customers and prospects in a given geographic area. 

 

Generalist Benefits:

  • Geographic knowledge
  • Limited travel costs
  • No duplication of effort
  • Sales rep owns market

 

Disadvantages:

  • Less effective
  • Risk of misplaced focus

 

Align sales force roles with your organization’s strategic objectives.  Continue to evaluate the sales force structure and roles of your sales force every two years to ensure they are properly aligned as strategies change. 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

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