Standard Article

Sales Force Strategy

Part 1. Marketing Strategy

  1. William L. Cron,
  2. David W. Cravens

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem01054

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Cron, W. L. and Cravens, D. W. 2010. Sales Force Strategy. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 1.

Author Information

  1. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Sales force strategy is defined as the set of strategic decisions that determine where the sales force will focus its attention and the role of the sales force in creating customer value that is consistent with the overall strategy of the firm. The sales force's ability to create superior customer value is based on its ability to perform a set of fundamental customer-focused capabilities: new customer acquisition, customer relationship development, customer trust building, and customer retention. To create a competitive advantage, the nature of these capabilities will depend on the types of customer relationships a firm has with its customer base, for example, transactional, consultative, and enterprise customer relationships. Likewise, sales force capabilities performance will be influenced by a firm's sales force support system which includes its sales force structure, management control processes, performance metrics, and motivation and talent development systems.


  • consultative relationships;
  • customer prioritization;
  • customer relationship types;
  • enterprise relationships;
  • management support system;
  • motivation system;
  • sales force capabilities;
  • sales force structure;
  • talent development;
  • transactional relationships