Importance of the sales force for effective communication of SME in the B2B sector

Abstract :

SMEs today operate in an increasingly demanding environment. Societal and economic changes are creating more dynamics, complexity and stronger competition. One cause is globalisation, which is generating increasing competitive pressure. Another reason is the new expectations that legislators and stakeholders are placing on companies. Small and medium-sized companies, in particular, are at risk of being squeezed out by large market players. This forces SMEs to increase their competitiveness.?In this context, the sales structure is of particular importance. On the one hand, it must ensure that the market's potential is fully exploited. In doing so, all relevant customer groups must be developed and an economic margin must be achieved in the sale of products and services. On the other hand, it is important to make sales as efficient as possible by minimizing costs.?In the course of progressive digitalisation, SMEs are also increasingly relying on direct sales. Nevertheless, there are still numerous companies, especially among family-run SMEs, which continue to rely on a personal sales force. The present research study uses the example of a financial services provider to clarify whether significantly better sales figures can be achieved in the B2B sector with field sales representatives. To this end, the sales successes intended by sales representatives are examined on a three-month basis with the help of a one-sided t-test. The method is based on the author's assumption that better sales results are achieved with field sales representatives than with mere direct sales.