Research note: role of the sales manager in channel management: impact of organizational variables

by Rajiv Mehta, Bert Rosenbloom, Rolph Anderson
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management ()


In the Balee and channel management literatures it has been posited that sales managers are the de facto "channel managers." This aasertion implies that their scope of responsibilities goes far beyond traditional sales management tasks and functions. Consequently, determining whether these additional responsibilities with regard to channel management are accurate served as the impetus behind this investigation. In addition, an assessment was made to discern whether the extent of sales manager involvement in channel management functions is influenced by the type of product manufactured (consumer versus industrial) or firm size (small versus large). Data were drawn from a random national sample of sales managers. Findings indicate that sales managers are entrenched in managing their firm's distribution channels; also, some differences in channel management practices were found to be influenced by type of product and firm size. These findings have implications for recruiting, selecting, training, and evaluating sales managers. Moreover, they suggest that the role and functions of the sales manager, as depicted in sales management texts, the literature, and even corporate job descriptions, may need revision.

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