Sales forces represent a major investment for most firms. In the United States, nearly 12 percent of the total workforce is employed in full-time sales occupations. With over a trillion dollars spent on sales forces and sales force materials, field selling is an extremely important factor in the U.S. economy. Sales forces cost companies anywhere from 1 to 40 percent of sales. The companies with the largest sales forces spend billions of dollars to support tens of thousands of direct salespeople. For many companies in business-to-business markets, the largest part of the sales and marketing budget is spent on sales staff salaries, bonuses and commissions, expenses, and infrastructure costs.

The significance of the sales force goes ...

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