Not to beat a dead horse, but your sales force is another group that has to totally adhere to the Integrated Marketing Communications theme we've been talking about. They see and talk with your customers every day and absolutely must be consistent with your planned image and position. Their one-to-one marketing efforts are very important for many types of businesses, and not as important for others. Investigate your need for a direct sales force and cut your costs if you can. If you determine that you do need a sales force, then here are some suggestions for making them successful and worth the costs (paying your sales team's bills is expensive).
The key to making your sales force effectively communicate your marketing message and sell your products is to educate them on the objectives and strategies you've planned, as well as keep them constantly updated and fully informed on advertising, promotions, direct marketing, and any other marketing tool you are using.
In the sales force section of your marketing plan, also be sure to include trade shows and conferences your sales team (or others within your company) need to attend. Your company's presence at key trade shows and exhibitions can increase your sales and improve recognition of your name and products within your target market. Trade shows are excellent for introducing new products, services, or changes in your company name or image. See How Trade Shows Work for detailed information on managing this process.