The guiding question for the sales organization can be put as follows: "Is it possible to address all strategic markets and customer segments given the specific structure?" When dealing with this topic the fact that the theoretical organization depicted on a chart is not always identical with reality should be kept in mind. That is why an objective review of the status quo is of utmost importance.
The structure of the sales organization follows three standard dimensions:
a) regional, b) application- or product-oriented, and c) customer based. In our projects we systematically analyze whether or not changed conditions cause a need for complete restructuring or adaptations in detail.
These days it is necessary to complement static regional organizations. If individual national sales companies or individual sales representatives are responsible for one country or one region, there are two basic challenges. On the one hand, it is difficult for the regional units to build all product- or application-specific competencies. On the other hand, more and more customers set up international procurement units that make central coordination necessary.
One possible solution is to develop cross-regional competence centers that consolidate specific expert, customer, and market knowledge for particular products and applications. These competence centers can be set up within the given structure in order to avoid an increase of headcount. Furthermore, central Key Accounts Management for multinational and international customers is indispensable in many cases.