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    Leadership Challenge: B2C Verses B2B

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    What are the major differences Charles will encounter between a B2B selling environment versus a B2C selling environment? As head of sales for Integrity, what are the two biggest challenges Charles will face in putting together a retail sales force?


    Charles Renner has been considering the implications of senior management's new growth strategy. As head of sales for Integrity Building Suppliers, he had been responsible for a sales force of more than 300 salespeople that sold building supplies to contractors and large developers around the country. He, and more important, his sales force, knew how to sell the company's products and services in a business-to-business setting. They had a great reputation in the home building business and for many contractors Integrity had become their supplier of first choice for many basic building suppliers.

    Senior management at Integrity, however, had determined there was a real opportunity for company growth by creating a retail (business-to-costumer) channel to target the homeowner wanting to take on home repair projects. The managers believed that they could not compete directly with Home Depot and Lowe's on the price or selection but they could compete successfully on service. Charles agreed that the home do-it-yourself market was huge and Home Depot and Lowe's often did not provide adequate postsale service or guidance to individuals wanting to take on these kinds of projects.

    The company's board of directors had approved Integrity's move into retail operations and targeted two cities, Atlanta and Dallas, as test markets for the concept. They were both large cities with a significant number of homeowners who enjoyed do-it-yourself projects; in addition, Dallas was the headquarters of Integrity.
    Among the many challenges facing Charles as he pondered the future was the sakes culture at Integrity. The company had been a B2B organization for its entire 60-year history. Everyone in the organization, including him, knew how to sell other businesses (contractors, developers) but had no experience selling to consumers who had much less understanding of the products or how to use them. He knew that becoming a B2C company would require a number of changes to the sales culture.

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    Consider the sales tactic in communicating sufficient code words to the B2C that the consumer can understand and relate to making decisions on the company's post-service business model entity. In doing so, the Sales Sr. Manager can start to creating the marketing brand, the brand message, and training workshops for employees to start ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution provides a review into B2B and B2C sales force protocols to reaching the targeted outcome of success.