Rather than asking salespeople to have encyclopedic knowledge of every product, aligning salespeople with customer segments allows them to specialize and become expert in a specific area. Says Jack Butler, president of Butler Gas Products (Pittsburgh, PA), “A typical welding supply salesperson may not be as knowledgeable in the areas of specialty gas or medical. Segmentation gives us an advantage in those areas.”
“We live in an information-
However, Earlbeck points out that doing away with territories also means that the potential coverage area for a salesperson is much larger. “Windshield time achieves nothing for a salesperson, other than spending corporate assets,” he says.
With the breadth of industries served by gases and welding distributors, the territory-based salesperson is at risk of becoming a jack of all trades—and a master of none. To weigh in on the debate over sales territories versus market segmentation, read “Jack Of All Trades Or Master Of One” (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/
Founded in 1945, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org), e-magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (http://www.gawdawiki.org), GAWDA connects suppliers of gases and manufacturers of related equipment as well as manufacturers of welding equipment and distribution leaders, for the purpose of safely delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. GAWDA publications are the industry’s voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning welding equipment and products and services related to industrial, medical, specialty and cryogenic gases. A 501(c)3 organization, GAWDA members are located throughout North America.