Salesforce Socialization: Definition, Process, and Objectives

What is Salesforce Socialization?

Salesforce/sales personnel socialization is the process where the newly recruited salespeople are introduced to the selling firm, make mutual adaptations with other new salespeople, and develop a mutual understanding with employers/selling firm.

It is a process that begins after orientation is given to the newly recruited sales force. Although salesforce orientation and sales force socialization are interrelated, they are typically different.

Salesforce Orientation is a procedure of providing background information regarding the selling firm to its newly recruited salesforce. It is a program frequently used to familiarize the new sales force with:

  • Firm’s policies objectives, philosophy, rules regulations, etc.,
  • Salary, grades, cost of living adjustment, paydays, incentives, etc. the sales force enjoys.
  • Benefits and services like vacations, holidays, permission absences, etc. that the firm will provide.
  • Workload, promotional criteria and opportunity, overtime, training, etc.

In fact, it is a part of salesforce socialization that removes the disparity between salesforce expectations from the employer and the realities of the job.

Salesforce Socialization, on the other hand, is a process of mutual adaptation of the newly recruited sales force and the new employee to one another. In other words, both learn about each other in the socialization process. The salesforce learns the organizational culture, values, attitudes, behaviors, roles that sales jobs demand.

On the other hand, the employer/sales organization unit absorbs a general understanding of the newly recruited sales force’s ability, knowledge, experience, attitudes, purposes of joining the sales organization, etc.

Process of Salesforce Socialization

There are mainly three stages of salesforce socialization. These stages in a job career certainly affect sales force performance, their career, and turnover.

Pre-Entry Stage

Two types of activities are carried out at this stage to prepare salespeople capable of performing in accordance with the organizational culture. One type of action is carried out by the salesperson. They are preparing for a position in an organization.

Training, coaching, and orientation institutes perform the following category of activity. These institutes prepare salespeople for a new job or a new position within a company.

Reality-Shocking Stage

This is also known as the encounter stage. This stage starts when the salesforce is already recruited and positioned in the firm. In this stage, there may appear reality shock on the job. Thick shock appears due to some confrontations such as:

  • Confrontations between individual sales force’s belief systems regarding jobs and other salespersons.
  • The confrontation between individual sales force’s beliefs and organizational reality.

The intensity of such confrontations may be higher or lower. The greater the differences, the higher the intensity of reality shock. In this situation, the sales force requires socialization. This socialization program is organized by the firm, and the salesforce participates in it and minimizes such differences.

Post-Shocking Stage

This stage is also known as metamorphosis. During this stage, the newly hired salespeople attempt to resolve issues that arose during the reality-shocking stage.

This indicates that these salespeople endeavor to integrate into the company’s culture and become qualified for the position they have. They gradually become more at ease in the firm’s environment. They eventually feel accepted by others, and their employers appreciate their abilities. And the process ends.

Objectives of Salesforce Socialization

It is previously mentioned that the socialization process is directed toward familiarizing the new sales force with the firm’s culture, values, norms, and rules and making the firm in the state of recognizing salesforce competencies and skills. The specific objectives of salesforce socialization are mentioned below,

Learning About SalesForce Behaviour

After the completion of the socialization process, the firm’s sales management can learn about the acceptable and/or unacceptable behavior of the newly recruited sales force. This knowledge leads the management to understand salesforce attitudes at work. It can be able to determine whether the sales force is interested, loyal, committed, and productive or not.

Substituting For Rules That Guide SalesForce

When the socialization process is completed, the sales force is involved in the process of adjusting themselves by developing competencies and skills for encountering reality shock on the job. Ultimately, the management becomes able to substitute the sales force for rules that guide them to perform satisfactorily.

Increasing Sales Force Performance and Satisfaction

Salesforce socialization makes new recruits able to encounter the firm’s environment and also to seek and develop solutions for the problems that arise during encounters. This makes the sale force satisfied on the job and also let the firm recognize their performance and attitudes. In this sense, it increases the sales force’s performance and satisfaction.

Reducing SalesForce Anxiety

In some cases, the salesforce may fear clashes of interest with other co-workers of the new organization. As the organized sales force socialization makes the management realize the truth, the latter tries to convince these sales forces that the firm will apply every effort to avoid this situation. Thus salesforce’s anxiety is reduced.

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