Informational Role for Managing an Increasing Diversity of a Salesforce

Joseph I. Uduji


The Increasing diversity of the environment which, in turn, increases the diversity of a firm’s salesforce, increases the challenges sales managers face in effectively managing diversity. salesforce diversity is dissimilarities-differences–among salespeople due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and capabilities/disabilities that have raised important ethical issues and social responsibility issues as well for Sales management. It has become a critical issue for salesforce Management, one that if not handled well can bring a salesforce morale and performance to its knees, especially in this increasingly global environment. These are some of the reasons why salesforce diversity in multinational firms is such a pressing concern and issue both in the popular press and for Sales managers and organizations. The Salespeople in the selected multinational firms in Nigeria formed the population of the study. A sample size of 350 salespeople and their managers was determined using a mean. The study was guided by the theory of limited differences, which suggests that slight differences in treatment can cumulate to result in major disparities overtime. For hypothesis testing, the Friedman’s chi-square test statistics was used to judge the significance of the 225.632 result obtained. This value is greater than the critical Chi-Square value of 5.991. The result shows significance as P-Value of 0.00 < 0.05. Hence the null hypothesis of the study is rejected, indicating that information about diversity policies and initiatives and the intolerance of discrimination have significant effect in the effective management of a salesforce. It is therefore suggested that Sales managers should constantly evaluate the extent to which diverse Salespeople are being treated fairly; inform salespeople about diversity policies and initiatives and the intolerance of discrimination; and support diversity initiatives in the wilder Community and speak to diverse groups to interest them in career opportunities in the organization.

Key Words: Diversity of salesforce, Informational Role, Multinational Firms, Diversity Awareness, Theory of Limited Differences, Friedman’s Chi-Square Test Statistics.

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