For years, the channel manager remained an organizational position found mainly in textbooks and the literature and seldom on company organization charts. Recently, however, persuasive evidence has revealed that marketing channel management comes chiefly under the purview of the sales manager. Accepting this new reality, sales management training will need to be dramatically expanded to include these new channel management responsibilities. But, are all levels of sales managers involved or equally involved in channel management? If not, channel manager training must be tailored for specific levels of sales management in order to achieve desired channel effectiveness and efficiency. To date, no published research has explored whether channel management involvement varies at different levels in the sales manager hierarchy. In this age of channel dynamism, successful companies must determine the specific involvement of each sales management level in channel management so that appropriate training and support can be provided to optimize performance in this critical area of market competition. To address the foregoing issues, data were drawn from a random national sample of sales managers. Results indicate that sales managers at all hierarchical levels participate in administering various aspects of marketing channel management. The degree of involvement, however, varies significantly by sales manager level. Sales management implications are discussed, and areas for future research are suggested.
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