Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Management & Marketing

First Advisor

Michael Walsh


Ireland’s economic success has been unprecedented between the period of 1993 and present. A number of internal and external factors accounted for this success. The economic performance was driven primarily by a relatively small number of foreign based firms who chose Ireland as their European base. Factors such as globalisation, an increasing domestic cost base and changes in EU legislation have lessened the Irish economy’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment.

Ireland has strong production and operational capabilities; it must develop expertise in two areas to ensure continued future success. These two areas are, building expertise in export sales and marketing and strengthening its position in research and development. The focus of this research is on building competencies in the sales arena in Irish owned SMEs.

Firms need to utilise sales training programs to achieve and maintain a high level of salesperson competence. A critical issue facing sales force development is how to effectively assess sales training programs. Effective evaluation of sales training programmes is an area of potential benefit to Irish SMEs. This research investigates the types of sales training methods SMEs employ and the degree to which they evaluate this training.

The researcher conducted an on-line survey of Irish SMEs within the software industry. The survey discovered that Irish SMEs carry out sales training on a regular basis, the majority do not set regular training objectives however, an area literature suggests is vital for enhanced training effectiveness. Finally, SMEs are aware of the need for sales training evaluation but are not employing optimum methods to do so.

This research suggests that if SMEs set specific sales training objectives on a more frequent basis and evaluate the training at a behavioural level, this would result in more effective sales training.

Access Level