Using Analytics to Align Sales and Marketing Teams

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Nov 12, 2018

Many companies struggle to deliver a consistent and easy buying experience for their customers.

Consider the following scenario: A manager wants to purchase some computer software for her business. She asks an analyst on her team to do an online search for information. The analyst recommends a particular software company’s solution. The manager peruses that company’s website and requests more information by entering data about her needs through a webform. The software company emails relevant materials, which the manager reviews before reaching out to an inside salesperson with questions.


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What Subscription Business Models Mean for Sales Team Structure

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Wed, Jun 27, 2018

Across the technology industry, subscription sales models are growing in popularity. The trend is having a big impact on sales forces. For example, an enterprise software company recently transitioned from selling custom software as a one-time product to selling monthly SaaS (software-as-a-service) subscriptions. The company’s salespeople were used to seeking out new customers, closing big deals, and then moving on to the next prospect. Now, they also had to cultivate ongoing customer relationships to ensure contracts got renewed, in addition to seeking out opportunities to expand business. As ongoing account management activities consumed more and more sales time, new customer acquisition slowed down, and the company’s revenue growth began slowing, too.


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How to Downsize Your Sales Force

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Fri, Apr 13, 2018

Many industries have had to downsize sales forces. There are several reasons for recent sales force job cuts: Shifting market dynamics are one cause, including changing customer needs, customer consolidation, new buying channels, and slowing market growth. Merck recently publicized that it planned to lay off about 1,800 U.S. sales reps following an industry-wide downsizing trend. The trend is attributed to the growth of digital communication channels and reduced access to physicians, who increasingly prefer to get product information online.


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How to Reduce the Costs of Salesperson Turnover

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Tue, Nov 21, 2017

Even the best sales forces can’t keep every good salesperson. Loss of salespeople to competitors occurs frequently in high-growth industries in which the demand for experienced salespeople exceeds the supply, such as in fast-evolving technology markets. Poaching of salespeople also occurs when sales are driven largely by relationships. For example, wealth management companies frequently recruit advisors who have built a strong book of business at competitive firms.


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Sales Bonuses Are Supposed to Motivate, So Don’t Waste Them on Easy Targets

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Fri, Sep 29, 2017

Most companies pay salespeople a combination of a salary, a commission, and a bonus for hitting a quota, putting a portion of their pay at risk. The belief is that at-risk pay motivates salespeople to work hard and direct effort towards sales activities that encourage achievement of sales goals.


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