Think Twice Before Promoting Your Best Salesperson

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Fri, Jul 06, 2012

Do the best salespeople make the best sales managers? Almost unanimously, when we ask sales leaders this question, the answer is "no." Yet paradoxically, and too often, sales leaders look for candidates among the sales ranks and select the best salesperson for the manager job. They assume that because an individual was successful in sales, that individual will be successful in management too.


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Organizing a Sales Force by Product or Customer, and other Dilemmas

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Wed, May 16, 2012

HP announced in March that it was combining its printer and personal computer businesses. According to CEO Meg Whitman, "The result will be a faster, more streamlined, performance-driven HP that is customer focused." But that remains to be seen.


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What Does It Mean to Sell? Ask the U.S. Supreme Court

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Mon, Apr 23, 2012

For anyone involved in the sales process, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court hinges on a fascinating question: Is someone who does most of the traditional functions of a salesperson but never actually closes a sale really a salesperson? It's no trivial matter; in fact, it could have big implications regarding the way salespeople are compensated across industries.


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Why You Need to Measure Sales Territory Market Potential

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Thu, Apr 05, 2012

Salespeople, managers and executives often disagree about the market potential of a group of accounts or a territory. Consider just a few examples.

A regional sales director says: "The Pittsburgh territory is vacant again. This is the fifth vacancy in two years. In exit interviews, the people who leave imply they don't have enough market potential to succeed."

A salesperson says: "My quota is 10% higher than last year. I've already maxed out the potential within my accounts. How am I supposed to get the growth I'm expected to deliver?"


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Who Owns Your Customer Relationships: Your Salespeople or Your Company?

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Wed, Dec 21, 2011

Your R&D group develops a unique new product. Manufacturing produces it. Finance puts the systems in place to track the money coming in. Marketing designs the promotional campaign. Your sales force is ready to execute. "We own the relationships with customers," say your salespeople. "The company holds us accountable for revenues and expects us to develop and maintain the connections to drive sales. Just pay us our commissions and leave us alone."


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