Four things sales organizations must do to adapt to the crisis

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Apr 13, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has struck at the very heart of what makes sales organizations tick. Sales leaders are asking: What should we do now to keep our field-sales organization safe and productive? And what does this mean for the future of selling?


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How Sales Teams Can Thrive in a Digital World

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Since the dawn of the internet era, experts have predicted that technology will replace salespeople, and it’s easy to find examples. From 2005 to 2017, U.S. pharmaceutical companies slashed one-third of their salespeople, while the use of digital information sources (email, podcasts, mobile apps, websites) grew. From 2009 to 2019, industrial supply distributor W.W. Grainger cut more than a quarter of its branch locations and numerous field sales jobs. Since the mid-1990s, Grainger had been investing in digital capabilities to supplement its network of branch stores and salespeople. By 2019, Grainger’s purely online “endless assortment” business was 15% of sales and growing. Grainger’s still dominant “high-touch solutions” business deployed a combination of field and inside sales forces, and digital channels against the largest customers. Meanwhile, Amazon’s industrial products distribution business, launched in 2015, was already half the size of Grainger’s in North America.


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