Driving Sales Success This Quarter, This Year, And Beyond

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Dec 05, 2016


Most sales forces focus a good deal of their attention on the short term—on bringing in today’s sales or making this quarter’s numbers. It’s understandable: The sales team wants to be successful. Quarterly goal attainment is a visible measure of success, and often a determinant of incentive pay. Analysts and investors track company performance against quarterly goals, so company executives push the sales team to deliver on the company’s promise to the investment community. Sales leaders divide the national sales goal among sales managers, who allocate their portion of the goal to their salespeople.


>
Read More

Can Your Sales Team Actually Achieve Their Stretch Goals?

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Wed, Jul 13, 2016


Sales leaders have a deep-seated belief in using stretch goals to challenge a sales force. Stretch goals are correctly credited with guiding effort, promoting innovative thinking, energizing salespeople, and boosting persistence. Many successful companies have lived the virtuous cycle: Sales leaders set a stretch goal, the sales force surpasses it, and sales force morale and confidence gets a boost. But we’ve also seen, with increasing frequency in the last decade, companies set stretch goals that are impossible to achieve. What masquerades as a stretch goal is really wishful thinking or misguided sales goal padding.


>
Read More

Great Sales People Are Born, But Great Sales Forces Are Made

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Thu, May 26, 2016

In sales, where charisma and extroversion can be advantages, some people attribute success more to inborn personality traits than to skills that can be coached or taught. Yet the fact that companies in the U.S. alone spend more than $20 billion annually (by conservative estimates) to train salespeople on products, selling skills, and territory management, demonstrates the widespread belief that you can help “make” salespeople great.


>
Read More

Despite Dire Predictions, Salespeople Aren’t Going Away

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Apr 04, 2016

One hundred years ago, an article in the New York Times asked a provocative question: “Are salesmen needless?” In the article, a marketing expert explains why societal shifts would render the door-to-door salesman obsolete. “Advertising is producing better results than the old method of personal solicitation,” the article reported. “Things were different once upon a time before the railroads turned farms into cities… The traveling [sales]man is a middleman and the evolution of business is gradually eliminating the middle man.”


>
Read More

Help Your Salespeople Spend Time on the Right Things

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Feb 29, 2016

Sales executives typically have two levers to try to increase sales: they can increase the quantity of sales effort by adding salespeople, or they can improve the quality of sales effort by investing in coaching and training.


>
Read More