Four Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring Sales Leaders

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Wed, May 08, 2019

Any company that relies heavily on salespeople naturally wants a highly qualified person to lead the sales force. Judging by the modest tenure of sales leaders in their role, according to recent LinkedIn data, something is amiss. Looking at 150 past sales leaders (VP of sales or equivalent role) at the 100 largest U.S. manufacturing companies, one in four lasted in the job less than two years, and half lasted three years or less.


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Why New Sales Managers Need More Training

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Mar 18, 2019

Most sales leaders would agree with what one sales vice president once told us: “If your first-line management is broken, the entire sales force will be ineffective.” Yet many companies don’t do enough to develop their sales managers.


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What Sales Leaders Need in Order to Excel Over Time

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Jan 21, 2019

Many countries have term limits for their leaders. The premise is that term-limited politicians will spend less time campaigning, amassing political power, and catering to special interests. Instead, they will focus on making policy, working for their constituents, and bringing fresh energy and ideas to government.


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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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Ineffective Sales Leaders Can Cause Lasting Damage

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Jan 30, 2017


Success in a sales force requires having strong talent up and down the organization. A weak salesperson will weaken a sales territory, a bad sales manager will damage their team and dampen results in their region, and a poor sales leader will eventually ruin the entire sales force. For even the most seasoned among us, it can be difficult to recognize the signs of a poor sales leader and the possible damage the person can do—especially when they appear to do some good early on.


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