Technology Is Blurring the Line Between Field Sales and Inside Sales

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Thu, Oct 03, 2019

Field sales and inside sales have traditionally had their own domains. Field salespeople did the heavy-lifting, working with customers in person. Inside salespeople sold over the telephone and web, and were responsible for the uncomplicated products, small and remotely located customers, and simpler sales tasks, such as lead generation and renewals.


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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 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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Are Sales Incentives Becoming Obsolete?

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Aug 07, 2017

To motivate, manage and reward B-to-B salespeople, many companies use sales incentive plans that link large commissions or bonuses to individual results metrics, such as territory quota achievement. As digital channels continue to reduce and redefine salespeople’s role in customer buying, these traditional sales incentive plans are becoming less effective at driving sales outcomes.


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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.


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