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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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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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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