Document Detail

The new science of sales force productivity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16967626     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
For years, sales managers at many companies have relied on top performers and sheer numbers of sales reps to stay competitive. But while they may have squeaked by on this wing-and-a-prayer technique, their sales teams haven't thrived the way they once did. Today's most successful sales leaders are taking a more scientific approach. Savvy managers are reshaping their tactics in response to changing markets. They are reaching out to new customers in innovative ways. And they are increasing productivity by helping the reps they already have make the most of their skills and resources. Leaders who take a scientific approach to sales force effectiveness have learned to use four levers to boost their reps' productivity in a predictable and manageable way. First, they systematically target their firms' offerings, matching the right products with the right customers. Second, they optimize the automation, tools, and procedures at their disposal, providing reps with the support they need to boost sales.Third, they analyze and manage their reps' performance, measuring both internal processes and results to determine where their teams' strengths and weaknesses are. Fourth, they pay close attention to sales force deployment--how well sales, support, marketing, and delivery resources are matched to customers. These four levers can help sales leaders increase productivity across the board, the authors say, though they have the greatest impact on lower-ranked performers. The overall effect of increasing the average sales per employee can be exponential; it means a company won't have to rely on just a few talented individuals to stay competitive. This is especially important because finding and keeping star salespeople is more difficult than ever. What's more, managers who optimize the sales forces they already have can see returns they never thought possible.
Dianne Ledingham; Mark Kovac; Heidi Locke Simon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Harvard business review     Volume:  84     ISSN:  0017-8012     ISO Abbreviation:  Harv Bus Rev     Publication Date:  2006 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-09-13     Completed Date:  2006-10-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9875796     Medline TA:  Harv Bus Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  124-8, 130, 132-3 passim     Citation Subset:  H    
Bain & Company, Boston, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Commerce / economics*,  organization & administration
Efficiency, Organizational*
Personnel Management / methods*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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