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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2019

Clinton Oliver Longenecker and Michael L. Mallin

The purpose of this research paper is to identify and describe the key leadership skills associated with great leaders in the sales discipline. Nine critically important…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to identify and describe the key leadership skills associated with great leaders in the sales discipline. Nine critically important sales leadership skills are identified and discussed in this manuscript with the purpose of getting sales leaders think about skill set development while providing those responsible for sales leadership development an opportunity to think through some critically important questions.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of over 300 sales personnel were asked to individually describe the best sales leader with whom they had ever worked for during your career. Focus groups were then conducted to identify the most critical skills for sales leadership success. A content analysis of the focus group findings were then used to tabulate the key findings in this paper.

Findings

Key findings from this focus group study identified a wide range of critically important leadership skills and behaviors that included: emotional intelligence and 360° communication skills, possessing the ability to effectively coach and develop sales personnel, the ability to create clear performance expectations and accountability, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, the ability to engage a sales workforce, strategic acumen, character and integrity, and data Mining and analytical skills, among others.

Research limitations/implications

The key findings from this research provide the reader with a host of potentially testable hypotheses as well as ideas and findings for future sales leadership research. 10;This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities. 10.

Practical implications

This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities.

Social implications

The social implications of the study make it clear that great sales leaders take great care of their workforces, develop their people, and demonstrate great character and integrity in the workplace.

Originality/value

This paper will identified nine specific leadership skills and practices required for high performance in this regard. Focus group findings will challenge the readers thinking on several key fronts while at the same time providing them with a punch list of critically important behaviors that can be targeted and developed. This information is important for both individual performers as well as those responsible for sales leadership development in their organizations.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Ron D'Andrea

To identify the keys to executing profitable sales negotiations based on analysis of the negotiation approaches of high‐performing salespeople.

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the keys to executing profitable sales negotiations based on analysis of the negotiation approaches of high‐performing salespeople.

Design/methodology/approach

BayGroup International (a leading global sales consultancy) conducted a research study involving 2,000 salespeople at all levels from Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries. Respondents participated in an actual buy‐sell negotiation. BayGroup collected and analyzed data on the negotiation approaches taken by study participants, and determined how the approaches taken by the sales professionals who negotiated the best agreements differed from others in the study.

Findings

BayGroup concluded that high performers raise their customers’ perception of value by using six fundamental strategies, summarized in the form of principles of sales negotiation. The paper not only describes the principles, but also reveals the unique, counterintuitive manner in which high‐performing salespeople plan and execute profitable sales strategy.

Practical implications

Owing to increasing pressure to improve earnings (and share prices), value‐based sales negotiation has become more critical than ever to corporate success. Use of the research conclusions and analysis from this article can provide useful guidance to sales professionals and their managers on how to execute more profitable customer agreements throughout the sales process.

Originality/value

The importance of “selling value, not price” has been fully embraced by the world's leading sales organizations, but effective approaches to implementing behavioral change in this area have been rare. This paper presents provocative findings that suggest new ways to approach this critical strategic challenge.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1990

Cynthia Fraser and Robert E. Hite

The international marketing practices and foreign sales of USmanufacturing firms are examined in order to identify those marketingvariables which are most closely tied to…

Abstract

The international marketing practices and foreign sales of US manufacturing firms are examined in order to identify those marketing variables which are most closely tied to international sales. Survey results suggest that few firms advertise internationally, although advertising is an important determinant of foreign sales, even if that advertising in non‐English‐speaking markets is in English and regardless of its level of standardisation. Results suggest further that manufacture abroad is a powerful stimulus to foreign sales, which is not matched by the presence of sales offices abroad.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Dean R. Manna and Alan D. Smith

The primary focus of this project is to see if emotional intelligence and awareness training should be introduced into sales training programs and to see if emotional…

Abstract

The primary focus of this project is to see if emotional intelligence and awareness training should be introduced into sales training programs and to see if emotional intelligence training is necessary for success in the sales profession. A recent survey of 515 professional sales representatives located in Pittsburgh, PA area firms that were chosen based on relatively large size and established reputations in the area were asked to respond to a number of questions concerning sales training and related sales experience. Factor analysis results with industry type, insurance and financial type, as an example discovered four categories of data reduction: component 1 related to emotional intelligence (identifying personality types, presentation skills, controlling one's emotions, and adaptability to change) variables, component 2 was associated with experience (years of managerial experience and years of sales experience), component 3 for people skills (sales concepts and procedures and listening skills), and component 4 dealt with technical skills (writing skills and computer competencies). Not surprisingly, communication skills, negotiating skills, emotional intelligence, and presentation skills, and the need to differentiate personality types were found to be very important to the sales practitioners. Equally not surprising that they found their professional stressful and the relevance of college course in sales with somewhat mixed reviews.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1992

Stephen C. Strelsin and Susan Mlot

As an upstart company in the telecommunications industry, Commtech (a pseudonym, as are all company names featured in this article) decided to blanket all potential…

Abstract

As an upstart company in the telecommunications industry, Commtech (a pseudonym, as are all company names featured in this article) decided to blanket all potential markets held by industry leaders with low‐cost products—a marketing blitzkrieg that caught the competition off guard. Before competitors could effectively reposition themselves for the new marketplace reality, Commtech's market share grew as it quickly entered and captured fragments of markets across the country.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

A.J. Faria and John R. Dickinson

Compared with other methods of instruction, whether in managementtraining programmes or in university courses, simulation gaming isrelatively new. Readings, lectures…

Abstract

Compared with other methods of instruction, whether in management training programmes or in university courses, simulation gaming is relatively new. Readings, lectures, cases, role playing and other instructional techniques were in use long before the appearance of business games. Though recent in comparative terms, however, simulation games have been in existence for nearly 40 years. Examines the use of simulation games for sales management training, describes a newly developed sales management simulation and illustrates its use in a sales‐training programme.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Clinton Oliver Longenecker, Charles B. Ragland and Michael L. Mallin

– Further explore the issue of sales management development and identify the practices most critical to sales managers' learning and development.

Abstract

Purpose

Further explore the issue of sales management development and identify the practices most critical to sales managers' learning and development.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore the development needs of sales leaders, we surveyed 206 newer sales managers from ten US-based manufacturing and service organizations. The sample was 79 percent male and 21 percent female, averaged 2.2 years of sales management experience, 10.3 years of sales experience and 37.1 years of age.

Findings

Practices that sales managers considered to be important for their development are: clarifying roles, goals and performance expectations (81 percent); receiving effective performance appraisals and reviews (74 percent); exposure to challenging/difficult job assignments (71 percent); conducting formal career planning discussions (68 percent); receiving ongoing performance measurement, feedback and coaching (66 percent); being mentored by senior managers/sales people (60 percent); involvement with professional associations/affiliations (58 percent); and utilizing 360° feedback systems (57 percent).

Originality/value

If organizations are serious about developing their sales managers, they would be well served to consider the development practices presented in this study. Developing sales managers want clearly defined performance expectations as well as feedback from a wide variety of multi-sources including coaching, mentoring, and 360° processes. In addition, formal appraisals and career planning discussions, as well as the opportunity to participate in professional associations are desired areas of development.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

David Cranage

One of the most basic pieces of information useful to hospitality operations is gross sales, and the ability to forecast them is strategically important. These forecasts…

Abstract

One of the most basic pieces of information useful to hospitality operations is gross sales, and the ability to forecast them is strategically important. These forecasts could provide powerful information to cut costs, increase efficient use of resources, and improve the ability to compete in a constantly changing environment. This study tests sophisticated, yet simple‐to‐use time series models to forecast sales. The results show that, with slight re‐arrangement of historical sales data, easy‐to‐use time series models can accurately forecast gross sales.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Kim Shyan Fam

The present study considers how clothing and shoe retailers in New Zealand, Portugal and Hungary manage promotion campaigns and looks at the objectives that are most…

Abstract

The present study considers how clothing and shoe retailers in New Zealand, Portugal and Hungary manage promotion campaigns and looks at the objectives that are most important to these retailers as well as the marketing activities that are undertaken to reach these objectives. Change‐of‐season sales are found to be the most frequently used sales type by the retailers studied and these sales are linked with objectives of moving a volume of stock and activities such as co‐ordination of media across all forms. Secondary sales types include Christmas and general sales, and these are linked with other promotional objectives and activities such as increasing profit and dollar sales, and stock management.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1993

Jetske Van Westering

This paper examines publicans' response to the growing UK market in pub wine sales. It considers the findings of recent market surveys relating to wine sales

Abstract

This paper examines publicans' response to the growing UK market in pub wine sales. It considers the findings of recent market surveys relating to wine sales across‐the‐bar, looks at the breweries' commitment to wine sales (research, training, consumer interest) and considers the potential of sales in this field for the breweries and independent landlords. Despite the rapid rise in popularity of wine, evidence suggests that the brewers, as yet, have still to make a full response to market growth. It appears that across‐the‐bar wine sales have been influenced little by the increase in UK wine imports and sales or changing public interests and demands. Trends indicate that there should be a significant market for wine in pubs, yet currently wine sales account for only 4% of all across‐the‐bar sales; as such this section of the pub beverage market offers brewers and publicans real potential to develop their wine sales strategies thereby increasing their sales and improving the appeal of their pubs.

Details

International Journal of Wine Marketing, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-7541

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