Sales Management

A multinational perspective

by Paolo Guenzi and Susi Geiger

Review questions

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Chapter 1

  • What types of change can companies have to deal with?
  • What are the most important models of key success factors in change management?
  • What are the 7 “S” in McKinsey’s Change management model?
  • What are the steps of Kotter’s process model of sales management?
  • What is meant by “DICE”?
  • What are the most important specific aspects of change management in the sales force?
  • How can perceived organizational readiness for change be improved?

Chapter 2

  • What are the main benefits of integrating the Sales and Marketing functions?
  • What are the most important market and organizational contingencies that increase the need of Sales-Marketing integration? Why do they increase this need?
  • What are the different levels at which Sales and Marketing can be integrated? What are the differences?
  • What are the main barriers to Sales-Marketing integration? Do they have differential effects on interaction and collaboration? What about their effects on the different levels of integration that can be achieved?
  • What are the most important managerial systems that can be used as mechanisms to improve Sales-Marketing integration? What are the differences among them?
  • What are the most important organizational structural changes that can be used as mechanisms to improve Sales-Marketing integration? What are the differences among them?
  • What are the different steps of a Sales-Marketing integration process?

Chapter 4

  • What is meant by “sub-optimal substitution”? How can “sub-optimal substitution” be avoided?
  • What environmental conditions affect the necessity to decentralize pricing authority?
  • How can commissions based on total sales lead to suboptimal results?
  • How do sales force automation systems enhance the success of delegating pricing authority to sales force?
  • What are the main differences between behavior- and outcome-based control systems?
  • What is meant by “the bullet to bite”?

Chapter 5

  • How is a CRM system different from a Sales Force Automation system?
  • Why are CRM systems important for modern sales organizations?
  • What are the most important barriers to CRM system acceptance and usage?
  • What is the difference between a salesperson’s CRM system acceptance and usage?
  • Do you think that it’s necessary for a CRM system to be easy-to-use and useful in order to facilitate system acceptance?
  • What is “Professional fit”?
  • How can the rewarding scheme in a sales organization facilitate CRM system acceptance?
  • What types of sales force fears are related to CRM system implementation?
  • Should companies aim to maximize the use of CRM systems in the sales force? Why?
  • Can you outline a process for managing a CRM system implementation?
  • What types of metrics can be employed to assess CRM system performance?
  • How is the return on a CRM system investment (ROCRMI) calculated?
  • What types of costs are related to CRM system implementation?

Chapter 6

  • Describe the factors that make salespeople particularly vulnerable to unethical situations.
  • Define ethical sales behaviour and provide some examples of unethical sales practices in your country.
  • Explain the differences between gifts and bribes.
  • Does intention to behave unethically always translate into unethical behaviour?
  • How can management promote ethical sales behaviours?
  • Explain how the sales manager has to react to unethical sales behaviours.

Chapter 7

  • List ways in which forecasting may be of value to a company.
  • Explain the differences between the approaches that marketing takes to forecasting versus sales.
  • Describe situations where qualitative forecasting methods would be better suited over quantitative methods.
  • What are some assumptions that should be recognized when forecasting?
  • How can forecasting accuracy be measured and managed?
  • What value can the seasonality coefficient have on marketing strategies?

Chapter 8

  • What are the three main aspects a sales manager should consider when organizing a sales force?
  • In what way does a company’s stage of development influence the organization of sales?
  • What are the main drawbacks of a function-based sales organization?
  • When and why is organizing sales by products beneficial for a company?
  • How would you determine the number of sales people – what should you consider? What are the consecutive steps in the process of determining the number?
  • What factors should you consider when designing sales territory?

Chapter 9

  • What are the main reasons that make it important to keep the sales force as close as possible to its right size?
  • What are the main factors that make it very difficult to determine the optimal sales force size and to keep it at this right size?
  • What are the main factors that management should take into account when deciding the sales force size? Why?
  • Why are most sales forces systematically understaffed, in practice?
  • What is the workload approach for determining the sales force size?
  • What is the incremental approach to sales force sizing?
  • What are the major advantages and drawbacks of the two preceding approaches to sales force sizing?
  • What is the concept of a sales response function? Why is it important to use it for finding the optimal sales force size?
  • In what ways is the sales force sizing approach proposed in this chapter is different from the other methods?

Chapter 10

  • Why has international selling become important to many firms, even those with production facilities in just one country?
  • Which steps in the selling process become more challenging when a salesperson moves from selling within just his or her home market to selling within foreign markets? What are the sales management implications?
  • Typically, for each market entry option, how should international selling operations be structured when a firm first enters foreign markets? What are the sales management implications for each option?
  • Why might global account management be necessary even for a firm that has production facilities and sales offices in just one country?
  • What are the sales management implications for each possible global account management structure mentioned on pages 268-269?
  • What are the main advantages and disadvantages of standardising the international selling and sales management strategies of a typical firm?
  • Identify some situations in which standardisation would be inappropriate, and provide reasoning.
  • Identify some cultural differences that might exist between salespeople (and their customers) in your country and customers in some foreign markets. Explain what international salespeople and sales managers should do in view of those differences.
  • Identify and explain the advantages for a global firm in establishing regional sales offices, perhaps covering North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Australasia, each regional sales office coordinating sales strategies and operations within that region, rather than allowing complete autonomy within each country-level sales office.
  • What additional training might sales managers require if promoted from a ‘home country’ sales management role to an international sales management role? Provide reasoning.
  • Explain why many firms use different channels to reach different foreign markets for the same range of products.

Chapter 11

  • Why is it important to analyze a sales post before defining the job profile?
  • What are the advantages of internal recruitment?
  • What are the different options to publish the job offer?
  • What are the steps of the individual recruitment interview?
  • Which different recruitment tests are you familiar with?
  • Why do companies use role playing games to recruit salespeople? Do you believe that they are useful in this process?
  • How would you improve the integration of newly hired salespeople?

Chapter 12

  • How important do you think Sales Force Training is for a Sales Organization? Justify your answer.
  • Describe briefly the three basic stages of Sales Force Training.
  • Which are the most important sources of information regarding the determination of training needs?
  • Please list the most common sales training objectives.
  • Which are the basic factors on which the Sales Training cost depends?
  • Which of the Training topics do you consider as being the most important? Why?
  • How do you think computer technology can nowadays support training methodologies?
  • How do the decisions regarding “Who should do the training” and “Where should the training take place” differ between missionary and trade salespersons?
  • “Sales Training should take place after a salesperson goes out into the market to sell, so that he/she has an idea of the problems he/she will face in everyday work.” Do you agree with the above statement? Why?
  • How can sales executives decide which salespeople will benefit the most from training?
  • Which stage of Sales Force Training do you consider as being the most important? Why?
  • Would you assume that more training is always better? Explain your answer.
  • How do you evaluate the Sales Training programme implemented by John? Justify your opinion.
  • If you were the Training Manager at Pharma, would you have done anything differently? Explain.

Chapter 14

  • What is a sales force control system?
  • What are the eight constitutive elements of most sales force control systems?
  • Describe the differences between an outcome-based control philosophy (OC) and a behavior-based control philosophy (BC).
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of OC and BC?
  • When should a firm lean towards OC?
  • When should a firm lean towards BC?
  • What are the typical attitudes and behaviors of salespeople under OC and BC?
  • What are hybrid control systems?
  • How do inconsistencies creep into sales force control systems?
  • What are some of the consequences of a sales force control system with inconsistencies?

Chapter 15

  • Why is motivation a challenging task for sales managers? Why is motivating salespeople different from motivating other employees?
  • What are the challenges in sustaining motivated behaviour of salespeople?
  • What are the main determinants of motivation? Why are they important?
  • What is the relationship between motivation, job satisfaction and performance?
  • According to expectancy theory, under what circumstances will a salesperson be motivated?
  • Which of the theories of motivation applies best when the morale of salespeople is low?
  • Is identification of salespeople’s job-related expectations a particularly critical leadership skill?
  • Under what circumstances are incentive programmes (recognition and reward) effective?
  • What are the benefits of conducting a sales motivation audit?
  • Why should the motivation of salespeople be evaluated?

Chapter 16

  • Why is sales force compensation a critical issue?
  • What are the objectives of sales force compensation?
  • Why do sales managers choose salary plans?
  • Why do sales managers choose combination plans?
  • How do sales managers take into account the contribution of each selling team member?

Chapter 17

  • From your experiences, what are the personal challenges a salesperson may encounter in his/her professional life?
  • What are salesperson attitudes, and why do they matter to sales management?
  • Please describe the “typical” relationship trajectory and what sales behaviours should be fostered at each step.
  • How important, in your opinion, is it for salespeople to feel part of a ‘team’?
  • Among the most frequent coping strategies cited by the literature are avoidance behaviours (e.g. not making cold calls by fear of rejection).
  • Please discuss how sales managers can change such behaviours.

Chapter 18

  • What is the key goal of sales force performance evaluation?
  • What are the most important consequences of sales force evaluation?
  • What decisions are affected by sales force evaluation?
  • What are the categories of sales force performance evaluation criteria?
  • What are the five critical success factors of good sales force performance evaluation systems?
  • What are the six most important categories of determinants of sales force performance?
  • What is ROSI, and how can it be calculated?
  • How would you describe a sales-specific Balanced Scorecard?
  • How can staff turnover be minimized in the sales force?
  • What are organizational citizenship behaviours, and how can they be stimulated by companies?