2021 7.1 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

26th February 2021 |   Dr Jeremy Noad

The research review aims to help readers keep up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research. This selection of published research is from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts include four themes that focus on sales performance, customer management, capability development, and sales behaviours.

Research Review 7.1

Sales Performance

Failing fast improves opportunity conversion rates

Sales practice and scholarship have each called for optimising how sales managers strategically interject themselves in the sales process. As a unique approach that reflects the high incidence rate of failure within sales, managers may strategise for salespeople to fail fast as an agile implementation of intelligent failure. Fail-fast strategy allows managers to intervene early on in the business-to-business sales process to optimise resources and exert greater control over failures within their sales teams. With this strategy in mind, the following questions remain: Does fail-fast strategy have a beneficial or harmful effect on salesperson behaviours? What organisational- and individual-level factors direct a sales manager’s strategic attention toward failing fast? The authors use an attention-based view to theorise the drivers of fail-fast strategy, as well as investigate the moderating effect of sales force resources on the relationship between fail-fast strategy and salesperson extra-role behaviours. The authors test the model using survey data of 274 business-to-business sales managers. The conceptualisation, operationalisation, and theory around fail-fast strategy contribute to a better understanding of failing fast in sales.

Friend, S B , Johnson, J S and Ranjan, K R (2020), “An antecedent and contingent outcome model of fail fast strategy in salesforce management”, Industrial Marketing Management.

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Dr Jeremy Noad edits our Research Review. As an advocate both of sales excellence and translating sales research into action, he has been our Research Review section editor since day one. A 25-year sales and marketing veteran who has worked with sales organisations on all major continents, Dr Noad guides and coaches sales leaders and their teams to transform sales performance and effectiveness. His present focus is on global sales effectiveness with a $20bn market leader. He completed his doctorate on improving sales performance at Portsmouth University.