Research Centre

Credible research is the foundation of the Journal’s approach to understanding what works and what doesn’t in sales. Most importantly, it tells us why. Here you’ll find the latest research from academic institutions, top consultancies and industry sales leaders – including the Journal’s own specially commissioned research – interpreted from a business perspective.

From salesperson to sales manager

March 27th, 2019 by

How to make a successful transition from individual contributor to manager? Project aim The purpose of this project is to examine whether the transition from high-performing salesperson to effective sales manager can be made more successful. As McCall (2010) highlights, there is a big risk to this promotion: “When situations change dramatically, as is the case when a person is… 


2019 Q1 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

March 22nd, 2019 by

These pages aim to keep readers up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts focus on three themes: sales performance; customer management, and sales-related behavioural studies. Sales performance Salespeople’s ability to learn impacts value-based selling approaches This paper… 


Should sorry be the hardest word?

March 22nd, 2019 by

New research reveals a formula for communicating an apology that generates greater customer satisfaction and loyalty after a service failure. Service recovery paradox Have you ever had a service problem with a customer and worried about the negative impact it would have on your relationship and long-term revenue prospects? Maybe they won’t renew. Maybe they won’t buy more. And, worse,… 


Creating a sales control system

March 22nd, 2019 by

This project from 2016 explores how to create a sales control system designed to deliver a company’s key objectives. Introduction Sales is no longer an independent isolated function within an organisation, but is an integral and cross-functional part of a company’s strategy (Storbacka et al 2011). Sales now not only executes the strategy, but helps create and drive the strategy… 


Why don’t goals work?

March 21st, 2019 by

That’s a question many of us ask… 


Forecast accuracy remains an oxymoron

March 21st, 2019 by

In general, deals won have been less… 


What motivates our employees?

December 19th, 2018 by

This 2016 Masters project asks: Do employee motivation schemes have to be financially focused to improve engagement and output? Study background Do employee motivation schemes have to be financially focused to improve engagement and output? During previous employee appraisal meetings within my organisation, a number of our employees asked if the company would consider introducing a financially focused bonus scheme;… 


2018 Q4 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

December 19th, 2018 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recently published research on sales-related topics, by including abstracts of peer-reviewed academic research published in a range of journals. In this edition, we have grouped them into three broad themes: sales performance, behavioural studies, and systems and tools. Sales performance An account manager’s relationship with their customer service team is more effective… 


Can one little word change marketing and sales success?

December 19th, 2018 by

A new study highlights the power of “you” versus “we” phrasing in your messaging. When sending out prospecting messages or presenting solutions to prospects and customers, most marketing and salespeople tend to “we, we, we” all over themselves. No, this article isn’t about losing control of bodily function. It’s about word choice and whether a single word or pronoun-based reference… 


Tenacity and resilience

December 19th, 2018 by

54% of initial meetings require more than… 


Are incentives the sales industry’s narcotic?

December 19th, 2018 by

This 2016 research conducted in the context of a programme of study leading to the MSc Professional Practice in Sales Leadership qualification seeks to understand the effects of sales force incentives and how to balance pay plans with company objectives (B2B). The aim of this project was to deepen my understanding of the effects of sales incentives, how salespeople are… 


Value propositions: the sales and marketing interface

December 18th, 2018 by

I reviewed two areas of literature before doing the research which covered sales-marketing interface (SMI) and value propositions. Sales-marketing interface SMI literature primarily focused on “The extent to which activities carried out by the two are supportive of each other” (Rouzies, et al. 2005). SMI research has tended to focus on sales and marketing relations as an end in itself…. 


The “Fourth Value Conversation”

December 18th, 2018 by

What is the “Fourth Value Conversation”? We asked Tim Riesterer, author of The Three Value Conversations. Q: What is the “Fourth Value Conversation” and why is there a need for it now? We’re calling it “Expand Value”. It’s that part of the customer conversation lifecycle where you’re looking to ensure more renewals, communicate price increases and generate upsells and cross-sells… 


Do we understand what buyers want?

September 24th, 2018 by

How customer-centric are our salespeople? Numerous authors down the years have drawn attention to the fact that only a small percentage of salespeople exceed customer expectations. Is this because salespeople tend not to have the competencies that customers are looking for or are buyer expectations unreasonably high? Here we look at the actual data: three studies that have charted buyers’… 


2018 Q3 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

September 24th, 2018 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recently published research on sales-related topics, by including abstracts of peer-reviewed academic research published in a range of journals. In this edition, we have grouped them into four broad themes: sales performance, customer management, behavioural studies and systems and tools. Sales performance Top-performing salespeople contribute significantly to the success of their firm… 


The next best thing to being there

September 24th, 2018 by

New research explores how to dramatically improve your “virtual” sales calls. Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about improving the impact of sales calls in phone or web conference environments. This piece covers original research aimed at determining the most effective approach for engaging prospects and customers in these selling environments. In the 60s and 70s,… 


Driving positive behaviours

September 24th, 2018 by

Exploring co-creating commercial value for customers and company through values-driven leadership. Introduction As a sales manager for one of the largest business-to-business software companies, I am at the intersection of helping customers drive commercial value for their business and the constant drive of my company to sell more software, and sell it sooner. As most sales managers would concede, aligning… 


Exploring distributed leadership practice

September 24th, 2018 by

Can distributed leadership practice bring positive impact in a sales focused environment? Background The COE is a team of highly skilled and senior solution experts, each responsible for a specific solutions area, product line or area of focus. Their responsibilities include primarily sales pipeline (demand) management and revenue attainment for their responsible lines of business. Within these two main pillars,… 


Sales learning ROI

September 6th, 2018 by

What are the most effective types of… 


To add “friction” or not to add friction – that is the question.

August 31st, 2018 by

Here we preview original research on how best to engage your audience during virtual meetings. The move at many companies is to expand inside sales teams and decrease the number of “feet on the street”. But, for all the potential cost savings and productivity gains, this transition creates some serious engagement questions and challenges resulting from the virtual barrier between…