Discipline: what works best – for the individual, the team, and the organization?

31st October 2015 |   Professor Nick Lee

What can we discover from research about the best way of dealing with problem salespeople?

In the 15 years I have spent working with frontline sales managers, one particular issue has loomed larger than any other. Specifically, when a sales manager is faced with a problem with one or more of their salespeople, how best should they deal with it?

I’ve been looking into answers to this question ever since I did my PhD on that very subject. Back then, there was almost no scientific research on this issue; today, there are still very few researchers looking at this topic.

I got interested in the topic of sales force problems through my own experience as a salesperson. Without going into the gory details, I spent a short time in a summer job as a field sales rep for a company that sold display boards to bars, cafes and other businesses like that. My time was short because – not to put too fine a point on it – I was so utterly awful at it.

Professor of Marketing at Warwick Business School | + posts

Nick Lee is Professor of Marketing at Warwick Business School and the Honorary Chair of Marketing and Organizational Research at Aston Business School. His research interests include sales management, social psychology, research methodology, and ethics. He is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Marketing, the Section Editor for Sales Research Methods for the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, and he serves on the review panel or editorial board of several other journals. Nick is an Honorary Fellow of the APS where he directs research activities. Contact: Nick.Lee@wbs.ac.uk.