Evaluating and solving problems

13th December 2017 |   Professor Nick Lee

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a series of columns on important issues around how science works, and how this can be applied to your job in the sales force. I looked at how to think like a scientist, how to ask good questions, how to design research to answer those questions, and how to watch out for important statistical problems that commonly trip people up.

Taken together, these ideas should help you both to answer important questions in your role as a sales leader, but also in more general life as well. The antidote to the current avalanche of “fake news” and sloppy thinking is the set of tools that you’ve been given. And, judging from the current situation we’re in, a lot of people that are in powerful positions could stand to benefit from these tools!

The purpose of this final column in the series is to try to bring together the most important tools and concepts from the previous columns into a set of checklists that you can use to both evaluate information and also to solve the problems you come across, in your position as a sales leader and outside the workplace. I’ll break it into two sections. The first section is about how to go about finding new answers to the problems that you face: in other words, that’s about how to conduct useful research. The second section is about how to interpret information that you might come across, for example from white papers, studies, newspaper stories, various types of research, and even the research you do yourself (following the advice in the first section, of course).

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.