Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/57427
Authors: 
Bielecki, Andre
Albers, Sönke
Mantrala, Murali
Year of Publication: 
23-Apr-2012
Series/Report no.: 
Arbeitspapiere des Instituts für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Universität Kiel
Abstract: 
A key to enhancing sales force productivity is finding ways to help existing reps sell more. In this paper, we focus on the process of internal efficiency benchmarking of a firm’s sales representatives aimed at identifying strong and weak performers and providing meaningful and actionable directions for improving productivity of relatively inefficient performers. We propose to do this by utilizing measures of two fundamental attributes of a salesperson’s controllable work activity as inputs in a DEA (data envelopment analysis) – based procedure: how hard and how smart s/he works. The suggested metrics are derived in an empirical application using archival sales response data from a pharmaceutical company sales force. The application shows that, on average, working smart has larger effects on sales than working hard. In comparison to a conventional DEA benchmarking that simply uses raw sales calls as input measures, the proposed model that uses more ‘processing’ of the sales response data to derive working smart and hard input measures shows much larger potential for efficiency improvement and offers more meaningful and actionable guidance for improving sales force productivity.
Subjects: 
Working Smart
Working Hard
Salesperson Benchmarking
Data Envelopment Analysis
Efficiency Analysis
JEL: 
M30
M10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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