Arbeitspapiere des Instituts für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Universität Kiel
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.
Working Smart Working Hard Salesperson Benchmarking Data Envelopment Analysis Efficiency Analysis