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Sales-Force Decision Models: Insights from 25 Years of Implementation


  • Prabhakant Sinha

    (ZS Associates, 1800 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 60201)

  • Andris A. Zoltners

    (J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, and ZS Associates)


Over 25 years, we have developed many sales-force and modeling insights through over 2,000 projects with several hundred selling organizations in over 50 countries. Content insights are useful in making sales-force decisions. Examples are that profitability is flat for a wide range of sales-force sizes; phased sales-force growth is rarely optimal; focused strategies dominate scattered strategies; most sales territories (55 percent) are too large or too small; and no compensation plan satisfies everyone. Implementation insights concern model building, use, and implementation, for example, a model's economic value can come from such sources as reduced uncertainty, accuracy, increased speed, objectivity, and stakeholder involvement; theory and practice have different and complementary perspectives; experience and wisdom are sometimes better than models; and models provide insights, while people make decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Prabhakant Sinha & Andris A. Zoltners, 2001. "Sales-Force Decision Models: Insights from 25 Years of Implementation," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 31(3_supplem), pages 8-44, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orinte:v:31:y:2001:i:3_supplement:p:s8-s44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leonard M. Lodish & Ellen Curtis & Michael Ness & M. Kerry Simpson, 1988. "Sales Force Sizing and Deployment Using a Decision Calculus Model at Syntex Laboratories," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 18(1), pages 5-20, February.
    2. Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 1993. "Investigating the Sensitivity of Equilibrium Profits to Advertising Dynamics and Competitive Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(9), pages 1146-1162, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary L. Lilien & Arvind Rangaswamy & Gerrit H. Van Bruggen & Katrin Starke, 2004. "DSS Effectiveness in Marketing Resource Allocation Decisions: Reality vs. Perception," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 15(3), pages 216-235, September.
    2. repec:eee:ijrema:v:28:y:2011:i:3:p:218-230 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ijrema:v:30:y:2013:i:2:p:114-128 is not listed on IDEAS


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