Chapter 7 Selecting the Global Sales Force

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Chapter 7 Selecting the Global Sales Force. Sales Management: A Global Perspective Earl D. Honeycutt John B. Ford Antonis C. Simintiras. Introduction. Sales force selection one of most important decisions made by sales manager
Chapter 7 Selecting the Global Sales Force

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Chapter 7 selecting the global sales force l.jpgSlide 1

Chapter 7Selecting the Global Sales Force

Sales Management:

A Global Perspective

Earl D. Honeycutt

John B. Ford

Antonis C. Simintiras

Introduction l.jpgSlide 2


  • Sales force selection one of most important decisions made by sales manager

    • Operate independently, at great distances, in culturally distinct situations

    • Essential to hire highly skilled & competent salespersons

Hiring process l.jpgSlide 3

Hiring Process

  • Hiring process consists of four steps:

    • Determining the skills, knowledge and attitudes required for the open position

    • Attracting sufficient applicants

    • Conducting an interview process that accurately assesses applicant qualifications

    • Making an offer to one or more applicants

Importance of selection l.jpgSlide 4

Importance of Selection

  • Poor selection decisions lead to turnover

    • Costs are staggering

    • Total costs include generating applicants, screening the applications, interviewing and assessing applicants, training, salary, and foregone costs of lost sales

    • This can equal 150% of annual salary

  • Formalized selection process necessary

Global sales force decisions l.jpgSlide 5

Global Sales Force Decisions

  • Expatriates – salespersons or managers transferred from the home country

    • Technical expertise and a seasoned understanding of the company

  • Local Nationals – personnel from the country of operations

    • Understand local markets and culture/language

  • Third-country – salespersons or managers that work for a global firm in a third country

    • Global citizens with cross-cultural expertise

Characteristics of success l.jpgSlide 6

Characteristics of Success

  • MNCs use educational levels, interview skills, and previous experience to gauge successful candidates (Randall & Randall 1990)

    • Interviews can lack reliabilty

  • Must identify needed skills and expertise

  • Essential to prepare for and conduct a formal interview

Characteristics of success7 l.jpgSlide 7

Characteristics of Success

  • Aptitude – intelligence, verbal ability

  • Personal Characteristics – self-esteem, need for dominance, sociability, power

  • Skill levels – presentation, vocation, management

  • Role perceptions – understand expectations of firm and customer

  • Motivation – devoting necessary time

  • Organizational/Environmental factors – firm prestige or reputation

Meta analysis l.jpgSlide 8


  • In a landmark study, a meta-analysis was conducted of all previous studies (Churchill, Walker, Hartley and Walker 1985)

  • No one area significantly contributed to success; however:

    • Skill levels and role perceptions appeared to be most responsible for success

  • Areas sales managers can influence

Identifying successful characteristics l.jpgSlide 9

Identifying Successful Characteristics

  • Job Analysis – determines how salespersons currently spend time and how ideally they should devote time

  • Job Description – describes what salesperson will be required to do

  • Job analysis used to write job description and job description used to find correct applicants

Generating applicants l.jpgSlide 10

Generating Applicants

  • Internal Applicants – known, observed, and acculturated (e.g. engineers, manufacturing)

  • External Applicants

    • Advertisements

    • Employment agencies

    • Educational institutions

    • Job Fairs/Career Conferences

    • E-Recruiting

  • Creative External Applicants Sources

    • Military veterans, 400 applicants in Hong Kong

Selection procedures l.jpgSlide 11

Selection Procedures

  • A Five-Step Process:

    • Application Forms

    • Tests

    • Personal Interview

    • References

    • Physical Exam

  • Steps examine different applicant areas and should be consistent and supportive

Application form l.jpgSlide 12

Application Form

  • Standardized form

    • Provides consistent information about all applicants

    • Applicant must read and follow instructions

    • Information can be used by managers to plan interview

Tests l.jpgSlide 13


  • Used as a confirmatory input to the interview process

    • Personality tests used to evaluate traits

    • Intelligence tests to assess mental abilities

    • Aptitude tests to measure interest or ability to perform

  • Tests must be valid and predict success

Personal interview l.jpgSlide 14

Personal Interview

  • Most important step of hiring process

    • Applicant must respond to questions and interact with interviewer

    • US applicants try to sell themselves

    • Not the case in other cultures

  • Three types of interviews

    • Structured, Unstructured and Stress

    • Each has advantages and disadvantages

References l.jpgSlide 15


  • How has applicant performed in the past?

    • Speak to former employers

      • Check facts of employment

    • Applicants primarily list references who will provide positive remarks

    • When permitted, ask references for other names

    • Check with clients, former employers, business associates, and financial references

Physical exam l.jpgSlide 16

Physical Exam

  • Selling is hard work

    • Travel in diverse settings and time zones

    • Must be healthy and capable of performing

  • Physical defects could negate job offer

  • This is not legal in all nations, so sales manager must seek legal guidance when hiring

Making the job offer l.jpgSlide 17

Making the Job Offer

  • Once all applicants have been interviewed, they should be ranked

  • Contact the best qualified and see if they are still interested—if so offer job

  • Give applicant a specified period to accept

  • Send a confirmatory letter for the applicant to sign and return by the deadline

Chapter summary l.jpgSlide 18

Chapter Summary

  • Selection is very important for the firm

    • Sales manager must determine qualifications

    • Attract a sufficient pool of applicants

    • Interview and select the “best qualified”

    • Make the job offer

  • Chapter provides manager with guidance

    • Following process increases probability of hiring the correct salesperson

Discussion questions l.jpgSlide 19

Discussion Questions

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring expatriate, local, and third-country salespersons?

  • What is the relationship between a job analysis and a job description?

  • Why is the personal interview often called the most important step in the hiring process?

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