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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

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chapter 7 selecting the global sales force
Chapter 7Selecting the Global Sales Force

Sales Management:

A Global Perspective

Earl D. Honeycutt

John B. Ford

Antonis C. Simintiras

  • 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
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
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
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
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
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
  • 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
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
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
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
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
  • 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
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
  • 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
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
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
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
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?