Building a Winning Sales Force
Powerful Strategies for Driving High Performance
Authors: Andris A. Zoltners, Ph.D., Prabhakant Sinha, Ph.D., Sally E. Lorimer
Pub Date: March 2009
Print Edition: $39.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437568
Page Count: 496
e-Book ISBN: 9780814410424
Buy the book:
The sales function is front and center in the challenge to meet or exceed
business growth objectives. Sales force effectiveness is a critical success
factor, as sales leaders are challenged to respond to events within their
companies, their markets, and their environment, while at the same
time, striving to continuously improve sales force performance.
We wrote Building a Winning Sales Force: Powerful Strategies for Driving
High Performance to provide current and aspiring sales leaders with
innovative yet practical strategies for dealing with their most critical and
frequently faced sales force challenges and opportunities. The book lays
out an actionable and relevant blueprint for building and sustaining sales
force success in any business environment. It is designed to help you
assess how good your sales organization really is, identify current and
future sales force improvement opportunities that have large bottomline
impact, and implement tools and processes that immediately
enhance sales effectiveness.
Drawing on our experience consulting with companies all over the world, we strive to make complex and elusive
concepts easy to understand and to provide ideas that can be implemented
right away to address challenges and opportunities such as:
• Creating a winning sales organization by aligning the sales system
around company goals and strategies to drive results.
• Developing sales strategies that demonstrate value to customers
and create competitive advantage.
• Sizing, structuring, and aligning the sales organization to effectively
and efficiently realize market opportunity and drive long-term success.
• Attracting and retaining talented salespeople by developing worldclass
recruiting processes and building a sales culture that nurtures
learning and development.
• Arming salespeople with the tools and information they need to
meet customer needs and achieve company sales goals.
• Developing sales compensation programs that motivate high levels
of sales effort.
• Setting territory-level goals that are fair, realistic, and motivational
and managing sales force performance so that goals are consistently
• Preventing sales force complacency – a silent killer of sales
• Implementing sales strategy changes as markets and company
• Ensuring that sales resources are deployed to the right customers,
products, and selling activities.
• Integrating sales and marketing strategies to create a successful customer-
• Using analytic tools and structured processes to constantly identify
sales force improvement opportunities and enhance sales
Kash Rangan, our colleague and friend at the Harvard Business
School, sums up the book’s contribution when he writes:
This terrific book achieves the rare feat of providing robust
frameworks for addressing the most important problems facing
the sales forces of today. It has rigor and relevance rolled into
one. The book brings a masterful combination of highly practical
insights gained from hundreds of industry applications with
the sophistication of decades of academic thinking and writing.
It lays out the blueprint for achieving excellence, presents
lucid frameworks for tackling the core issues of how to size and
structure a sales force, provides deep insights on how to manage
the human side (sales force recruiting, motivating, and
compensating), and provides advice on how to mold the sales
force organization into a dynamic customer-centric unit.
Underpinning the key ideas is breakthrough thinking on some
of the most difficult issues facing the $800 billion industry.
We have written several books before this one, including The Complete
Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance (Amacom Books, 2001),
Sales Force Design for Strategic Advantage (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2004), and
The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation: How to Design and
Implement Plans that Work (Amacom Books, 2006). These books have
been mostly reference books. Bestselling author Neil Rackham shared
with us: “They are the best sales management books out there, but they
are a serious read.” With Building a Winning Sales Force: Powerful Strategies
for Driving High Performance, we aim to capture the attention of sales
leaders, engaging them through an array of deep yet practical insights
on what works when running a selling organization. Kash Rangan
observes, “The book is organized into short, crisp chapters and concepts
are illustrated clearly through stories and a broad range of examples.”
For readers who desire greater detail, our reference books are a complement
to this book.
How the Book is Organized
Building a Winning Sales Force: Powerful Strategies for Driving High Performance
includes twenty chapters organized into three major parts.
• Part 1 – A Blueprint for Sales Force Excellence – organizes the components
and complexities of the Sales System into a framework that
shows sales leaders how the decisions, processes, systems, and programs
that they are accountable for (called the sales effectiveness
drivers) influence salespeople, their activities, and ultimately customer
and company results. By managing the sales effectiveness
drivers well, sales leaders can build a high-quality sales force that
engages in the right selling activities to meet customer needs and
achieve company financial goals.
• Part 2 – Improving the Top Sales Effectiveness Drivers – presents
strategic frameworks, case studies, and real-world analyses showing
sales leaders how to get maximum impact from the top 12 sales
effectiveness drivers — sales strategy, sales force sizing, sales force
structure and roles, sales territory design, recruiting, learning and
development, culture, the sales manager, leveraging information,
compensation and incentives, territory-level goal setting, and performance
• Part 3 – Addressing Common and Challenging Sales Management
Issues – helps sales leaders use the sales effectiveness drivers to
create solutions for important sales force issues. The issues
include those that we hear about frequently and consistently
from sales leaders — preventing sales force complacency, changing
the sales strategy, allocating sales resources profitably across
customers, products, and selling activities, retaining successful
salespeople, managing tensions between sales and marketing, and
establishing successful programs for continuously enhancing
Readers who desire a complete look at how to build and sustain a
winning sales force can read all the chapters sequentially. Other readers
who are looking to solve a particular issue or concern can start by reading
Part I. Then, they can jump directly to the chapters most relevant to
their needs, guided by the diagnostic process suggested in Chapter 2.
Excerpted from Building a Winning Sales Force by Andris A. Zoltners, Sinha Prabhakant, and Sally E. Lorimer. Copyright 2009 by Andris A. Zoltners, Sinha Prabhakant, and Sally E. Lorimer. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.
All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.
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