1) Title, publication and author(s) of article:
Ledingham, D., Kovac, M., & Simon, H.L. The New Science of Sales Force Productivity. Harvard Business Review, pp.1-9.
2) Briefly and clearly state the main idea of the article:
The main idea (thesis) of the article is that scientific approach to sales forces will not only improve it, but will drive to apparent growth in the near future. Optimized automation, procedures, analytics and tools are needed to increase sales productivity in contemporary highly-competitive business world.
3) List important facts that the author(s) uses to support the main idea:
Firstly, Leaders are re-inventing and re-shaping approaches to sales management as it gives an opportunity to respond to changing market environment. Secondly, it is recommended to revise the way the company segments customers. Thirdly, first step in creating sales plan is setting annual objectives and direction. Finally, attracting and holding talented salespeople should be of top priority.
4) Demonstrate how this article supports its view of the issue:
To support their position the authors provide real-world examples from businesses as, for example, Cisco, Citygroup and Pilot, which have already taken scientific approach to sales management.
5) Identify weaknesses in its argument:
The argument seems sound and valid, but I think that despite tools and approaches the company should present highly-qualified products, and only then it should conduct scientific-oriented marketing campaign.
6) What point could be added to its thesis?
As for me, I would definitely add the point about the quality of the products and services. I think that no company would succeed if their products aren’t of good quality or the prices don’t match the quality. Even sales marketing wouldn’t help.
7) List any examples of bias, misinformation, or flawed reasoning that you found in this article.
The article is too theoretical and even real-world examples of businesses lack proper details how to implement scientific approach to increase sales productivity. There are too many words about re-shaping values and too little guidelines ho to implement it.
8) How do you feel this article relates to Sales Management?
The article is directly related to sales marketing field as the authors discusse ways of increasing sales force productivity.
9) Write a personal review of the article making correlations if possible between theory and practice.
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The authors analyze scientific approach to sales management paying special attention to necessity to re-evaluate approaches and to refer to scientific approach in increasing sales productivity. The article is very informative and well-organized illustrating real-world examples of successful implementation of scientific approach. Nevertheless, the article lacks practical recommendations.