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
• 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
             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
• 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
• 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
• 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 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
• 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
• 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
           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
• 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
• Standardized form
  – Provides consistent information about all
  – Applicant must read and follow instructions
  – Information can be used by managers to plan
• 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
• Tests must be valid and predict success
          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
• 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
        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
• 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
• What are the advantages and disadvantages
  of hiring expatriate, local, and third-country
• 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

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