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Leading the Effective Sales Force

Program Overview

The sales force is a major growth engine for a firm, and a critical source of market feedback. Yet it is also a substantial investment — and one that can rapidly grow out of control. Stimulating the sales force while controlling costs is the balance you must achieve. In Leading the Effective Sales Force you will learn how to cut costs while raising sales — by analyzing your sales calls, realigning territories, shifting product or market emphasis, reallocating salesperson time, and adjusting sales force size. You will explore how to motivate and compensate salespeople, manage a sales team, and third-party distribution channels through pay systems and organizational structures.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Sales Force Leadership Highlights & Benefits

  • Establish new ways to motivate and compensate your sales team
  • Understand the interplay between corporate strategy and sales strategy
  • Participate in a simulation that tests the long-term effectiveness of your strategy for major sales

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


To apply for programs held in Singapore or Fontainebleau, please visit INSEAD’s website.

October 24 - 28, 2016SG$ 13,950


April 3 - 7, 2017€ 8,950

Fontainebleau, France

June 19 - 23, 2017$10,250

Philadelphia, PA

Download the program schedule, including session information and other program details.

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Still considering your options? View programs within Marketing & Sales or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Leading the Effective Sales Force introduces you to practical tools, cutting-edge concepts, and effective sales management models derived from Wharton faculty’s broad-based research and consulting experience. Through cases, group discussions, problem-solving exercises, computer-aided workshops, and interactive case presentations, you will explore various perspectives on what does and does not work — and why.

Leading the Effective Sales Force session topics may include:

  • Leading an Effective Sales Force
  • Designing and Implementing Compensation Strategies
  • Optimally Allocating Sales Resources
  • Measuring and Evaluating Sales Performance
  • Negotiating Quotas, Compensation, and Incentives
  • Tackling the Emerging Market Challenges
  • Business Strategy

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Leading the Effective Sales Force participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Leading the Effective Sales Force participants by job function 

Participants by Region

Leading the Effective Sales Force participants by region

Who Should Attend

This program has attracted regional directors, managing directors, and vice presidents across industries ranging from telecom to pharmaceutical. It is ideal for those who spend at least 60% of their time managing some or all of a sales force. Titles of typical participants include:

  • General Managers with sales force responsibility
  • Sales Managers and Regional Managers who may be moving up in their organization
  • Managing Directors, Sales Directors, Vice Presidents, and Regional Managers with sales responsibilities

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Plan Your Stay


Leonard Lodish, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Samuel R. Harrell Professor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Marketing; Leader and Co-Founder, Global Consulting Practicum, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Marketing resource allocation and deployment; sales force, advertising, and promotion decision support; entrepreneurial marketing, marketing experimentation

V. Paddy Padmanabhan, PhDSee Faculty Bio

The Unilever Professor of Marketing, INSEAD-Singapore; Academic Director, Emerging Markets Institute, INSEAD

Research Interests: developing economies, economic crises, pricing and supply chain management


As a veteran of my company, I found attending Wharton has done a lot to juice my internal credibility, especially when I pull out the data and show the science behind it. I manage the corporate Enterprise Legal Management sales group for LexisNexis’s software division. One of the tools Wharton introduced was sales allocation software [used to determine how best to deploy your sales force]. Within my department I am using it to determine whether I want to strike a headcount in one division and reallocate it to another division as well as get funding for another spot. I ran the numbers and I expect to be able add about 10% in sales to my group.

I also plan to share what I learned about sales contest best practices with my peers and propose we restructure our sales contest culture. It’s clear from all the research and being at Wharton that having one big winner is the wrong philosophy. A better philosophy is to spread the wealth – to have more winners to keep people engaged.

I have recommended this program to everyone at my level and my boss. It was an invaluable program – a great combination of real data, real research, and then making it practical and applicable. It delivered tenfold on my expectations. This wasn’t just the right course; it was the best and the only course on sales leadership for me.”

The Leading the Effective Sales Force program has been very valuable to me, especially during the re-engineering of the route-to-market structure which I led in the Philippines early this year. The initial results have been amazing.”

Tommy Del Mar

National Sales & Trade Marketing Manager, Perfetti Van Melle

As a global technology company, Xerox continues to invest not only in industry-leading products and services, but also in its motivated, highly trained sales team. This class was outstanding, as it helped further strengthen my sales leadership. I’ve attended several business management courses, but this was the first directed to executive sales management and taught by academic faculty. It was well worth my time.”

Toby Tobin

Vice President, Sales Operations, Mountain West Operations, Xerox

Since I returned, we have been intensely reviewing and drafting changes to our sales model, applying some of the specific things that I learned at Wharton. One of the fundamental changes we made...was that we reduced the number of people helping our product-led services sales. We determined that it was only necessary to have a much smaller set of people supporting those sales and that the incremental amount of sales generated by all the additional people was so small that it did not justify the cost. Second, we refocused those resources on the services that would benefit from having additional sales resources.”

Ivan Bou

Sales Operation Manager, Global Technology Firm

I was recently promoted to VP of Sales, and I know that the Wharton Executive Education course was a factor in the CEO’s decision!”

VP of Sales, Technology Firm

Leading the Effective Sales Force was quite an experience, and my takeaway has given me plenty to work on in the next few months that I can implement into my sales force. It was hands down the best class I have ever taken, and I thought your presentations to the group, along with your other colleagues’, was second to none.”

Manager of Sales, Financial Services Firm

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