November 2016 | 

Linking Sales Strategy to Corporate Strategy

Linking Sales Strategy to Corporate Strategy

Today’s sales leaders are bombarded with digital information — about customers, transactions, and product mix — but how do they avoid information overload and access the right data to motivate and lead their teams and align their sales processes to the imperatives of their business?

Wharton and INSEAD sales and marketing faculty joined forces to offer one of the world’s first and most effective programs for sales executives — a program that links sales and corporate strategy with proven technologies and rich opportunities to apply learnings in real-world cases. Leading the Effective Sales Force leverages tools to improve sales performance, motivate teams, and grow revenue.

Wharton and INSEAD offer the program three times a year, at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus and INSEAD’s locations in Singapore and France.  Ideal participants include chief sales officers, global sales managers, and other leaders who spend at least half of their time managing sales organizations.

“They will be able to close more of their leads with less effort, while increasing their revenue and profits through improved deployment of their sales force,” notes Leonard Lodish, the program’s academic director and the Samuel R. Harrell Professor Emeritus in the Marketing Department at the Wharton School.

Lodish, who has been with the program since its inception, leads the sales force application workshop that includes training on specialized software that participants can use to forecast increases in profitability through better allocation of their sales resources. The tool has helped sales leaders increase revenue and profits from three to as much as 30 percent with no additional resources.

Kevin Podd, with LexisNexis in Denver, attended the June 2016 program in Philadelphia. He is employing the allocation software to better align his sales resources in the corporate Enterprise Legal Management sales group he leads for LexisNexis’s software division. “I’m using this tool 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,” he says.

V. “Paddy” Padmanabhan, Unilever Professor of Marketing, INSEAD-Singapore, and academic director of INSEAD’s newly established Emerging Markets Institute, will lead sessions focused on key account management, motivation and alignment, and how best to lead sales in the emerging market versus developed markets like North America.

“A big challenge for sales organizations is how to deliver on the expectations given what they have on the ground,” notes Padmanabhan. “This program helps leaders ensure they and their sales organizations can actually be more productive and deliver the results their companies are looking for.”

“We broaden participants’ horizons on what types of tools are available to them as a sales executive to use with their sales force,” adds Bob Davenport, a leading authority on sales compensation best practices who has been one of the instructors in this Wharton/INSEAD program for the past 15 years. According to Davenport, many organizations rely on what has worked in the past to determine sales pay. “We show leaders how they can structure their compensation to be most effective with individual sales roles,” he explains.

“I have recommended this program to everyone at my level and to my boss,” says Kevin Podd. “It was invaluable — a great combination of real data, real research, and then making it practical and applicable. It delivered ten-fold on my expectations.”