Scheduling Sales Force Training: Theory and Evidence
Posted: 23 Jan 2003 Last revised: 4 Feb 2009
Date Written: 2005
To have a productive sales force, firms must provide their salespeople with sales training. But from a profit-maximizing perspective, there are also reasons to limit training: training is expensive, it has diminishing returns, and trained salespeople need to be compensated at a higher level since their value in the outside labor market has increased. Due to these reasons, the following inter-related questions are not straightforward to answer: (1) How much training should be provided and how should training be scheduled over time? (2) How should compensation vary with training? (3) Should salespeople be asked to pay for some or all of their training? An analytical model is developed and analyzed using optimal control theory to provide answers to these questions. Thereafter, an empirical investigation is undertaken that broadly corroborates the analytical findings.
Keywords: Sales force, Training, Compensation, Optimal control
JEL Classification: M3, C6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation