Marketing Faculty Publications and Presentations

Preparing for, withstanding, and learning from sales crises: Implications and a future research agenda

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The response from many firms to the recent COVID-19 crisis underscores a more fundamental and overarching question: How should salespeople and their firms prepare for and respond to sales crises more generally? In response, a group of sales scholars recently convened at the American Marketing Association’s Winter Conference to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing salespeople and their firms before, during, and after a sales crisis. Thus, based on this session and subsequent follow-up discussions, this paper develops a framework detailing how the sales function should prepare for, withstand, and learn from a sales crisis. In so doing, we argue that sales crises can originate internally and externally to an organization and can impact the entire sales organization, the sales manager, and/or individual salespeople. Moreover, viewing a sales crisis simply as a turning point rather than a devastating event, we highlight the implications for salespeople and their managers who must inevitably deal with sales crises and the changes involved. Finally, we conclude with potential future directions for sales scholars interested in exploring the impact of crises on the sales function, as the next sales crisis is likely just around the corner.


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Publication Title

Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management