Sales Education Foundation

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2018 Grant Recipients Share Concepts of Their Research Proposal

Each SEF grant recipient will publish their research in national and international journals. What their outcomes reveal is beneficial to industry and academia. Their papers shed light on many issues confronting the sales industry.

Today we highlight the team of Scott Friend, Kumar Rakesh Ranjan and Jeff S. Johnson, Ph.D. whose winning proposal is titled, “Failing Fast; Assessing the contingent benefits of salesperson failing fast on performance and attitudinal outcomes.” According to the team:

“We are investigating the notion of “failing fast” within sales to determine the potential benefits of purposively exiting select customer opportunities early in the sale cycle. The reason this topic is important is because failure and rejection are common to sales – typically causing a downward spiral to salesperson job attitudes and sales performance. Failing fast, however, has the potential to benefit salespeople, sales organizations, and customers alike. When salespeople fail fast, they can take ownership of the failure outcome and reallocate finite resources to more promising sales opportunities in order to ultimately improve their sales performance.

We have thus far developed the salesperson failing fast concept through in-depth interviews and tested its contingent impact on sales performance with a sample of business-to-business salespeople. Through the SEF Research Grant, we will be able to extend our research to focus more broadly on the strategic drivers and implications of salesperson failing fast. The SEF Research Grant is thus enabling us to develop a more comprehensive understanding of this emergent phenomena, while also extending the generalizability of our findings. We hope our research can add to the legacy of impactful projects developed through SEF’s Research Grant Program, and are again proud and appreciative to receive this opportunity.”

We’re excited to see their outcomes which will be of great interest to the sales industry!