Sales Education Foundation

Sales Research - SEF Grants, Papers & CFPS

2023 SEF Research Grant Call for Proposals closed

The Sales Education Foundation (SEF) supports the funding of high-quality Sales research that addresses topics of importance to sales practitioners and researchers.

Our submission period has expired. We thank everyone for their submissions. Our independent Selection Committee will now proceed with their reviews.  Current plans are to have recipients selected and announced by mid-November. Watch social media for more.

The Sales Education Foundation Research Grant Program recognizes sales-specific research with the potential for application by sales executives, sales managers, and/or the salesforce. However more basic or exploratory work may be considered as well. No one approach or method is favored over another. Proposed research may be conceptual or empirical and may involve field surveys, field or laboratory experiments, model building, or theory development. However, SEF strongly endorses using actual salespeople, sales managers and executives, and customers rather than students as participants in research projects.

Congratulations to our 2022 Grant Recipients

Molly Ahearne, Doctoral Student of Marketing from the University of Georgia for her paper titled, "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sales Performance Rankings on Dashboards." Her advisors are John Hulland and Son K. Lam.

Dr. Bryan Hochstein, from The University of Alabama, Dr. George Deitz, from The University of Memphis, Tim Butler, from Southeastern Louisiana University, and Tongxi (Stephanie) Wahng, Ph.D. Candidate from The University of Alabama, for their paper titled "Should I stay or Should I go? Factors that Drive Salesperson Turnover and Retention in the Era of the Great Resignation."


Our 2021 Recipients

Scott Friend, Peter Nguyen and Christopher Blocker for their paper titled, Assessing Customer Defection and Sales Win-Back Strategies via Machine Learning.Bruno Lussier, Nathaniel Hartmann and Nawar Chaker for their paper titled, Understanding and Mitigating the Undesirable Consequences of B2B Salespeople Working from Home on Burnout and Sales Performance.

Research Grant History

SEF has awarded more than $100,000 in research grants since 2011. Our research grant program was started when Neil Rackham, well-known author of SPIN Selling and visionary, partnered with SEF to provide $5,000 grants. Neil believed that "the time has come for new approaches to customer interaction.Today, SEF continues research grant funding to educators and doctoral candidates to support their efforts.

The Importance of Sales Research into Business Issues

Sales specific research is needed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Sales managers need easy access to published research where they can find best practices and solid methodology for dealing with their daily challenges.

Our commitment to Sales research is supported in part by the SEF Research Grant Program. SEF also posts calls for papers from conferences and special journal publications. Please direct your questions to, to learn more or inquire about our next opportunity.


Since 2011, $5,000 research grants have been awarded annually by SEF. Links to Executive Summaries and published papers from grant recipients appear below. Efforts have been made to ensure accuracy. If you discover a non-working link or other issue, please contact SEF.

Grant Recipients Research Papers

2021 –  Bruno Lussier, Lisa Beeler, Willy Bolander and Nathaniel N. Hartmann: Additional paper titled, “Alleviating the Negative Effects of Salesperson Depression on Performance During a Crisis: Examining the Role of Job Resources” Read the Executive Summary

2021 –  Bruno Lussier, Nathaniel N. Hartmann, Nawar N. Chaker and Deva Rangarajan: “Lone Wolf Tendency and Ethical Behaviors in Sales: Examining the roles of perceived supervisor support and salesperson self-efficacy” Read the Executive Summary

2020 - Allison (Crick) Smith, Ricky Fergurson and David Fleming: "A Conceptural View of the Dynamics of Global Sales Leadership: An Examination through Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions" Read the Executive Summary

2019 –  Stacey L. Malek, Shikhar Sarin, and Bernard J. Jaworski: “A Measurement Model of the Dimensions and Types of Informal Organizational Control: An Empirical Test in a B2B Sales Context” Read the Executive Summary

2019 – Victor V. Chernetsky and Douglas E. Hughes: “The Role of Senior Executives and Organizational Culture in Management of Conflict Between Sales and Marketing” Read the Executive Summary

2018 – Ryan Mullins: “Uncovering the Impact of Sales Force Capabilities on Firm Performance” Read the Executive Summary

2018 – Scott B. Friend, Jeff S. Johnson and Kumar Rakesh Ranjan: “Fail Fast, Sell Well” Read the Executive Summary-Part One

2018 – Scott B. Friend, Jeff S. Johnson and Kumar Rakesh Ranjan: “Fail Fast Strategy in Sales Force Management” Read the Executive Summary-Part Two

2015 – Dr. V. Kumar: “Why Do Salespeople Quit?  An Empirical Examination of Own and Peer Effects on Salesperson Turnover Behavior”
AMA Journal of Marketing Research

2015 – Blake Runnalls: “The Impact of Social Networks on Sales Training Transfer and Performance” Read the Summary Report.

2014 – Raghuram Bommaraju: “Self-Selected Sales Incentives: Evidence of Their Effectiveness, Persistence, Durability and Underlying Mechanisms”
Executive Summary | AMA Journal of Marketing

2014 – Raj Agnihotri: “Salesperson Ambidexterity and Customer Satisfaction: Examining the role of customer demandingness, adaptive selling, and role conflict”
Executive Summary | JPSSM

2013 – Drs. Nick Panagopoulos and Adam Rapp: “Adaptive Sales Capabilities and Sales Performance” Read the summary report.

2013 – Craig C. Chapman, Jeffrey Patrick Boichuk, Thomas J. Steenburgh, Michael Ahearne: “Real Earnings Management in Sales”
Journal of Accounting Research

2012 – Mark P. Leach and Annie H. Liu: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over: Evaluating Reacquisition Opportunities in Business-to-Business Markets”
Industrial Marketing Management

2011 – Zachary R. Hall, Michael Ahearne, & Harish Sujan: “The Importance of Starting Right: The Influence of Accurate Intuition on Performance in Salesperson–Customer Interactions.”
AMA Journal link


Conferences and journals offer researchers the opportunity to submit papers for consideration. Check out our new Sales Research Journals page and see current open calls below:

  • Journal of Selling Special Issue Call for Papers – “Hiring Sales Talent” Deadline for submissions – September 1, 2023
    More Information
  • Journal of Marketing Education Special Issue Call for Papers – “How Well Does Your Sales Curriculum Sell?” Research Focused on (Re)Designing Sales Curriculum – Submission Deadline: December 31, 2023
    More Information


Women in Sales – Volume 20, Number 2

From Guest Editor – Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D.
“Today’s business environment presents unique challenges for women in sales. While the field is rapidly changing, university educators continue to experience low enrollment for women in sales programs, and that trend is reflected in sales organizations around the world. This special issue on Women in Sales offers insights for academics, salespeople, managers and executives on how to support, promote and inspire women.” Journal link