Document Type



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine sales manager training approaches, methods, and instructors (as well as their perceived effectiveness, frequency, and assessment). Design/methodology/approach – Utilizing a survey approach, data were collected (and analyzed) from 355 members of two associations: the United Professional Sales Association and the American Society for Training and Development. Findings – First, internal training approaches and instructors are most commonly used and perceived as most effective. Second, sales managers are exposed to a wide variety of training content as part of their training activities. Third, the frequency, duration, and assessment of training vary widely among respondent organizations. Research limitations/implications – The utilized sample of sales managers and trainers are employed by firms within the USA. Cultural differences could exist in training practices, training content, and perceptions of effectiveness among respondents from other countries. Practical implications – First, sales manager training activities lie on a continuum that complicates effectiveness measurement. Second, sales manager training should be provided in the field by those who are either senior to or more knowledgeable on the training topic(s) than the sales manager. Third, internet-based training methods are still in their infancy. Fourth, the complexities associated with the sales manager position lead to a need for varied training being delivered by diverse instructors. Originality/value – Almost a decade has passed since the last empirical studies of the “nuts and bolts” of sales manager training practices were published. The current study builds on previous work by utilizing a larger sample and incorporating technology advances and new content areas (e.g. financial analysis, networking, partnering, cross-functional activities).



Publication Date



Symposium/Special Issue

Original Citation

Gordon, Geoffrey L., et al. (2012). The training of sales managers: current practices. Vol. 27 (Issue 8) pp. 659-672. DOI: 10.1108/08858621211273600

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