Abstract for: The Impact of Sales-practice Startup Dynamics on Sales-force Productivity

The problem of sales force turnover has been extensively studied; its causes amongst psychological, managerial, and workplace conditions have been examined. In this paper, we explore a structural cause of turnover related to the startup dynamics of a sales agentís practice and propose structural interventions for turnoverís amelioration. Our interrogatory technique utilizes a formal simulation model of the sales agentís startup dynamics. With the help of this model, we study how variances in the agentís resource base (skill, natural market, and lifestyle buffer) influence their three-year survival rates and overall career productivity. We show that a pure commission-based compensation policy selects a sales force optimized for surviving startup dynamics, not for long-term profitability. We examine a mix of policy interventions designed to align the sales force with a companyís long-term interest.