Business Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1944-656X; Online ISSN: 1944-6578)


Anybody Out There? How Sales Organizations Responded to the Covid-19 Economic Shutdown

Author(s): Tará Burnthorne Lopez, Michael C. Budden and Russell McKenzie

In March of 2020, companies were faced with unprecedented and widespread challenges. Those challenges were especially considerable for companies’ sales divisions as commerce took a momentous pause due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Orders were cancelled and supply chains experienced major and ongoing disruptions. Customers stopped orders, cancelled meetings, and the supply chains salespeople relied on to support their customers came to a standstill. Face-toface meetings practically came to a halt in March of 2020 as stay-at-home and work from home orders rolled into effect across the world. Through this, companies were challenged to re-think their organizational structure to sustain their sales organizations and their revenue streams. The following research is based on interviews with key informants from sales organizations at ten different U.S. and global companies about the impact of the first three months of the pandemic which hit squarely during Q2 of the sales year. The results provide insight into the immediate decisions and actions taken by a sample of companies to address salesforce control and motivation, training, technology, and strategic agility to respond to a crisis situation.

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