And a Miracle Happens!

Firms struggle with transforming sales teams and sometimes resort to replacing sales people to accomplish business objectives. Sustainability theory provides a framework for analyzing the effects of replacing salespeople for all stakeholders. By applying sustainability theory to sales transformation, managers can improve understanding of externalities and thus the total cost of the hiring cycle.

Two scientists are standing in front of a blackboard filled with formulas and math terms. At the end, just before the “equals” sign, there’s a callout, “And a miracle happens!” One scientist says to the other, “I think we need to do a little more work on this step.”

Like the blackboard filled with esoteric symbols, there has been a great deal of theoretical work done creating conceptual models, applying theories and pleading with both industry and governments to adopt sustainable development methods. Unfortunately, like the scientists in the cartoon–the last step, theory in practice, remains elusive for sustainability theory.
Some of the challenges for sustainability theory stem from its myopic application to energy policy and its associated co-opting to support political agendas on taxation. Limiting sustainability theory to energy policy is unfortunate, as sustainability theory is broadly applicable and can add much to the discussion of cost allocation and corporate decision making well beyond carbon emissions. Another challenge for sustainability theory is the scale of the issues it seeks to solve. While big problems demand big solutions, initial theory applications are best done at small scale where control can be applied to the inputs, outputs and unintended consequences.

The following paper expands sustainability theory to the new problem domain of the hiring cycle for salespeople. The paper also applies the theory to practice as it relates to the decision to replace sales resources as a result of a business disruption.

Author: Rob Hammond


Cite as: Hammond, R. (2017). And a miracle happens. Muma Business Review, 1(4). 39-45.