Sales Education Foundation Awards $10,000.00 In Research Grant Funding

Annual program addresses need for quality research made available to the sales industry

The Sales Education Foundation (SEF) partnered with Neil Rackham to distribute two $5,000 grants aimed at funding quality academic research addressing sales challenges. Recently announced at the Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) held in London, England, the funded projects will address the following: "Self-Selection of Incentive Plans by the Sales Force" and "Engineering the Salesperson-Customer Relationship: A Longitudinal Analysis." Recipients include Mike Ahearne and Raghu Ram Bommaraju (University of Houston),Thomas Steenburgh (University of Virginia) and Raj Agnihotri (Ohio University). Completed research will be submitted to academic journals, and findings will be highlighted in practitioner-focused briefs.

According to Neil Rackham, best-selling author and renowned sales researcher, the time has come for new approaches to customer interaction. Recognizing the changing market's need for innovative, practical research, Rackham funded the program by donating $75,000 to be distributed over five years.

Sally Stevens, Executive Director of the SEF, says "The research grant program supports the research of both current academicians and doctoral candidates. This helps to address the growth of new and existing sales programs and the need for more instructors. Recipients are chosen for their ability to apply rigorous academic methodology to address the needs of the business community."

Drs. Nikolaos Panagopoulos and Adam Rapp, from The University of Alabama, served as co-chairs of the selection committee. Dr. Panagopoulos stated, "The SEF/Neil Rackham research grants serve an important role in advancing research in our field and in producing research that matters for practitioners. I have really enjoyed co-chairing the review committee." Committee members included: Dr. Nick Lee, Jessica Ogilvie, Dr. Zach Hall, Mick Andzulis, Dr. Ryan Mullins, Dr. Colin Gabler, Katy Johnson, Dr. Raj Agnihotri, Dr. Daniel Bachrach and Dr. Thomas Baker. Proposals were evaluated using eight criteria grouped into three themes, consistent with SEF's call for proposals and Rackham's vision for the grant program.

A third annual grant recognizes an individual who has helped promulgate sales research to the industry. The Dissemination Award program will begin accepting nominations in September, with the $5,000 award planned for late 2014. More information will be available on the SEF website ( beginning late August.

To learn more about sales education, future grants, partnerships and support opportunities, contact the Sales Education Foundation, a fund of The Dayton Foundation, at 800-776-4436.