Current Events in Business Research
Current Events in Business Research
By using business research companies can focus on developing and implementing strategies that can significantly impact their bottom line. Identifying proper research methods that will effectively provide a hypothesis and eventually design and implement a plan of action companies can increase their odds of profitability and future growth. The following information will illustrate a research process that was implemented to potentially identify factors that affect life insurance agents’ sales performance.
Identifying Research Problem
The first step and perhaps one of the most critical steps in carrying out business research is to isolate and identify the problem. In the research study we are considering the problem identified is how a company can be assisted in accurately predicting short and long term sales forecasts by analyzing factors that affect the sales performance of its life insurance agents. By analyzing this data the goal is to produce a predictive model of agent and agency performance in an attempt to figure out the most important predictors of successful sales performance. This model would allow increased focus and training based on the predictors to maximize sales by the life insurance agents and their prospective agencies as a whole. Research Method Used
The type of method used in the study is the reporting study type. Using this method the researchers considered characteristics of agents including formal education, professional education and various types of training used in the industry. The researchers also considered other studies in an effort to provided baseline and comparison models to use in helping develop their hypothesis. How Research is Solving the Problem
This study went beyond what other studies failed to do, because it provided further analysis and comparative data to further study and investigate productivity. Much of the prior research seemed to only measure certain factors e.g. behavioral, tenure, and education. This study looked at both sales and commissions for home service agents and regular agents because of the significance in number of policyholders and leads. They study required data to be collected by contacting area agencies and having those agencies complete questionnaires on each of their sales agents with at least one year of contract. The final data was compiled from seven local agencies including Commonwealth Life Insurance Company and The Prudential Life Insurance to name a few. The study described its weakness for data that was often time hard to evaluate and not readily available or hard to measure. For instance, the study about agents with formal education, professional education and specific training showed no effect on production. The benefit of the study was that it was able to analyze possible factors that were believed to have an effect on an insurance agent’s productivity. The approach of this study used two research techniques. It used basic a reporting study that summarized data to compare findings on the topic collecting their own independent analysis and used only data that was objective. The article referenced previous studies and data available on the subject, and then relied on its own findings and research. Over the years there had been research that suggested other causal affects of an agent’s productivity. In this effect the study also used explanatory research because it compared prior studies and looked at the hypothesis that caused the inability to increase productivity. The study required data to be collected by contacting area agencies and having those agencies complete questionnaires on each of their sales agents with at least one year of contract. The final data was compiled from seven local agencies including Commonwealth Life Insurance Company and The Prudential Life Insurance to name a few. The study described its weakness for data that was often...
References: Churchill, G., Ford, N., Hartley, S., & Walker, O. (1985). The Determinance of Sales Person
Performance: A Meta- Analysis. Journal of 'Marketing Research, XXII, 103-118.
Lamont, L.& Lundstrom, W. (1977) Identifying Successful Industrial Salesmen by Personality
and Personal Characteristics. Journal of 'Marketing Research, XIV, 517-529
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