Sales leaders have often relied on instinct when determining how large their sales forces should be, but this approach won't necessarily generate the best results, write Markus Christen and Tommy Arvinell. "We propose to use data on markets and profitability to find the best number and allocation of people, and if any assumptions have to be made, to make them explicit and clear so that they can be valued and so that any risks associated with them can be managed," they write.

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