Professor tells business in book

Dr. Andrea L. Dixon, executive director for the Keller Center for Research and the Center for Professional Selling, is the recent co-author of “The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management.”
Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor

By Molly Packer

Hankamer School of Business’ Dr. Andrea Dixon, associate professor of marketing, is in the company of some of the best business academicians in the world after the publishing of “The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management.”

Dixon, along with 30 business experts, authored the book, published March 22 and available on Amazon. According to Amazon, the book consolidates the current academic research in sales by filling in the holes left by other books.

The book has four sections: the strategic positioning of the sales function within the modern organization, sales management and recent developments, sales relationships with customers and the modern environment and the internal composition of sales within the organization.

Dixon, the executive director of the Keller Center for Research and the Center for Professional Selling, was approached to help write the book in August 2008 while she was working in the marketing department at the University of Cincinnati.

“The writing of the book took place in the summer and the fall of 2009,” Dixon said. “With that kind of cycle to go through all of the editing and across multiple authors, the proofs came out in 2010, and it was published in 2011.”

Getting across supporting ideas to the reader from 30 different writers proved to be a challenge for the authors and editors involved. Dixon said one author’s material in the book needed to be coordinated and supportive of the other authors’ work in order for the book to be successful.

“It’s very flattering and very rewarding to be able to work on something of that magnitude,” Dixon said.

The book was published with a wide audience in mind.

“The book will be of interest to academicians because it’s an update of where the business world is,” Dixon said. “It’s written in such a way that it’s accessible to leaders of companies or even graduate students.”

Dixon said she loves that working on the book gave her the chance to research more about the future of sales management.

“Some people don’t believe that research is good for professors because it takes you away from your students,” Dixon said. “But research makes you keep up with current happenings and makes you an even better professor for your students.”

Dr. Jeff Tanner, a marketing professor and the associate dean of the faculty development and research department of Hankamer, also sees the value in research.

“It’s important that we know how the world works,” Tanner said. “Dixon is obviously a scholar of the top-drawer, and this particular piece of work just confirms what we already knew about her.”

Dixon, who has worked on books such as “Strategic Sales Leadership: Breakthrough Thinking for Breakthrough Results” and has organized many conferences, said working on this book was much different than anything she had done in the past.

“It’s different in the sense that it’s a larger number of individuals you’re working with,” Dixon said. “Conferences where 700 academicians are brought in is similar in the way of sheer magnitude of the people you’re working with but there’s an intellectual aspect that’s added when you’re writing a book.”

With her publication comes a great deal of honor for her and for Baylor, Dixon said.

“It puts Baylor in the context of scholars from around the world who are well thought of,” Dixon said. “It puts you in the company of people who are well thought of, and it really brings the honor to Baylor.”