Sales manager support: fostering emotional health in salespeople

Elyria Kemp (Department of Marketing & Logistics, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
Aberdeen Leila Borders (Marketing Department, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Joe M. Ricks (Marketing Department, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 29 March 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of sales manager support in promoting the subjective well‐being of salespeople as well as the function of the sales manager in cultivating positive, motivating and productive environments.


An exploratory assessment of the relationship between sales manager support and emotional health in salespeople was conducted by interviewing sales professionals from diverse industries. The insight offered from these individuals, in conjunction with prior literature, provided the basis for the development of a conceptual model that elucidates the impact of sales manager support on the emotional well‐being of salespeople and subsequently salesperson effectiveness. The model was tested using 154 salespeople. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.


Results indicate that sales manager support is negatively related to emotional exhaustion and rumination, but positively associated with fostering positive working environments and future expectations. Salesperson motivation is positively related to positive working environments and customer‐oriented selling and negatively related to emotional exhaustion.

Research limitations/implications

The study is cross‐sectional in nature and no causal relationships could be established. Future studies might include field experiments that assess the effect of sales manager support on salesperson's well‐being and behavior.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates the important role sales managers have in promoting the subjective well‐being of salespeople.


This research addresses how sales manager coaching specifically impacts elements of a salesperson's emotional health.



Kemp, E., Leila Borders, A. and Ricks, J. (2013), "Sales manager support: fostering emotional health in salespeople", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 3/4, pp. 635-654.

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