Factors such as globalization and market size have made India a major consideration for multinational firms and their salespeople. Despite the appeal of the market, the majority of theories and empirical studies of sales have been based on Western thought and within a Western context. This study seeks to address the issue of what interpersonal traits impel outcomes and behaviors of Indian salespeople.
A model was tested using survey data collected from salespeople and their respective sales managers within a print media company located in India. A structural equation model was used to test the hypotheses.
The results suggest an interesting interplay between interpersonal traits and pro‐social sales behaviors. Empathy proneness was positively related to helping behaviors targeted at other salespeople, while guilt proneness was positively associated with behaviors targeted at customers.
The research suggests that a salesperson's capacity for empathy does not always translate into customer‐based behaviors. Hence sales training and other interventions targeted towards building empathy may actually impact on behaviors between salespeople versus the interface between the salesperson and the customer. Theoretical and managerial applications are also discussed.
The paper combines a data collection of salesperson‐sales manager dyadic responses and examines whether the theoretical undergirding of the Western‐based pro‐social literature is appropriate to apply in Eastern cultures such as India.
Agnihotri, R., Krush, M. and Singh, R. (2012), "Understanding the mechanism linking interpersonal traits to pro‐social behaviors among salespeople: lessons from India", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858621211207234Download as .RIS
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