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Strategic management of salespeople when promoting new products: Moderating effects of sales-related organizational psychological climate

Annie Chen (Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom)
Norman Peng (Department of Marketing and Business Strategy, University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom)
Kuang-peng Hung (Graduate School of Management, Ming-Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 14 September 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the performance of salespeople when selling new products (namely, electronic goods) in a business-to-business context by incorporating the organizations’ perceived psychological climate into goal orientation theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study uses the goal orientation theory to examine the performance of 158 salespeople based on new electronic product sales. Organizational psychological climate perceptions (i.e. customer orientation, sales supportiveness and sales innovativeness) are included as variables that can moderate salespeople’s performance. This study used partial least squares to examine its proposed model.

Findings

This study found that the learning goal orientation and the performance-prove goal orientation positively affect salespeople’s self-efficacy to sell new products, whereas a performance-avoid goal orientation negatively affects efficacy. In addition, new product selling self-efficacy itself has a positive influence on new product sales performance. As for the moderator, sales supportiveness and customer orientation have the ability to moderate the relationship between self-efficacy and performance.

Practical implications

This study has implications for sales managers or product managers who are responsible for promoting new products. First, this study’s findings suggest that managers should consider employing performance-prove goal-oriented staff and learning goal oriented staff to sell new products. Second, management can attempt to develop a more supportive climate for the sales team, such as assisting the team in obtaining needed resources from other departments. Finally, management needs to let salespeople know that they are doing their best to understand what new products existing and potential customers will need in the near future.

Originality/value

This current research is one of the first to examine how the perceived psychological climates of organizations (i.e. sales supportiveness, sales innovativeness and customer orientation) may moderate salespeople’s performance when selling new products. Second, this research examines how different types of goal orientation affect salespeople’s self-efficacy when selling new products. Previous results have not always been consistent regarding the influence of a performance-prove goal orientation. Last but not least, this study tests how new product selling self-efficacy mediates the relationships between goal orientations and new product sales performance as scholars have suggested that more research into the mediating role of self-efficacy is needed.

Keywords

Citation

Chen, A., Peng, N. and Hung, K.-p. (2015), "Strategic management of salespeople when promoting new products: Moderating effects of sales-related organizational psychological climate", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49 No. 9/10, pp. 1616-1644. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-03-2014-0181

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited