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The moderating role of cultural controls on the relationship between traditional formal sales controls and inside salesperson performance

Richard Conde (Department of General Business, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, University of Houston Downtown, Houston, Texas, USA)
Victor Prybutok (Department of Informational Technology and Decision Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Kenneth Thompson (Department of Marketing and Logistics Operations Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 29 April 2022

Issue publication date: 22 January 2023

497

Abstract

Purpose

For the past several decades, the sales control literature has focused on the outside sales context. This study aims to extend sales control research by examining formal and informal sales controls, embodied by cultural controls, used by sales managers in an inside sales context, where the sales agent’s performance focus extends beyond sales outcomes to include the influence of operational phone outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 232 B2C and B2B inside sales agent survey responses, this study presents evidence that in an inside sales department, this study focuses on the congruent effect of formal sales and cultural sales controls on inside sales agent overall performance.

Findings

Based on 232 B2C and B2B inside sales agent survey responses, this study presents evidence that in an inside sales department, the operational focus of sales activities and resultant operational performance mediates the relationship between sales controls and inside sales agent sales performance, whereas cultural controls centered on maximizing inside sales autonomous motivation positively moderates the effect of operational outcomes on an inside sales agent’s sales performance.

Practical implications

By focusing on the tenants of an inside sales agent’s overall performance, this research provides practitioners a holistic view of the inherent conflict inside sales managers must balance between the impact of formal sales controls and the benefits of cultural controls.

Originality/value

By being the only study to examine sales controls in an inside sales context, with a broad definition of overall performance to include both sales and operational phone outcomes, this study extends sales control research to a new sales context. The need to jointly focus on operational results, as well as sales outcomes, illustrate the importance of cultural controls compared to other sales processes and outcome controls

Keywords

Citation

Conde, R., Prybutok, V. and Thompson, K. (2023), "The moderating role of cultural controls on the relationship between traditional formal sales controls and inside salesperson performance", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 622-636. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-02-2021-0099

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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