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Stress Tolerance Considerations for Sales Personnel

Examining the Role of Well-being in the Marketing Discipline

ISBN: 978-1-78973-946-6, eISBN: 978-1-78973-945-9

ISSN: 1479-3555

Publication date: 9 September 2019


Sales personnel play a key role in the success of organizations. These individuals present services/products to clients, manage accounts, build relationships, maintain existing business relationships, and must be available for frequent interactions with clients. Business operations are linked to external entities through these activities, suggesting sales groups play a critical role in the success of an organization. As a representative to the external market, sales personnel are subject to unique stressors due to role-specific requirements. These stressors can impact the ability of sales professionals to effectively engage with customers and manage the volatility of financial performance, especially in commission-based compensation structures. Thus, organizations can find utility in identifying sales candidates with higher levels of stress tolerance, who can handle negative client interactions, overcome lulls in sales conversions, and avoid the impact of occupational stressors on long-term sales performance. Research suggests that organizations can use personality to predict stress tolerance as a component of sales performance. To provide organizations with insights into sales-specific coping behaviors associated with stress tolerance, the authors (1) discuss stress inducing factors (stressors) associated with sales role performance, (2) review the individual differences associated with stress tolerance, (3) present personality relationships with sales performance and stress tolerance, and (4) present job-analytic support for stress tolerance competencies relevant to sales performance and criterion-related validity evidence linking personality characteristics to those behaviors. The authors conclude with a discussion around the potential for applied uses of personality in identifying sales personnel with greater likelihoods of exhibiting stress tolerant behaviors in the workplace.



Tapia, M., Nei, K.S., Fuhrmeister, K. and Lemming, M.R. (2019), "Stress Tolerance Considerations for Sales Personnel", Perrewé, P.L. and Harms, P.D. (Ed.) Examining the Role of Well-being in the Marketing Discipline (Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-160.



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