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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Füsun Altıntas, Feride Bahar Kurtulmusoglu, Murat Hakan Altintas, Hans-Rudiger Kaufmann and Sanem Alkibay

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive model of the relationship between control and sales performance contingent upon the commitment and adaptive selling

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive model of the relationship between control and sales performance contingent upon the commitment and adaptive selling variables. Specifically, the study tests the mediator effects of adaptive selling and organizational commitment on the effect of managerial control systems on self-assessed performance of the salespeople working in the field of industrial marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 472 firms active in the industrial marketing field for tangible industry products in Turkey were selected for the research. The proposed model that tested posits relationships among management control variables and adaptive selling, organizational commitment and sales performance measures. Management controls are related to sales performance through the mediating effect of adaptive selling and organizational commitment. Management control styles (output as formal and professional as informal) were the independent variables, while changes in organizational commitment and adaptive selling were tested both as mediators and sales performance as dependent variable, consistent with the reciprocal effects model under analysis.

Findings

The findings demonstrated that “control” is positively associated with “sales performance” and “commitment” and “adaptive selling” mediate this relationship. Findings indicate that control impacts sales performance through a mediating mechanism that involves adaptive selling and commitment. Taken together, results showed that adaptive selling and commitment played a critical role in sales performance.

Originality/value

This research is the first to empirically analyse the model regarding the relationship between sales performance, control, adaptive selling and commitment variables.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2018

Maurits Kaptein, Richard McFarland and Petri Parvinen

This paper aims to develop and test a method of automating, for online retailers, the practice of adaptive selling, which is typically used by salespeople in face-to-face…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop and test a method of automating, for online retailers, the practice of adaptive selling, which is typically used by salespeople in face-to-face interactions. This method customizes persuasive messages for individual customers as they navigate a retailer’s website.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper demonstrates a method for the online implementation of automated adaptive selling using sales influence tactics. Automated adaptive selling is compared to nonadaptive selling in three e-commerce field studies.

Findings

The results reveal that adaptive selling is more effective than nonadaptive selling. The click-through rates increased significantly when adaptive selling was used.

Research limitations/implications

This paper highlights the effectiveness of existing theories concerning adaptive human-to-human selling and their utility to online selling. The authors demonstrate the added value of adaptive selling in e-commerce, thereby opening up a novel area of research into adaptive selling online. While the paper focuses on the adjustment of sales influence tactics, other factors could be investigated for adjustment in future research (e.g. prices).

Practical implications

The methods, described in detail, are readily available for implementation by online retailers. The implementations are timely and increasingly valuable as e-commerce expands into interpersonal channels (e.g. instant messengers and social media).

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to formally implement automated adaptive selling as described in the ISTEA model in an e-commerce setting.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Sergio Román and Pedro Juan Martín

The first purpose of this research is to analyze the influence of adaptive selling, as perceived by customers, on customer satisfaction – both with the salesperson and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The first purpose of this research is to analyze the influence of adaptive selling, as perceived by customers, on customer satisfaction – both with the salesperson and the company – and loyalty to the supplier. In addition, this study aims to examine to what extent the organizational position occupied by the buyer moderates the results obtained (i.e. satisfaction and loyalty) as a consequence of a salesperson’s adaptive selling behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Data obtained from a survey of organizational buyers from a wide range of industries are analyzed through structural equation modeling.

Findings

Findings from the study indicate that perceived adaptive selling significantly increases satisfaction with the salesperson, satisfaction with the supplier and loyalty to the supplier while controlling for length of the buyer–seller relationship. In addition, these effects are stronger when the contact person at the buying company is the general manager as opposed to the purchasing manager.

Originality/value

Despite today’s emphasis on relationship selling, the research on the consequences of adaptive selling has employed primarily sales-related criteria (e.g. sales, quota). This is the first study to analyze the influence of adaptive selling on several customer relational outcomes in a business-to-business context and to analyze the moderating influence of the hierarchical position of the buyer.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Harindranath R.M., Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran and Jayanth Jacob

The principal purpose of this study is to examine the moderating influence of selling experience on the following two relationships – adaptive selling and job satisfaction…

Abstract

Purpose

The principal purpose of this study is to examine the moderating influence of selling experience on the following two relationships – adaptive selling and job satisfaction and customer orientation and job satisfaction – using unionized salespeople as respondents. It also tests for the mediating role of adaptive selling in the customer orientation–job satisfaction relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses data from a survey conducted on 208 pharmaceutical unionized salespeople from 46 pharmaceutical firms in India. The model was tested using structural equation modeling. Moderation hypotheses were estimated using process macro and the Johnson–Neyman technique.

Findings

The data fitted the model well. This research found that customer orientation drove adaptive selling behavior and job satisfaction, and that adaptive selling influenced job satisfaction (all positively); it was found that adaptive selling partially mediated the relationship between customer orientation and job satisfaction. Results revealed that job experience negatively moderated the adaptive selling behavior–job satisfaction and customer orientation–job satisfaction relationships.

Practical implications

The results show that pharma firms may hire young recruits and, importantly, measure their customer orientation and adaptive selling levels. For the purposes of training to enhance customer orientation and adaptive selling, pharma firms may send only their less experienced salespersons.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this study could be the first to examine the interaction of job experience and customer-directed selling behaviors such as adaptive selling and customer orientation on job satisfaction. Moreover, this is possibly the only study in this domain that uses unionized salespeople in an emerging market (India).

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2006

James A. Eckert

Working from the expanded model of adaptive selling behavior offered by Eckert and Plank (2004), this paper attempts to add greater depth and specificity to the adaptive

Abstract

Working from the expanded model of adaptive selling behavior offered by Eckert and Plank (2004), this paper attempts to add greater depth and specificity to the adaptive output categories making them more useful for research advancement and for both the teaching and execution of an adaptive selling approach. Relevant literature is identified, organized, and offered as theory sources to support and expand the adaptive selling model.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Nicholas G. Paparoidamis and Paolo Guenzi

This study aims to develop and test a model of relationship selling management. It seeks to examine the impact of leadership quality and relationship selling, as…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop and test a model of relationship selling management. It seeks to examine the impact of leadership quality and relationship selling, as antecedents of salespeople's relational behaviours, on sales effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from a review of literature, the model incorporates two classes of salespeople's relational behaviours, namely customer‐oriented selling (COS) and adaptive selling (AS), two classes of managerial antecedents (i.e. relationship selling strategy and LMX) and one consequence (sales effectiveness). The authors collected data from 164 sales manager‐salesperson dyads in a sample of French firms. A structural equation modelling approach was employed to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings show that relationship selling and LMX stimulate salespeople's relational behaviours, which in turn positively affect sales effectiveness. Moreover, the results reveal a positive impact of relationship selling on sales manager‐salesperson exchanges.

Research limitations/implications

The study is cross‐sectional, and many other relevant constructs should be investigated in future research on the topic. Objective measures of performance may also be incorporated.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates that companies can stimulate desirable behaviours of salespeople, which drive to better performance, by leveraging on controllable organisational factors, i.e. selling strategy and leadership.

Originality/value

The research fills three important gaps in the extant literature. First of all, the study clearly sheds some light on the role played by specific organisational variables (e.g. leader‐member exchange quality) and behaviours of salespeople in implementing relational strategies. Second, the study shows that the quality of the relationship between supervisors and salespeople can affect specific behaviours of subordinates. Third, the paper contributes to a better understanding of organisational drivers of customer‐oriented selling and adaptive selling, and finds evidence of a positive impact of such behaviours on sales effectiveness.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Ghazaleh Moghareh Abed and Mohammad Haghighi

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of selling strategies on the sales performance of a company.

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of selling strategies on the sales performance of a company.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper briefly reviews selling strategies and the sales performance literature. It investigates how selling strategies impact sales performance in the literature and then presents statistical evidence via a case study.

Findings

The findings of this study clearly show that managers' perception of the adoption of strategies on the part of the selling firm is associated with the adoption of some specific classes of behaviors (i.e. customer‐oriented selling, adaptive selling, relational strategy) which can contribute to the creation of strong and long‐lasting positive relationships with customers.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the limitations of our study, future research could expand the generalizability of the model by conducting a much larger survey across a number of firms in different industries with a representation of different selling situations.

Practical implications

The findings emphasize the role of developing effective selling strategies to improve sales performance. Thus, recognizing these factors and the rate of their influence will enable the top managers of companies to use effective and suitable strategies for preserving and retaining customers.

Originality/value

This paper provides insights to different dimensions of selling strategies and the way they enhance sales performance. It further clarifies the relationship by statistical evidence with a case study.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Yam B. Limbu, C. Jayachandran, Barry J. Babin and Robin T. Peterson

Previous studies that examined the role of empathy and nonverbal immediacy on business-to-business (B2B) salesperson performance is limited in scope and yielded…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies that examined the role of empathy and nonverbal immediacy on business-to-business (B2B) salesperson performance is limited in scope and yielded inconclusive evidence. Grounded in Plank and Greene’s (1996) framework of salesperson effectiveness, this paper aims to empirically investigate the mediating role of adaptive selling behavior through which empathy and nonverbal immediacy influence sales force performance and the form of empathy (cognitive or affective) that has the most beneficial role in improving relationship (versus outcome) salesperson performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using cross-sectional data that were collected from 422 pharmaceutical sales representatives, this study used structural equation modeling to test the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

Adaptive selling behavior mediates the effect of perspective taking empathy and empathic concern on relationship performance. However, the impact of empathy on outcome performance is not significant through adaptive selling behavior, but perspective taking empathy has a direct influence on outcome performance. Contrary to expectations, nonverbal immediacy is not mediated by adaptive selling behavior but has a direct and positive impact on relationship performance.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study have several implications for recruitment, training and assessment of salespeople in a B2B context. Based on the empirical evidence, it is highlighted that firms may use different forms of empathy and nonverbal cues to promote adaptive selling behavior that impact sales force performance (i.e. outcome or relationship).

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study which simultaneously examines the mediating role of adaptive selling behavior in the relationship between three antecedent variables that relate to sales force empathy and nonverbal communication (i.e. perspective taking empathy, empathic concern and nonverbal immediacy) and two aspects of B2B sales performance (relationship and outcome).

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Paolo Guenzi, Luigi M. De Luca and Rosann Spiro

This paper aims to examine the impact of customer perceptions about a salesperson’s combined use of adaptive selling (AS) and selling orientation (SO) on customer trust in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of customer perceptions about a salesperson’s combined use of adaptive selling (AS) and selling orientation (SO) on customer trust in the salesperson. Based on insights from attribution theory, the contingency model of salespeople’ effectiveness, relationship marketing and market orientation literatures, the authors analyze the interplay between customer perceptions of salespeople’s AS and SO, and how this affects customer trust. Furthermore, adopting a contingency perspective, the authors investigate how two important situational variables (i.e. length of buyer–seller relationships and importance of purchase for the buyer) affect this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on regression analysis with two- and three-way interactions, using survey data from 134 business-to-business (B2B) buyers.

Findings

The results indicate that the interplay between AS and SO is negatively related to trust, and that the above situation is attenuated in sales contexts characterized by high purchase importance or enduring buyer–seller relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical findings are based on firms from a single industry. Second, a cross-sectional research design is adopted. Third, the absence of measures of objective performance (e.g. sales) might be regarded as a limitation.

Practical implications

The study suggests that salespeople willing to win customer trust should modify their approach across the relationship life cycle. Similarly, when purchase importance for the customer is low, salespeople interested in building relationships based on trust should combine AS and customer orientation. In contrast, when purchase importance is high, salespeople can only generate more trust by increasing customer orientation/reducing SO. These findings might inspire sales trainers and sales managers in developing training experiences based on adaptation and customer orientation.

Originality/value

The research contributes in several ways to the literature. First, the simultaneous effect of AS and SO on performance (i.e. customer trust) was investigated. Second, the analysis of the interaction between AS and SO was complemented by testing two important boundary conditions residing in the selling situation: purchase importance and relationship length. Third, this study is the first to examine the interplay among AS, SO and selling context outside using customer data from actual B2B sales interactions. Also, it enhances knowledge of the effects of AS on sales outcomes by adding a long-term, relational outcome (i.e. trust) to previous work that tended to focus on short-term outcomes (i.e. sales revenues). Furthermore, by investigating perceived benefits from the point of view of customers rather than sellers, our findings add to previous studies of AS which relied too heavily, or exclusively, on the voice of the seller. Finally, this study shed further light on the role played by SO in affecting customer-based performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Vaibhav Chawla and Sridhar Guda

The purpose of this paper is to use the perspective of ego to investigate the spirituality of a salesperson and its influence on customer orientation and adaptive selling

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use the perspective of ego to investigate the spirituality of a salesperson and its influence on customer orientation and adaptive selling behavior. Meaningful work is proposed as a mediator.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional data were collected from 218 insurance salespeople in India. Bootstrap with SEM was used to test mediation.

Findings

The paper finds that there is full mediation through meaningful work on both the outcome behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

The findings will encourage researchers to link various salesperson outcomes such as ethical sales behavior, salesperson service behavior, and so on to spirituality.

Practical implications

The findings can provide some relevant inputs for sales leadership actions aimed at facilitating employees’ spiritual experiences.

Originality/value

This is among the first few studies, as what the authors believe, in the sales literature to find out that spirituality and sales job not only can co-exist, but they do complement each other.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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