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The purpose of this paper is to examine how the cognitive appraisals, coping choices and behavioral responses by business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals confronting…
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the cognitive appraisals, coping choices and behavioral responses by business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals confronting the acutely stressful experience of losing a customer, and their pursuit of justice in the win-back process, influences reacquisition outcomes. The paper further examines the role of sales experience as a moderator between coping choices and successful win back.
In all, 98 critical incidents were reported by sales professionals from B2B firms across various industries. NVivo 9, content analysis and logistic regression were used to analyze the data.
The results show that problem-focused coping (PFC) and pro-active responses positively affect win-back outcome. By contrast, emotion-focused coping (EFC) and re-active responses have a negative association with customer reacquisition. The findings also show that sales experience moderates the relationship between levels of EFC and win-back outcomes. Specifically, for sales professionals with low levels of EFC, sales experience helps improve chances of winning back lost customers. But for sales professionals using higher levels of EFC, more sales experience decreases win-back probability. Additionally, the findings show that procedural, interactional and distributive justice all contribute to successful customer reacquisition.
The few published studies of how B2B sales professionals deal with customer defections reveal a mixture of bereavement and drivenness in striving for new accounts. The authors’ focus and findings on the use of PFC and EFC strategies, justice mechanisms and the uneven role of experience in responding to this stressful context suggests that there is much to be gained from additional research. Specifically, probes into how sales professionals may be inadvertently skewed to EFC behaviors by either overly simplistic training systems, learning- versus performance-based incentives or their experience with prior customer defections.
The findings highlight the importance of PFC strategies and the delivery of procedural, interactional and distributive justice strategies to productively adapt to customer defections, activate switch back behavior and win back lost customers. Sales force training systems need to address the increased churning in B2B markets and integrate win-back procedures in sales training programs so that sales professionals do not default to EFC and/or strive for new accounts when facing the stress of customer defection.
The findings contribute to customer defection management and sales literature by integrating coping and justice theories in exploring sales professionals’ cognitive appraisals and coping responses to the acute stress of losing a current customer.
WHEN John I. Snyder Jr. flew over from the United States he probably did not relish the Cassandra rôle into which circumstances had forced him. As president of U.S. Industries he gave one of the most depressing addresses of modern times. Since his firm is a large manufacturer of automation machines it was probably natural that he should say: ‘Automation is inevitable. Its use is rapidly increasing. Positive action by the makers of automation machines must be taken now to preserve the human values which could otherwise become cannon fodder of the automation barrage.’
THE invitations which some 4,000 scientists and technologists accept every year to visit the National Physical Laboratory during the two Open Days in May are equally available to such accredited representatives of industrial concerns as care to apply for them.
‘FOG in Channel: Continent isolated!’ Those were once the headlines in a national newspaper which thus succinctly, although with unintentional irony, expressed the British sense of complacency. Making allowance for an element of exaggeration, the incident contained enough truth to make its point. The new alignments of industry and commerce which are now taking place mean that this country cannot afford to retain even a vestige of such an attitude.
MR. ALBERT HILL has been fitter, shop steward, foreman and works manager. He is now managing director of the Yorkshire engineering group which proposes to negotiate a ‘job for life’ agreement with its workers. In a recent address to the Institution of Works Managers he commented on the views of an American consultant which we quoted on this page last month.
IT is nearly three and a half centuries since John Donne, preaching in St. Paul's Cathedral, of which he had recently become Dean, said: ‘Some men, by the benefit of this light of Reason, have found out things profitable and use‐ful to the whole world; as in particular Printing, by which the learning of the whole world is communicable to one another, and our minds and inventions, our wits and compositions, may trade and have commerce together, and we may participate of one another's understandings, as well as of our Clothes, Wines, Oyles and other Merchandize.’
What is now known as the Canning Industry commenced on the 30th January, 1810, when Montalivet, the French Minister of the Interior, wrote to Francois Appert and informed him that his—Appert's—new process for preserving foods was assured of success and thereby granting to the process the official recognition of the French Government. Official recognition also carried with it a money grant of twelve thousand francs—about £500 in those days—Appert won this prize on the principle of “Delhi taken and India saved for one rupee eight annas”—and died in the year 1841 a comparatively poor man and the founder of one of the world's greatest industries. As a result of the warlike operations in which it had been engaged, multitudes of sick and wounded were thrown on the hands of the French Government, and scurvy was terribly prevalent in the fleets. Hence the French Government gave a public notice that it would award a prize to anyone who should discover a cheap and satisfactory method of preserving foodstuffs, without either drying or pickling, so that they could be kept for a long period and still retain the natural flavour and other characteristics of the fresh product. Appert had worked at and perfected his process during the preceding ten or fifteen years and had thoroughly assured himself of its practicability. He was therefore well prepared to demonstrate the details before the Board of Arts and Manufactures of which Board Gay Lussac had been a member since the year 1805. The report of this body to the Minister of the Interior was entirely favourable, as was also that of General Caffarelli, the Maritime Prefect of Brest. Caffarelli had found that soups and vegetables prepared by Appert's process had retained their goodness after three months' bottling, and he had been able to supply what seemed to the diners to be fresh vegetables in mid‐winter. It need hardly be said that Appert's process for preserving foods is the one in use now. Appert, however, knew nothing of the principles on which his process depended, nor did anyone else at that time. He supposed putrefaction to be due to the action of the air alone. In this view he was supported by the great authority of Gay Lussac who, it will be remembered, imagined atmospheric oxygen to be the cause. Appert at the request of the Minister of the Interior wrote a short book on the subject—a practical treatise explaining the methods of preserving animal and vegetable substances. This book was almost at once translated into several languages. It would seem that one of the chief advantages that Appert hoped the French people would gain by his invention was the saving of sugar. Up to that time the only means of preserving fruit other than by drying was to immerse the fruit in strong syrup made with cane sugar, and sugar was almost impossible to obtain in France at that time owing to war conditions. He also says that the French Government wished to draw “the utmost advantage from the productions of our soil in order to develop our agriculture and manufactures, and to diminish the consumption of foreign commodities” ! This is exactly what we in this country are trying to do now in the building up of a trade in canned food, a hundred and twenty years later. The English translator of Appert's work complacently observes:—
AN incentive is a motive and it has long been accepted as axiomatic in the world of industry that the only motive which will move men to greater effort is a financial one. Wage incentive schemes operate in large sections of manufacturing industry today and any increase in a firm's productivity is almost automatically attributed to them.
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