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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Colin B. Gabler, Raj Agnihotri and Omar S. Itani

The purpose of this paper is to investigate guilt proneness as a prosocial salesperson trait and its impact on outcomes important to the firm, the customer as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate guilt proneness as a prosocial salesperson trait and its impact on outcomes important to the firm, the customer as well as the salesperson. Specifically, the authors look at how this variable relates to job effort and the indirect effects on customer satisfaction. The corollary purpose is to uncover how managers influence these constructs through positive outcome feedback.

Design/methodology/approach

Prosocial motivation theory grounds the conceptual model which the authors test through survey implementation. The final sample consisted of 129 business-to-business (B2B) salespeople working across multiple industries in India. Latent moderated structural equation modeling was utilized to test the proposed model.

Findings

The results suggest that guilt proneness positively influences the likelihood that a salesperson adopts a relational orientation, which has a direct effect on individual effort and an indirect effect on customer satisfaction. Supervisors have the ability to amplify this effort through positive outcome feedback, but only when relational orientation is low. Their support had no effect on salespeople with a high relational orientation.

Originality/value

The study is unique in that it combines an overlooked prosocial trait with a B2B Indian dataset. We provide value for firms because our results show that guilt-prone salespeople put more effort into their job – ”something universally desirable among sales managers” – through the development of a relational orientation. The authors also give practical implications on how to support salespeople given their level of relational orientation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Elten Briggs, Ashish Kalra and Raj Agnihotri

Although the role of emotions in buyer–seller exchanges is important, it remains understudied, especially in the business-to-business selling context. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the role of emotions in buyer–seller exchanges is important, it remains understudied, especially in the business-to-business selling context. This paper aims to provide insights into the role of the salespeople’s ability to appraise emotions (EA ability) and its effects on job-related outcomes in a transaction-oriented environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Multi-source data were gathered from 152 salespeople working for a financial service firm. Customer service and sales performance ratings were reported by supervisors. Hypotheses were tested through structural equation modeling using AMOS.

Findings

The study finds contrasting effects of EA ability on sales performance in the firm’s transaction-oriented environment. On the one hand, EA ability motivates better salesperson customer service, which then increases their sales performance. On the other hand, EA ability enhances emotional exhaustion, which detracts from sales performance.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consider the ability of new hires to appraise emotions when determining their fit with the job and the organization. Training programs that develop salesperson emotional abilities should be comprehensive as it may be detrimental to be high in EA ability without the skills to regulate or use emotions.

Originality value

The study is one of the first to consider the effects of emotional abilities in the context of a transaction-oriented environment. By focusing specifically on EA ability, the study provides greater understanding of the influences of the individual components of emotional intelligence, rather than salesperson’s overall capacity for emotional intelligence.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Michael T. Krush, Raj Agnihotri and Kevin J. Trainor

This paper aims to focus on the value of marketing dashboards, a key area of interest for scholars and practitioners. This study examines two critical outcomes of…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the value of marketing dashboards, a key area of interest for scholars and practitioners. This study examines two critical outcomes of marketing dashboards: marketing strategy implementation speed and market information management capability. Additionally, the research analyzes the impact of the firm’s internal structure on the relationship between marketing dashboards and the outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model grounded in the knowledge-based view of the firm is tested. The research uses survey data collected from marketing professionals employed within business-to-business firms. Data from the key informants are analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results demonstrate that marketing dashboards are significantly related to marketing strategy implementation speed and market information management capability. Centralization exhibits a negative moderating effect, and formalization exhibits a positive moderating effect on the relationship between marketing dashboards and marketing strategy implementation speed. Marketing strategy implementation speed and market information management capability are related to market performance.

Originality/value

Through the examination of main and moderating relationships, this paper demonstrates that marketing strategy implementation speed and market information management capability are key integration mechanisms that leverage the marketing dashboard resources.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2022

Omar S. Itani, Larry Chonko and Raj Agnihotri

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of salesperson moral identity centrality in value co-creation. This study identified and tested an extended identity-based…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of salesperson moral identity centrality in value co-creation. This study identified and tested an extended identity-based formation process of selling orientation, customer orientation and value co-creation. This was accomplished by examining the role of inclusion of others in the self and circle of moral regard in the mechanism through which moral identity centrality impacts selling orientation, customer orientation and value co-creation, taking into account the contingency role of salesperson self-construal.

Design/methodology/approach

An extended identity-behavior model grounded in identity theory and the social-cognitive perspective of moral identity centrality was tested. The study used survey data from business-to-business salespeople. Data collected was analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that a central moral identity to a salesperson’s self-drives higher expansion of the salesperson’s circle of moral regard. This process facilitates the mechanisms for salesperson moral identity centrality to decrease selling orientation and increase customer orientation and value co-creation, leading to higher sales performance. Independent self-construal is found to deteriorate the positive effects of salesperson moral identity centrality on the inclusion of others in the self, expansion of the circle of moral regard and customer orientation.

Research limitations/implications

Through the conceptualized and tested framework, the study opens the door for additional research to inspect the role of moral identity centrality in sales.

Practical implications

Findings have implications for the human resource side of sales organizations in the areas of recruitment, mentoring, coaching and training. Moral identity centrality plays a vital role in the interface between salespeople and customers, leading to improved behavioral and sales outcomes. Sales managers must look for their salespeople’s moral identity centrality to improve morality in the attitudes and decision-making of their salesforce.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to uncover the vital impacts of salesperson moral identity centrality on selling orientation, customer orientation and value co-creation. Through the conceptualized and tested framework, the study opens the door for additional research to inspect the role of moral identity centrality in sales.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Ashish Kalra, Raj Agnihotri, Rakesh Singh, Sandeep Puri and Narendra Kumar

Although the role of self-leadership is important, it remains understudied in business-to-business (B2B) selling context. This study aims to provide insights into the…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the role of self-leadership is important, it remains understudied in business-to-business (B2B) selling context. This study aims to provide insights into the drivers and outcomes of behavioral self-leadership tested through a sample working in pharmaceutical sales in an emerging economy. In accord, the authors investigate the relationships between self-efficacy, behavioral self-leadership, adaptive selling and ultimately sales performance. This study also investigates the moderating role of technical knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 208 salespeople working in pharmaceutical industry. AMOS 21.0 and SmartPLS3.0 were utilized to test the conceptual framework.

Findings

The study finds that self-efficacy is positively related to behavioral self-leadership that in turn is positively related to adaptive selling and sales performance. In addition, counter intuitive findings were uncovered related to salesperson’s technical knowledge. Those with high technical knowledge exhibited weaker relationship between self-efficacy and behavioral self-leadership, behavioral self-leadership and adaptive selling and that between behavioral self-leadership and sales performance than their counterparts with low technical knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends work on self-leadership by exploring the effect of self-efficacy and behavioral self-leadership on sales performance. This study also extends the theory on salesperson’s knowledge by proposing the counter-intuitive effect of knowledge and self-efficacy and knowledge and behavioral self-leadership on adaptive selling and sales performance.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consider that not all employees indulging in behavioral self-leadership would reap benefits from the same. As such, sales managers should assess the level of technical knowledge of the salesforce and when determining their training programs that develop such self-leadership skills.

Originality/value

The study is one of the first to consider the drivers and outcomes of behavioral self-leadership and technical knowledge in a B2B sales context. By focusing on the interplay between knowledge and self-efficacy and knowledge and behavioral self-leadership, this study provides greater understanding of the effects of behavioral self-leadership than previously expected by sales researchers.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2020

Hayam Alnakhli, Rakesh Singh, Raj Agnihotri and Omar S. Itani

This study aims to investigate salespersons’ self-monitoring and its effect on adaptive selling behavior. As salespeople are constantly facing different customers with…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate salespersons’ self-monitoring and its effect on adaptive selling behavior. As salespeople are constantly facing different customers with various needs and want and engaging in a different sales situation, salespeople must deploy their inner capabilities in practicing adaptive selling behavior during and across sales interactions. This study also investigates the impact of salesperson’s intrapersonal leadership – where leadership stems from the individuals with the purpose to influence oneself.

Design/methodology/approach

Authors draw on the social cognitive theory of self-regulation to develop our model and examine the relationship between self-monitoring, thought self-leadership and adaptive selling behavior. We empirically test the model using data from 335 pharmaceutical salespeople working across several countries in Asia.

Findings

The results support the role of self-monitoring and thought self-leadership as antecedents to adaptive selling. Further, the results suggest that self-monitoring positively moderates the relationship between thought self-leadership and adaptive selling behavior. In light of these results, we explore implications and limitations and conclude by suggesting directions for further research.

Research limitations/implications

The sampling method used was convenience sampling, which may limit the theoretical generalization of our results across all emerging markets. Moreover, this study examines the direct impact of self-management mechanism on adaptive selling behavior and the way it interacts with salesperson's thought self-leadership to strengthen adaptive selling behavior. However, the research model does not include organization-level drivers.

Originality/value

This study makes an important and original contribution to sales literature by demonstrating the direct and interaction effects of self-monitoring mechanism on a critical component of a business to business sales process, adaptive selling behavior. Results from this study highlight the critical importance of cognitive processes that drives positive selling behavior.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Aniefre Eddie Inyang, Raj Agnihotri and Laura Munoz

This paper aims to explore the role of leadership in influencing the strategy implementation behaviors of salespeople. This paper also seeks to examine the moderating…

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1647

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the role of leadership in influencing the strategy implementation behaviors of salespeople. This paper also seeks to examine the moderating influence of competitive environment on the leadership style – salesperson implementation of sales strategy relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a sample of 190 business-to-business salespeople in different industries. The study’s hypotheses were tested using partial least squares (PLS).

Findings

The results of the study show that a transformational leadership style has stronger effects on the sales strategy implementation behaviors of salespeople when compared to transactional leadership. However, in highly competitive environments, the effects of transactional leadership on the sales strategy implementation behaviors of salespeople become stronger. The results also show when salespeople implement sales strategy, it has a positive impact on their sales performance.

Practical implications

Sales managers should adapt their leadership style depending on the competitive environment that operate in. As transformational leadership and transactional leadership are not mutually exclusive, managers should tailor their use of these styles to improve the strategy implementation behaviors of their salespeople. Managers should also train their salespeople on the use of sales strategy.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by showing that the effectiveness of a particular leadership style is often contingent on the external environment. This research also demonstrates that when salespeople are strategic in their approach to selling, they will improve their sales performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2021

Danny Claro, Valter Afonso Vieira, Raj Agnihotri and Rafael Serer

As manufacturers and retailers aim to increase return on marketing investments, value- vs experience-related trade promotions gain attention. These two trade promotions…

Abstract

Purpose

As manufacturers and retailers aim to increase return on marketing investments, value- vs experience-related trade promotions gain attention. These two trade promotions become complicated in the presence of different retail format strategies (generalist vs specialist) and channel structures (direct to retailer vs distributors). Building on trade promotion literature, this study aims to show the main effect of value-related and experience-related trade promotions on retailers’ sales and the moderating role of different retail strategies and channel structures.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use unique panel data from 8 personal care brands with 1,920 observations to test the hypotheses. The authors investigate how consumer goods manufacturer sells products using different channels structures and retail strategies. Estimated panel regressions provide the empirical evidence and robustness analyzes provide extra confidence to the findings.

Findings

Results reveal higher retail sales when the manufacturer invests in value-related trade promotions rather than experience-related trade promotions. The results also demonstrate how the manufacturer successfully invests in trade promotion by adequately accounting for channel structure and retail strategy. While temporary price reduction’s positive effect on retail sales is enhanced in generalist retailers (e.g. supermarket stores), shelf display’s positive impact is enhanced in specialist retailers (drug stores).

Research limitations/implications

The authors used unique panel data accounting for 15 months, limiting the findings. The results supported the investment allocation decisions in each period. However, future research may evaluate the effectiveness over a longer period and thoroughly address each investment’s seasonal effects.

Practical implications

The authors unveil how retailers achieve higher sales with value-related trade promotions when compared to experience-related trade promotions. The authors also shed light on the way manufacturers design their relationships with generalist and specialist retailers by working in direct and indirect channels. Trade promotions yield better results when the direct channel structure couples with a retailer’s generalist strategy.

Originality/value

The empirical findings help manufacturers achieve success in trade promotions by developing an equitable evaluation to contrast value- and experience-related promotions accounting for generalist and specialist retail strategies and direct and indirect channels.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Ashish Kalra, Raj Agnihotri, Sunali Talwar, Amin Rostami and Prabhat K. Dwivedi

Although the role of the internal competitive work environment is important, it remains understudied in a business-to-business (B2B) selling context. Grounded in…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the role of the internal competitive work environment is important, it remains understudied in a business-to-business (B2B) selling context. Grounded in job-demands resources theory, this study aims to investigate the relationships between internal competitive work environment, working smart, emotional exhaustion and sales performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 147 salespeople working for a financial service firm. Sales performance ratings were reported by supervisors. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This study finds dual effects of the internal competitive work environment on salesperson’s job outcomes. Although such an environment improves working smart behaviors, which increases sales performance, it also increases emotional exhaustion, which reduces sales performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends job-demands resources theory by proposing internal competitive work environment as a challenge demand and extends the theory by proposing that a salesperson’s time management skills as a personal resource that may reduce such environment’s deleterious effects.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consider the complex nature of increasing competition within the organization and assess the ability of their workforce to effectively manage their time. Training programs that develop time management skills should also be promoted.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is among the first to consider the multifaceted effects of the internal competitive work environment in a B2B sales context. By focusing on the duality of the work environment, this study provides a greater understanding of the influences of organizational factors on sales performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Raj Agnihotri, Michael Krush and Rakesh K. Singh

Factors such as globalization and market size have made India a major consideration for multinational firms and their salespeople. Despite the appeal of the market, the…

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1329

Abstract

Purpose

Factors such as globalization and market size have made India a major consideration for multinational firms and their salespeople. Despite the appeal of the market, the majority of theories and empirical studies of sales have been based on Western thought and within a Western context. This study seeks to address the issue of what interpersonal traits impel outcomes and behaviors of Indian salespeople.

Design/methodology/approach

A model was tested using survey data collected from salespeople and their respective sales managers within a print media company located in India. A structural equation model was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest an interesting interplay between interpersonal traits and pro‐social sales behaviors. Empathy proneness was positively related to helping behaviors targeted at other salespeople, while guilt proneness was positively associated with behaviors targeted at customers.

Practical implications

The research suggests that a salesperson's capacity for empathy does not always translate into customer‐based behaviors. Hence sales training and other interventions targeted towards building empathy may actually impact on behaviors between salespeople versus the interface between the salesperson and the customer. Theoretical and managerial applications are also discussed.

Originality/value

The paper combines a data collection of salesperson‐sales manager dyadic responses and examines whether the theoretical undergirding of the Western‐based pro‐social literature is appropriate to apply in Eastern cultures such as India.

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