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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Christine Jaushyuam Lai and Betsy D. Gelb

This study aims to investigate to what extent salespeople are satisfied, dissatisfied or neither with various aspects of their job in ways predicted by the “two-factor…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate to what extent salespeople are satisfied, dissatisfied or neither with various aspects of their job in ways predicted by the “two-factor model” assocating satisfaction with recognition and personal growth but not “hygiene factors.” It further investigates which aspects of the salesperson’s job are most strongly associated with commitment to the organization – or intention to leave.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviewers gathered data from 176 salespeople in 154 companies. Those data were analyzed to identify aspects of the salesperson’s job that are satisfiers, dissatisfiers or prompt indifference. The data were then correlated with the extent to which salespeople expressed commitment to their organization – and the extent to which they expressed likelihood of leaving their current job.

Findings

Aspects of the salesperson’s job do cluster into categories associated with the two-factor theory: satisfiers, dissatisfiers and other “hygiene factors” that are neither. However, two deviations from the theory appear. Pay is a satisfier, contrary to the assumptions behind the model, and factors beyond those intrinsic to the salesperson are also satisfiers. Supporting relevance of the theory for salespeople, however, is the strong association of recognition/personal growth aspects of the job positively with organizational commitment and negatively with intention to leave.

Research limitations/implications

Although the data come from a convenience sample of salespeople, the results can be useful. For example, consideration of new products and of mergers should take into account their impact on salesperson satisfaction and dissatisfaction as motivational issues.

Originality/value

This study is broader in focus than previous work relating the two-factor theory to salespeople, providing more confidence in the generalizability of the results.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Bruce D. Keillor, R. Edward Bashaw and Charles E. Pettijohn

One of the primary characteristics of the sales environment of the next century will be the proliferation of technology as an important component of the sales process. The…

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2075

Abstract

One of the primary characteristics of the sales environment of the next century will be the proliferation of technology as an important component of the sales process. The successful salesperson of the future will be marked by an ability to incorporate and directly apply a wide range of technology in their interactions with customers. More than simple data access, sales technology is increasingly being used as a means by which the salesperson and customer interact. The overall objective of this study is to measure the attitude of salespeople toward the use of computer technology in a sales job and then ascertain the relationship between these attitudes and a salesperson’s job experience and productivity. The results of the study outline important managerial implications related to introducing and implementing new technology uses within a salesforce.

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Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 12 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1991

Arun Sharma and Douglas M. Lambert

Logistics managers need to collect timely and accurate data oncustomers′ needs, as well as customer perceptions of the firm′s andcompetitors′ performance levels. Today, a…

Abstract

Logistics managers need to collect timely and accurate data on customers′ needs, as well as customer perceptions of the firm′s and competitors′ performance levels. Today, a large number of companies collect this from their salesforce – a good, inexpensive and timely source of customer and competitive information but caution is needed since a majority of salespeople are inaccurate. Reviews the conceptual issues associated with using the salesforce to collect information and reports results of an empirical study which examined the accuracy of salesforce information.

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International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2000

Gillian Naylor and Kimberly E. Frank

Extant research suggests that salespeople can significantly impact consumers’ outcome perceptions. Examines the importance of initial contact with salespeople on…

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4416

Abstract

Extant research suggests that salespeople can significantly impact consumers’ outcome perceptions. Examines the importance of initial contact with salespeople on consumers’ perceptions of value and the impact of salesperson service failure on perceptions of value among non‐purchasers. An exit survey of shoppers was conducted to realistically study these issues. Results show that outcome perceptions were significantly lower when either there was no contact with salespeople, or the consumer had to initiate the contact. The retailer that had the highest percentage of salesperson initiated contact, earned the highest perception ratings and also had the highest ratio of buyers to browsers. Furthermore, non‐purchasers that experienced service failures (slow service or offended by a salesperson) discounted not just the perception of that retail visit, but also overall value compared to other retailers. These results suggest that retailers must encourage their sales staff to initiate consumer contact.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Michael L. Mallin

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it provides the results of a study of key characteristics of proactive salespeople and the impact of salesperson proactive…

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1049

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it provides the results of a study of key characteristics of proactive salespeople and the impact of salesperson proactive behavior on selling performance. Second, it provides recommendations for sales management to implement organizational strategies designed to develop, train and coach salespeople to be more proactive.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 278 business-to-business salespeople were surveyed to identify key traits and outcomes of proactive salespeople. The average subject was 28 years of age with 5 years of selling experience. Scales from the management, organizational behavior and sales performance literature were used to identify the degree that subjects engaged in proactive behavior in their selling role, a self-assessment of their sales performance and individual traits thought to predict higher levels of proactive behavior.

Findings

The findings revealed that proactive salespeople exhibited high levels of selling behavior performance – an important contributor to measurable selling results. In addition, proactive salespeople were intrinsically motivated, confident in the tasks of selling and willing to take calculated risks.

Practical implications

Practical implications suggest that sales managers can play a key role in fostering proactive behavior among salespeople through development, training and coaching. First, sales managers can play a role in the development of salesperson intrinsic motivation by stressing the importance of asking good questions to understand their customer’s problems to the extent that they can be proactive and recommend solutions for change. Second, training programs to make salespeople more confident should center on fully understanding product/service functionality and applications to typical customer problems. Finally, coaching tools such as win–loss reviews, post-call analysis/feedback and role-playing are useful mechanisms to reinforce the right type of risk-taking selling behavior decisions.

Originality/value

The value of this research is to shed light on the importance of salesperson proactive behavior as a means to drive selling organizational performance and fostering long-term customer relationships. Understanding the drivers of proactivity among salespeople is the first step for sales management to be able to operationalize organizational strategies to develop, train and coach salespeople to be more proactive in their selling approach.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2022

Ratan Kumar and Vibhava Srivastava

The purpose of this study is to extend and contribute to the evolving phenomenon of social media usage by business-to-business (B2B) salespersons. It draws on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to extend and contribute to the evolving phenomenon of social media usage by business-to-business (B2B) salespersons. It draws on the interactional psychology model and extended technology acceptance model to explore the said phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey-based quantitative study was carried out. Responses were gathered through a self-administered and structured questionnaire, from 218 B2B salespersons who were pooled in using purposive and snowball sampling. The final data set was subjected to partial least squares-based structural equation modelling using WarpPLS 7.0.

Findings

This study found that individual factors, namely, salesperson’s social media competence and sales capabilities; organizational factors, namely, organizational commitment and organizational competence; and social factors, namely, image, result demonstrability and subjective norms, contribute positively and significantly towards social media usage by B2B salespeople. The study also found that the impact of individual factors on intention to use social media was partially mediated by its perceived usefulness, while in the case of organizational and social factors, the impact was fully mediated by its perceived ease of use.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides a valuable addition to the existing literature on sales and social media; however, the contextualization cannot be ignored.

Practical implications

This study enables firms to understand various factors affecting salespeople’ perception of social media and to make them appreciate its usage in improving sales performance and customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

It is the first study that models the factors of salespeople’s usage of social media in their job at three levels, namely, individual, organizational and social, and establishes the link between B2B salespersons’ perceived usefulness of social media, sales capabilities, social media competence and intention to use social media.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2022

Deva Rangarajan, Vishag Badrinarayanan, Aditi Sharma, Rakesh Kumar Singh and Sridhar Guda

The main purpose of this research is to understand how the sudden shift to work from home (WFH) after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has caught several sales…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this research is to understand how the sudden shift to work from home (WFH) after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has caught several sales organizations underprepared and ill-equipped to combat emergent challenges. In this research, the authors provide initial evidence into how the WFH arrangement impacts salespeople and sales organizations. Specifically, this research is guided by two objectives: to understand how the shift to WFH environment is affecting salespeople, and to explore how organizations can mitigate dysfunctional effects of the shift to WFH practices and enhance salespeople’s commitment toward this new reality.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors did preliminary in-depth interviews with 13 executives operating in the business-to-business (B2B) space to identify themes that reflected the reality faced by B2B sales organizations when transitioning to WFH. The authors then conducted a quantitative study involving a survey with 130 B2B salespeople.

Findings

The findings from the qualitative research suggested that the WFH situation is quite different from the more traditional remote selling situations that B2B salespeople are used to. More specifically, salespeople experienced more anxiety because of the WFH situations. This finding was supported in the empirical study done by the authors where stress associated with WFH and job insecurity had a significant impact on salesperson anxiety.

Research limitations/implications

The study primarily used subjective responses of salespeople with no objective measures. Furthermore, this study is cross-sectional in nature. Future research should build on the present work to understand the long-term consequences of WFH and factor in customer responses to the same. The impact of increased use of technology in the sales process will need further attention, including the sales management implication for the same.

Originality/value

Given the unforeseen nature of the COVID pandemic and how unprepared salespeople and sales organizations were to deal with it, this study is one of the first studies that documents the impact of WFH situations on salespeople.

Details

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

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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: 27 December 2021

Deva Rangarajan, Bryan Hochstein, Duane Nagel and Teidorlang Lyngdoh

The increasingly complex business-to-business (B2B) sales process necessitates that sales managers strike the right balance between appropriate resource allocation, while…

Abstract

Purpose

The increasingly complex business-to-business (B2B) sales process necessitates that sales managers strike the right balance between appropriate resource allocation, while also maintaining the profitability of the organization. While previous research has mainly focused on how changes in the business environment pose distinct challenges to salespeople, very little research has focused on how sales managers should react to these complex situations. Drawing upon the extant sales research, this paper aims to point to a gap in the literature of how sales managers deal with the complexity associated with the sales process and deal with the same.

Design/methodology/approach

Methods from the grounded theory research approach were used to conduct 18 in-depth interviews with B2B sales managers. Purposive sampling was used to identify the participants.

Findings

A taxonomy of sales situations that reflects the changing complexity of the sales function and how sales managers need to orchestrate their resource allocation decisions to ensure appropriate value capture from B2B relationships emerged within the themes. This paper highlights four fundamental tenets of sales situations that account for both the complexity of the sales process and the value appropriation challenge that sales managers face.

Practical implications

The taxonomy will help sales managers have a better understanding of the changing complexity in the B2B sales process and help them with decisions making. Sales managers can orchestrate their resource allocation to achieve value appropriation.

Originality/value

This paper develops a new taxonomy of the sales situation. It unravels the changing complexity of the B2B sales process and discusses how value appropriation can be achieved by sales managers.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2021

Kelly R. Hall, Dana E. Harrison, Haya Ajjan and Greg W. Marshall

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing frontier. One promising area for AI is its potential to assist sales managers in providing salesperson feedback. Despite…

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing frontier. One promising area for AI is its potential to assist sales managers in providing salesperson feedback. Despite this promise, little work has been done within the business-to-business (B2B) sales domain to investigate the potential impact of AI feedback on critical sales outcomes. The purpose of this research is to explore these issues and respond to calls in the literature to determine how AI can enhance salesperson adaptability and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from a sample of 246 B2B salespeople was used to test the conceptual model and research hypotheses. The data were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

Findings

The findings provide broad support for the model. An AI-feedback rich environment and salesperson feedback orientation predicted perceived accuracy of AI feedback which, in turn, strengthened intentions to use AI feedback. These favorable reactions to AI feedback positively related to adaptive selling behaviors, and adaptive selling behaviors mediated the relationships between intentions to use AI feedback and organizational commitment, as well as sales performance. Contrary to expectations, it did not mediate the relationship between intentions to use AI feedback and job satisfaction.

Practical implications

The managerial implications of this study lie in explaining practical considerations for the implementation and use of AI feedback in the sales context.

Originality/value

This study extends literature on technology adoption, performance feedback and the use of AI in the B2B sales domain. It offers practical insight for sales managers and those responsible for implementing AI solutions in sales.

Details

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

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