Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Jun2018, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p241-264. 24p. 1 Diagram, 2 Charts.
Sales management, Intraorganizational mobility, Industrial management, Consumer behavior, Organizational performance, Sales personnel, and Human services
Despite much practical and empirical attention over five-plus decades, our understanding of the sales role remains limited. This is particularly true as it relates to the universe of behaviors and activities a salesperson must engage in to successfully perform his or her work. This article begins from the premise that a large part of the reason this problem persists is that, for far too long, the locus of sales research has been too overtly focused on the “customer” (i.e., the “externally directed”) and not enough on the “intraorganizational dimension of the sales role” (IDSR). Ten streams of research that stand to potentially deepen our understanding of the IDSR are reviewed in a compare-and-contrast, synthetic manner. Work reviewed includes research from the marketing and management literature, broadly defined. Nearly three dozen microlevel research ideas and discrete avenues for further exploration of the IDSR are offered as the manuscript progresses, including the development of a “Top 20, high priority” future research directions list. The article concludes by highlighting several limitations and shortcomings and offering several bold macrolevel ideas for high-upside, pressing directions for future work on the IDSR. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
PURCHASING agents, SALES personnel, REGULATORY focus theory, and TRUST
Little is known about antecedents of salesperson influence tactic usage or how and which influence tactics impact buying agent purchase decisions. To aid such understanding, we draw from the relationship selling literature, and both regulatory fit and focus theories, to propose a novel theoretical framework and test hypotheses. The study's findings, derived by applying the critical incidence methodology to a heterogeneous dataset of buying agents (n > 200) representing small and medium enterprises and acting as key informants on salespeople, show that: (i) salesperson influence tactics heterogeneously explain the buying agent's trust of the salesperson, (ii) trust of the salesperson serves as a mechanism through which influence tactics impact the buying agent's purchase decision, (iii) buying agent's regulatory orientation moderates the relationship between salesperson influence tactics and buying agent's trust of the salesperson, and (iv) salesperson regulatory orientation predicts a salesperson's use of particular influence tactics. The article concludes with a discussion of the practical and theoretical implications of the research. • Salesperson influence tactics heterogeneously explain the buyer's trust in the salesperson • Buyer trust in the salesperson serves as a mechanism through which influence tactics impact the buyer's purchase decision • Buyer's regulatory orientation moderates the relationship between salesperson influence tactics and trust in salesperson • Salesperson regulatory orientation predicts a salesperson's use of particular influence tactics [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
CONSUMER behavior, CUSTOMER relations, MARKETING strategy, SALES, STAKEHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, SOCIAL influence, SOCIAL aspects, and PERFORMANCE -- Social aspects
Marketing relationships have evolved from simple dyadic transactions between the firm and its customers into scenarios in which the firm's frontline employees are required to manage a portfolio of stakeholder relationships. The authors begin by characterizing the "strategic" frontline employee (SFLE) as a focal marketing employee who, in the execution of his or her work, must influence a variety of stakeholder target groups, including (1) customers, (2) the internal business team, and (3) external business partners. The authors leverage data from SFLEs at two firms to explore the similarities and differences in SFLE influence tactic effectiveness across the three stakeholder groups. They find that the effectiveness of influence tactics in driving performance differs across stakeholder target types and, somewhat surprisingly, that the SFLE's influence of both the internal business team and external business partners has a greater effect on his or her performance than does influence directed at customers. The authors close with a discussion of the implications for theory and practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Plouffe, Christopher R., Bolander, Willy, and Cote, Joseph A.
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Spring2014, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p141-159. 19p. 4 Charts.
Job performance, Sales personnel, Regression analysis, Influence, Latent class analysis (Statistics), Persuasion (Psychology), and Literature reviews
The application of influence is a key behaviour set at the heart of the sales role. But we know little about how or whether influence tactics affect salespeople's actual job performance. We extend existing research on salespeople's use of influence by: (1) showing that influence tactics can be used to predict objective sales performance (and delineating which tactics are most predictive); (2) demonstrating that the effect of tactics on performance varies across salespeople, and these patterns of influence effectiveness allow us to identify different influence ‘styles’ and (3) revealing that the influence styles our data uncover are not consistent with existing theoretical classifications of influence tactics. The article concludes with a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications, and directions for future work. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Plouffe, Christopher R., Nelson, Yvette Holmes, and Beuk, Frederik
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Spring2013, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p141-164. 24p. 3 Diagrams, 2 Charts.
Sales personnel, Customer relations, Job performance, Sales, Sales management, Sales calls, Occupational roles, Variances, Sales prospecting, Selling, Social role, and Role expectation
This paper proposes that traditional process-based frameworks of selling may be underspecified given three realities affecting the sales role today: (1) longer sales cycles, (2) an increased customer demand for total solutions, and (3) a shift from a product- to a services-centric economy. An argument is offered that suggests that there are additional, plausible phases in the modern sales process that extant frameworks of the sales process have yet to fully consider. The paper then develops a research model to test key portions of this framework. "Downstream" sales behaviors and outcomes of these behaviors are thus the focal point of the enhanced framework, with behavioral outcomes operationalized via the subjective value inventory, a well-validated instrument on interpersonal negotiation style. Data collected from key account managers (n = 211) for a large services-based, consultative selling organization are used to test the model. The results show an encouraging pattern of relationships within the model. Furthermore, a robust amount of variance in sales performance is explained given both self-reported and objective measures. The paper concludes with a summary of contributions and limitations as well as suggested directions for future research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Plouffe, Christopher R., Williams, Brian C., and Wacliner, Trent
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Winter2008, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p79-92. 14p. 4 Charts, 4 Graphs.
Sales, Selling, Sales personnel, Marketing, Computers in sales management, Periodical circulation, Content analysis, Methodology, Surveys, and Scholarly periodicals
In this paper, we examine long-term knowledge-dissemination trends and future prospects for personal selling and sales management research. We augment data from a more than two-decade, 1,200+ article content analysis of sales research with perceptual data from a survey of leading sales researchers worldwide. The content analysis exposes a marked decline of published sales manuscripts at the most prestigious marketing journals. Three lenses are then offered to better understand this trend¿the methods chosen, the theories leveraged, and the topical areas pursued. Survey data from sales scholars provide additional insights into these issues. Overall, we highlight a remarkable congruence between the largely disconcerting publishing pattern of sales research in recent decades and the sentiment of sales scholars as to why this might have transpired. We conclude with a broader discussion and set of recommendations for the continued advancement of sides research in marketing going forward. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
After first demonstrating that definitions of customer relationship management (CRM) vary widely, we build upon stakeholder and network theories and argue that there are two fundamental categories of participants in any CRM initiative: (1) "core" stakeholders (i.e., the firm selling its products or services as well as its customers), and (2) various "noncore" stakeholders (e.g., CRM consultants). We then develop a process-based framework and related propositions capturing the various stakeholders involved in a CRM initiative as well as several important mediating and moderating relationships yet to receive attention in the literature. Next, we highlight the specific frame of reference and inherent biases of each type of CRM stakeholder, with particular emphasis on how each attempts to sell its offerings, services, or wares. At the core of our framework is a little-commented-upon mediating construct that we label "Shared Understanding of CRM." The paper next offers an additional, and perhaps more pragmatic, framework for managers to garner a better understanding of which specific stakeholders are at work in any given CRM initiative, which type of customers might be involved, and which outcome variables or metrics might be salient. The paper's conclusion offers insights into how the elusive goal of shared understanding of CRM might best be achieved. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]