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Salesperson Effectiveness: A Behavioral Perspective - Abstract


Kevin Bradford (, Notre Dame University
Barton A. Weitz (, University of Florida


This chapter provides a critical review of behavioral-based,  academic research on sales management programs  directed toward improving salesperson performance.  The review is organized around the three factors affecting job performance: (1) the knowledge, skills, and ability (KSAs) of salespeople, (2) the motivation of salespeople to undertake assigned tasks and learn, over time, how to master selling activities, and (3) the role perceptions (role ambiguity, conflict, and stress) of salespeople.   Sales management activities directed toward increasing salesperson KSAs typically involve selection and training; while activities directed toward increasing motivation involve control mechanisms (evaluation and incentives), and role perceptions involve supervision.

In addition to examining research directed toward improve the performance of salespeople in traditional B-to-B sales roles, the chapter proposes that the role of salespeople is shift from influencing transactional customer interaction to building and maintaining win—win, long-term, partnering relationships with key customers.  The identifies research investigating new levers that might be in to enhance the performance of salespeople in their emerging role as relationship managers.

    The Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

    This chapter is part of the ISBM Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing, edited by Professors Gary Lilien and Raj Grewal. The Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing is available from Edward Elgar Publishing and other online book retailers.

    As the authors retain the copyright to their chapters, only they have the right to use or distribute their chapter. If you would like a copy of this chapter, please contact the author or authors directly through their emails included above.

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