Unpacking the relationship between sales control and salesperson performance

This is a Global and Strategic Marketing Research Centre (GLOSMARC) seminar taking place at Leeds University Business School on Wednesday 17 January 2018

The literature examining the effect of sales control on salesperson performance is, at best, equivocal. To reconcile inconsistencies in empirical findings, this research introduces two new types of salesperson learning: exploratory and exploitative learning. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, the authors conceptualize exploratory learning as promotion focused and exploitative learning as prevention focused and find that salespeople exhibit both exploratory and exploitative learning, though one is used more than the other depending on the type of sales control employed. The results also suggest that fit between salesperson learning and customer (i.e., purchase-decision-making complexity) and salesperson (i.e., preference for sales predictability) characteristics is critical to salesperson performance and that salesperson learning mediates the relationship between sales control and salesperson performance (Study 1). Study 2 corroborates the findings using new panel data collected over two waves. The results of this research have important implications for integrating sales control, salesperson learning, and salesperson performance.