Formal salesforce control mechanisms and behavioral outcomes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 2021, 39, (7), pp. 924-943
Issue Date:
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Purpose: The current study aims to empirically examine the impact of formal salesforce control systems on salespeople and customer behavior. Design/methodology/approach: Data are collected from 704 salespeople and their respective visiting customers (704) in Ghana. The suggested hypotheses are tested through the structural equation (SEM) modeling technique. Findings: The study results show that all three formal control mechanisms have positive and significant effects on customer-directed problem-solving and adaptive selling behaviors. Similarly, the study finds that salespeople's customer-directed problem-solving behavior increases, respectively, customer-directed opportunism and relationship continuity. Adaptive selling behavior also has significant positive effects on both customer-directed opportunism and relationship continuity, respectively. Practical implications: The study offers practical and theoretical insights into understanding salesforce control dynamics, customer-directed opportunism, adaptive selling behavior, customer-directed problem-solving behavior and continuity of relationships. The results also have significant consequences for sales organizations as they can help sales managers decide on the best form of salesforce control systems to deploy. Originality/value: The current research demonstrates how control mechanisms can influence both adaptive selling and customer-directed problem-solving behaviors and how these could generate both customer-directed opportunism and relationship continuity.
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