Drivers of sales performance: A contemporary meta-analysis. Have salespeople become knowledge brokers?

It has been 25years since the publication of a comprehensive review of the full spectrum of sales-performance drivers. This study takes stock of the contemporary field and synthesizes empirical evidence from the period 1982–2008. The authors revise the classification scheme for sales performance determinants devised by Walker et al. (1977) and estimate both the predictive validity of its sub-categories and the impact of a range of moderators on determinant-sales performance relationships. Based on multivariate causal model analysis, the results make two major observations: (1) Five sub-categories demonstrate significant relationships with sales performance: selling-related knowledge (β = .28), degree of adaptiveness (β = .27), role ambiguity (β = −.25), cognitive aptitude (β = .23) and work engagement (β = .23). (2) These sub-categories are moderated by measurement method, research context, and sales-type variables. The authors identify managerial implications of the results and offer suggestions for further research, including the conjecture that as the world is moving toward a knowledge-intensive economy, salespeople could be functioning as knowledge-brokers. The results seem to back this supposition and indicate how it might inspire future research in the field of personal selling. KeywordsSales performance–Salespeople–Meta-analysis–Knowledge-economy–Knowledge-brokering.

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Verbeke, W., Dietz, B., & Verwaal, E. (2010).

Sales performance, Salespeople, Meta-analysis, Knowledge-economy, Knowledge-brokering


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