Sales manager cost control engagement: antecedents and performance implications


Many organizations face competing agendas by which they are expected to simultaneously grow sales output while controlling associated costs. At the interface of this organizational pressure and the sales force’s implementation of such initiatives is the sales manager. However, questions with significant implications remain regarding how a sales manager’s requisite engagement with cost control affects sales performance. To address this issue, the authors conceptualize and operationalize the notion of sales manager cost control engagement. Results from a survey of 178 business-to-business sales managers show the antecedent and consequence effects of sales manager cost control engagement. A variety of organizational factors are shown to effectively direct the sales manager’s attention to cost control, which in turn has a positive impact on cost-related sales performance. These findings add to an emergent body of research aimed at understanding key skills required of sales managers for driving sales performance as well as provide a novel perspective for sales managers to consider when balancing pressures between cost inputs and sales outputs. Several theoretical and managerial implications are offered, as are future research directions.



Document Type





attention-based view, cost engagement, cost pressure, sales force management, sales manager, sales performance

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management