Salesperson performance: Exploring the roles of role ambiguity, autonomy and self-efficacy


Salespeople are often placed in the unenviable position of being responsible for both sales productivity and customer satisfaction. The purpose of this research is to determine whether there are salesperson traits/behaviors which will lead to both sales results and customer satisfaction. The study evaluated salesperson levels of role ambiguity, autonomy and self-efficacy to determine whether these characteristics were positively related to sales performance, customer satisfaction and customer-orientation levels. The results indicate that each of these variables were positively and significantly related to salesperson performance, customer satisfaction and customer-orientation. These findings lead to the development of specific implications and managerial recommendations and suggestions for further research. Sales managers are charged obtaining positive sales results from their salespeople. However, they are often confronted with the question "what type of sales results are desired?" Customer satisfaction is paramount in many firms, while sales revenue is critical in others. However, it is increasingly common to find firms demanding both satisfaction and output. Thus, many managers are faced with the dilemma of identifying sales strategies which will successfully satisfy customers while simultaneously producing positive sales results. The purpose of this research is to assess salesperson variables which may be related to three results desired by many sales managers: customer satisfaction (CS), customer-oriented behaviors, and sales productivity. Thus, the purpose of this research entailed an evaluation of salesperson perceptions of their role ambiguity (RA), job autonomy, and self-efficacy (SE) to determine the empirical relationships existing between these three variables and three desired salesperson behaviors/outcomes: customer-orientation (CO), CS and sales performance.

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Academy of Marketing Studies Journal