Managing Salesforce Product Perceptions and Control Systems in the Success of New Product Introductions

Journal of Marketing Research, 2009

40 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010 Last revised: 6 Oct 2014

See all articles by Adam Rapp

Adam Rapp

Clemson University - Department of Marketing

Douglas E. Hughes

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rupinder Paul Jindal

Milgard School of Business

Michael Ahearne

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Given the importance of new products, firms may be prone to “over-manage” sales personnel by using behavior-based control systems that dictate the performance of particular activities related to the introduction. Such controls may be especially tempting given that favorable salesperson product perceptions actually yield less effort on the new product, and behavior-based controls can offset this tendency. However, using longitudinal data from a sample of 226 pharmaceutical salespeople, along with external ratings from customers and archival measures of effort and sales performance, we demonstrate that such a strategy is short-sighted. Behavior-based controls constrain a salesperson’s ability to appropriately allocate effort across his or her customer base, negatively impacting customer product perceptions and, ultimately, new product sales. In contrast, outcome-based control systems enable salespeople to work smarter, and their corresponding effort on behalf of the new product has a more positive effect on customer product perceptions and new product sales.

Keywords: Product Perceptions, Control Systems, Sales Force, New Products

JEL Classification: M30

Suggested Citation

Rapp, Adam and Hughes, Douglas E. and Jindal, Rupinder Paul and Ahearne, Michael, Managing Salesforce Product Perceptions and Control Systems in the Success of New Product Introductions (2009). Journal of Marketing Research, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584658

Adam Rapp

Clemson University - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

Douglas E. Hughes

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Rupinder Paul Jindal

Milgard School of Business ( email )

Tacoma, WA 98402
United States

Michael Ahearne (Contact Author)

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

334 Melcher Hall
Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States
713-743-4155 (Phone)
713-743-4572 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/Directory/profile.asp?firstname=Michael&lastname=Ahearne

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