Effect of Technology on Sales Performance: Progressing from Technology Acceptance to Technology Usage and Consequence
Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 297-310, 2004
15 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010 Last revised: 25 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2004
Technology plays an ever-increasing role in personal selling and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past decade, many models examining the acceptance of technology have been proposed and refined, contributing significantly to our knowledge of technology adoption. An implicit assumption made in such models is that increasing the usage of technology is better — that is, more usage is better than less usage. This is a critical assumption that has not been tested in the literature. What if technology has diminishing returns? We propose that it is time to progress to a Technology Performance Usage Model (TPUM) and to look for usage levels that lead to optimum effect on performance. Our model is tested using a sample of 131 salespeople in an operational CRM context. Results show a curvilinear relationship between a salesperson’s prime task performance (measured as sales percent to quota) and their usage of the “enabling” CRM technology. Initially, the CRM technology is enabling on sales performance, but diminishing return sets in, and beyond a point, a disabling effect on sales performance can be observed. This finding offers a valuable insight to practitioners and provides a strategic direction — achieving and maintaining a particular level of technology usage to optimize prime task performance.
Keywords: Salespeople, technology acceptance, performance
JEL Classification: M30,O30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation