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

See all articles by Michael Ahearne

Michael Ahearne

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

Narasimhan Srinivasan

University of Connecticut

Luke Weinstein

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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

Ahearne, Michael and Srinivasan, Narasimhan and Weinstein, Luke, Effect of Technology on Sales Performance: Progressing from Technology Acceptance to Technology Usage and Consequence (2004). Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 297-310, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584765

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

Narasimhan Srinivasan

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Luke Weinstein

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269
United States

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