Moving Beyond the Direct Effect of SFA Adoption on Salesperson Performance: Training and Support as Key Moderating Factors
Industrial Marketing Management, Forthcoming
Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2012
To our knowledge, this research is the first to focus on the critical moderating role that user training and support play on the relationship between the use of sales force automation tools and salesperson performance (i.e., effectiveness: percent-to-quota and efficiency: average number of calls per day). Hypotheses are tested using survey data from a sample of 108 salespeople in a business-to-business context and archival sales performance information. Moderated regression analysis results indicate that the use of sales force automation tools only enhances salesperson efficiency and effectiveness under conditions of adequate user support and training. In fact, under low levels of user training and support, the use of sales force automation tools was found to reduce salesperson efficiency and effectiveness. These findings have important implications for IT and sales managers since the results show that only under certain conditions will companies realize a return on their investment in SFA tools. Limitations and future directions for research are then discussed.
Keywords: training, support, salespeople, job performance, technology
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