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Systematic review of determinants of sales performance: Verbeke et al.’s (2011) classification extended
, Teidorlang Lyngdoh, Sridhar Guda, Keyoor Purani
Published in Emerald Publishing Limited
Volume: 35
Issue: 8
Pages: 1359 - 1383

Considering recent changes in sales practices, such as the sales role becoming more strategic, increased reliance on technology for sales activities, increased stress from adding technological responsibilities to the sales role and decreased avenues of social support (such as traditional forms of community) to cope with work-related stressors, there is a need to reconsider Verbeke et al.’s (2011) classification scheme of determinants of sales performance, which was based on literature published before these critical changes became apparent. This paper aims to conduct a systematic review of sales performance research published during 1983–2018 to propose an extension to Verbeke et al.’s (2011) classification.

This paper followed a systematic approach to the literature review in five sequential steps – search, selection, quality control, extraction and synthesis – as suggested by Tranfield et al. (2003). In total, 261 peer-reviewed journal papers from 36 different journals were selected for extraction and synthesis.

The findings make the following additions to the classification: strategic and nonstrategic activities as a new category, technological drivers of sales performance and job-related psychosocial factors as a broader category to replace role perceptions. Derived from the job demand–control–support model, three subcategories within the category of job-related psychosocial factors are psychological demands (encompasses role perceptions and digital-age stressors such as technostress creators), job control and work-related social support.

Research limitations/implications
This paper identifies that manager’s role in facilitating technology skills, providing informal social support to remote or virtual salespeople using technology, and encouraging strategic behaviors in salespeople are future research areas having good potential. Understanding and building positive psychology aspects in salespeople and their effect on sales performance is another promising area.

Practical implications
Newly added technological drivers draw the attention of sales firms toward the influence of technology and its skilful usage on salesperson performance. Newly added strategic activities makes a case for the importance of strategic participation in salesperson performance.

This review extends Verbeke et al.’s (2011) classification scheme to include recent changes that sales profession and literature have undergone.

About the journal
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Open AccessNo