Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating effects of selling experience on the relationship between job satisfaction and sales performance, customer orientation and sales performance, and adaptive selling behaviors and sales performance, taking the context of B2B insurance selling.Designmethodologyapproach Using a sample of 380 businesstobusiness insurance salespersons from an emerging market India to validate their model, the authors tested several hypotheses using structural equation modeling SEM.Findings The results suggest that experience works with customeroriented selling in making the more experienced salespersons better performers. It was also found that for less experienced salespersons, the impact of job satisfaction on performance is weaker than for more experienced salespersons. In addition, it was found that more experienced salespersons' performance is better explained using job satisfaction and customeroriented selling rather than their adaptive selling behaviors.Research limitationsimplications The study contributes by explaining the mechanism for the above relationships. The study also contributes to knowledge by showing that more experience may not be always good for sales performance. Since the sample comes from an emerging market, the paper extends the knowledge from developed markets, and by testing in emerging markets.Practical implications The managerial implications of this study lie in explaining those situations where experience can make salespersons more productive. The current sales literature on B2B selling contexts falls short of explaining this mechanism in salesperson performance.Originalityvalue This study contributes to knowledge uniquely by extending the body of empirical evidence that suggests that for experience, more is not always better. The study also shows that a more experienced salesperson does not improve hisher performance by adopting adaptive selling strategies. Such adaptive selling strategies are probably more suitable for younger salespersons, given different expectations from them by customers. For experienced salespersons, job satisfaction and customeroriented selling are more important than adaptive selling. This study explains the mechanism for the above relationships.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 16, 2013
Keywords: Sales force; Customer orientation; Emerging markets; Experience; Job satisfaction; Selling; Sales performance; India
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