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Salespeople knowledge search behavior and sales performance: An investigation of printing equipment industry.

Jang, Seongsoo and Nemeh, Andre 2017. Salespeople knowledge search behavior and sales performance: An investigation of printing equipment industry. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 120 , pp. 323-333. 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.12.014

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Abstract

Despite a general consensus that salespeople's knowledge is an important determinant of sales performance, the extant literature provides only a limited explanation as to whether and how salespeople's learning styles and knowledge structures affect performance. This study investigates whether and how two learning styles – deep and surface – and two knowledge structures – vertical and horizontal – in respect of salespeople searching behavior in an inter-organizational information system lead to higher performance outcomes in printing equipment industry. We use a unique longitudinal dataset composed of 21,256 online search logs created by 408 salespeople and quarterly sales performance across 21 European countries from 2009 to 2013. The results show that salespeople must conduct a deep search to build rich product knowledge rather than surface search. Furthermore, instead of conducting a horizontal search across competing brands broadly, salespeople must focus on a vertical knowledge search for proximate competitors' products in addition to their own products. Finally, this study presents that the inter-organizational information system as a sales force control system can facilitate the identification and acquisition of external product knowledge and enable a firm to achieve superior performance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0040-1625
Date of Acceptance: 30 December 2016
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2019 13:13
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/108115

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