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Sales Research

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We are committed to researching today's most important sales questions. Expand the research topics below to read more about each one.

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Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence collection and use by sales and service representatives: how manager’s recognition and autonomy moderate individual performance

  • Executive Summary: The authors investigate individual competitive intelligence and highlight its importance from both organizational and individual perspectives. The usefulness of gathering competitive intelligence at the organizational level is seen to strengthen adaptive selling positively. The findings also give guidance to managers on how to cultivate the gathering of individual competitive intelligence. The article gives a better understanding on how the collection of such intelligence can be exploited to help garner individual success.
  • By: Adam Rapp, Raj Agnihotri, Thomas L Baker
  • Published In: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
  • Open Access link

Conceptualizing salesperson competitive intelligence: An individual-level perspective

  • Executive Summary: The authors look to find ways to better incorporate competitive intelligence into salespeople’s job responsibility. The article suggests ways managers can better help in the gathering of competitive intelligence which aids in developing additional value for sales departments. The authors discuss ways in which this competitive intelligence could potentially be leveraged as well as potential challenges that having the additional information presents.
  • By: Adam Rapp, Raj Agnihotri, Thomas L Baker
  • Published In: Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management


Examining the Drivers and Performance Implications of Boundary Spanner Creativity

  • Executive Summary: For organizations with a value-added model, implementing creative boundary spanners (salespeople) can improve service behaviors and overall performance. The authors develop a model outlining how spanner skills and abilities can influence performance and service outcomes. The article offers a look into the creative process and offer advice to service research and practice. A key component of this research is outlining how important requisite skills and abilities are to overall success. The article proves that not only is there a method to predict boundary spanner creativity but that that creativity can significantly impact performance and customer problem solving, a key component of overall service quality. The article underscores the importance of manager feedback in strengthening the link between creativity and performance.
  • By: Raj Agnihotri, Adam Rapp, James Andzulis, and Colin Gabler
  • Published in: Journal of Service Research, 2014,17 (2), 164-181.

Ethics In Sales

An Emotion-Based Model of Salesperson Ethical Behaviors 

  • Executive Summary: The authors investigate emotions in the ethical decision making processes made by salespeople. The findings indicate that empathy and guilt impact the decision making process of salespeople; this finding giving managers another method to evaluate potential employees along with potential risks. The study offers a framework linking “emotional capacities to ethical intentions and behaviors.”
  • By: Raj Agnihotri, Adam Rapp, Prabakar Kothandaraman, Rakesh K Singh
  • Published In: Journal of Business Ethics
  • Open Access link

Hiring and Recruiting

Developing a Stakeholder Approach for Recruiting Top-Level Sales Students

  • Executive Summary: The authors propose ways for sales organizations to improve their recruitment efforts of undergraduate sales students. The article develops 16 different approaches to improving recruitment of graduating sales students. The varying techniques proposed all work to develop a holistic approach to recruiting top sales talent from universities. This approach aids in a better “person-job fit.” This fit can lead to lower employee turnover and more productive sales representatives.
  • By: Raj Agnihotri, Leff Bonney, Andrea Leigh Dixon, Robert Erffmeyer, Ellen Bolman Pullins, Jane Z Sojka, Vicki West
  • Published In: Journal of Marketing Education
  • Open Access link

Marketing Dashboards

Enhancing organizational sensemaking: An examination of the interactive effects of sales capabilities and marketing dashboards

  • Executive Summary: The article examines the fine line that managers must walk between customer satisfaction and cost efficiency. The use of marketing dashboards (like customer relationship managers and enterprise resource managers) as relates to sales capabilities is heavily examined. A relationship is seen that “sensemaking” on the part of managers can positively influence customer performance potentially leading to lower customer turnover. Using marketing dashboards to gauge the effectiveness of sensemaking can aid managers in making and justifying business decisions.
  • By: Michael T Krush, Raj Agnihotri, Kevin J Trainor, Edward L Nowlin
  • Published In: Industrial Marketing Management
  • Open Access link


Understanding the mechanism linking interpersonal traits to pro-social behaviors among salespeople: lessons from India

  • Executive Summary: The article looks to further advance the study of personal traits (empathy and guilt) as relates to salesperson performance. The findings offer an interesting insight: empathy was associated with salespeople helping other salespeople while guilt was associated with salespeople helping customers. The research offers takeaways to aid managers in improving both hiring methods and sales management. 
  • By: Raj Agnihotri, Michael Krush, Rakesh K Singh
  • Published In: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

Social Media

Bringing ‘Social’ into Sales: The Impact of Salesperson’s Social Media Use on Value Oriented Behaviors and Value Creation

  • Executive Summary: The growth in use of social media has evoked a ‘gold rush’ like response from organizations, but uncertainty exists in how to best leverage social media in overall sales strategy. The authors’ research how a sales force can use social media to impact value creation. They propose a strategic approach to leverage a sales force’s use of social media. The paper outlines a social media strategy for sales organizations with relational selling objectives while also describing how social media tools can create a competitive advantage.
  • By: Raj Agnihotri, Prabakar Kothandaraman, Rajiv Kashyap, and Ramendra Singh
  • Published in: Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 2012, 32 (3), 333-348.

Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: A capabilities-based examination of social CRM

  • Executive Summary: With the ever-changing social media landscape the use and deployment of social CRM has become an important issue facing managers. The authors use a 308 company survey to research the effects of social CRM on developing a deeper connection between customer and company. The findings display insights into the use of social CRM technology for both B2B and B2C firms and indicate a positive interaction with the combination of social media and existing CRM infrastructure.
  • By: Kevin J Trainor, James Mick Andzulis, Adam Rapp, Raj Agnihotri
  • Published In: Journal of Business Research
  • Open Access link