Ahearne, Michael; Srinivasan, Narasimhan; Weinstein, Luke
September 2004
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall2004, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p297
Academic Journal
Technology plays an ever-increasing role in personal selling and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past decade, many models examining the acceptance of technology have been proposed and refined, contributing significantly to our knowledge of technology adoption. An implicit assumption made in such models is that increasing the usage of technology is better--that is, more usage is better than less usage. This is a critical assumption that has not been tested in the literature. What if technology has diminishing returns? We propose that it is time to progress to a Technology Performance Usage Model (TPUM) and to look for usage levels that lead to optimum effect on performance. Our model is tested using a sample of 131 salespeople in an operational CRM context. Results show a curvilinear relationship between a salesperson's prime task performance (measured as sales percent to quota) and their usage of the "enabling" CRM technology. Initially, the CRM technology is enabling on sales performance, but diminishing return sets in, and beyond a point, a disabling effect on sales performance can be observed. This finding offers a valuable insight to practitioners and provides a strategic direction--achieving and maintaining a particular level of technology usage to optimize prime task performance.


Related Articles

  • Toward a Shortened Measure of Adaptive Selling. Robinson, Jr., Leroy; Marshall, Greg W.; Moncriof, William C.; Lassk, Felicia G. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Spring2002, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p111 

    This study investigates the psychometric properties of the adaptive selling scale (ADAPTS) developed by Spiro and Weitz (1990). A multiple industry sample of 1042 salespeople is employed, which provides the ability to more fully explore the dimensions of adaptive selling within a diverse...

  • MARKETING CONTROL AND SALES FORCE CUSTOMER ORIENTATION. Schwepker Jr., Charles H.; Good, David J. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Summer2004, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p167 

    This study is predicated on the premise that internal sales force control mechanisms are strategic and operational forces that directly affect the behaviors of the sales force and their accompanying orientation toward customers. Sales managers represent a very different component of the sales...

  • Making contacts leads to making sales, if you're in control. Gitomer, Jeffrey // Business Journal Serving Fresno & the Central San Joaquin Valley;6/8/2007, Issue 323723, p5 

    The article reports on the significance of the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software to sales people. It states that CRM can be a vital tool to a salesperson's success if it is compatible with their sales activity and selling style. It could help them gain vital information, and...

  • New Solution Selling. Eades, Keith // Sales & Service Excellence Essentials;Jun2007, Vol. 7 Issue 6, p15 

    The article provides insights for salespeople on selling solutions. It states that companies that engage in transaction selling need to change into a solution-selling culture where the sales team is not just a sales staff. It emphasizes that salespeople are important to the customer relationship...

  • It takes some skill to bring dead customers back to life.  // Enterprise/Salt Lake City;9/23/2002, Vol. 32 Issue 13, p10 

    Provides insights for bringing passive customers back to business. Adoption of professional approach; Offer of the ultra rewards to salespeople; Improvement of business from a customer's perspective.

  • Tap Into Your Existing Customers To Boost Your Sales.  // Sales Leader;2/12/2007, Vol. 12 Issue 25, p1 

    The article offers some tips to salespeople on how to boost their sales with existing customers. Oftentimes current customers can help the salespeople boost their sales quota. To boost their sales with existing customers, they must: listen attentively to the customer; cross-sell; send a brochure...

  • The CRM Report Card Is In. Dickie, Jim // CRM Magazine;Sep2003, Vol. 7 Issue 9, p24 

    Discusses a research on the impact of technology on improving sales excellence. Options for improving sales performance; Ratings which companies gave themselves regarding the impact that customer relationship management (CRM) is having on their ability to sell; Percentage of companies that were...

  • The Rule of Frequency. McCarthy, Tom // Lodging Hospitality;9/15/2002, Vol. 58 Issue 13, p10 

    Gives advice on the rule of frequency for sales personnel in calling or getting in touch with clients. Challenge of maintaining contact with clients; Factors to consider in getting in touch with clients; Variety of ways wherein frequency of contact can be maintained.

  • THE RELEVANCE OF AUTHENTICITY IN PERSONAL SELLING: IS GENUINENESS AN ASSET OR LIABILITY? Schaefer, Allen D.; Pettijohn, Charles E. // Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice;Winter2006, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p25 

    Salespeople have traditionally been viewed as phony and manipulative. However, the profession is evolving to become more customer-needs focused. This research is developed to evaluate salesperson authenticity and its relationship to performance, professional commitment, and intent to stay in the...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics