What is it about?

The results suggest that guilt proneness positively influences the likelihood that a salesperson adopts a relational orientation, which has a direct effect on individual effort and an indirect effect on customer satisfaction. Supervisors have the ability to amplify this effort through positive outcome feedback, but only when relational orientation is low. Their support had no effect on salespeople with a high relational orientation. The study is unique in that it combines an overlooked prosocial trait with a B2B Indian dataset. We provide value for firms because our results show that guilt-prone salespeople put more effort into their job—something universally desirable among sales managers—through the development of a relational orientation. We also give practical implications on how to support salespeople given their level of relational orientation.

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Why is it important?

The results suggest that guilt proneness positively influences the likelihood that a salesperson adopts a relational orientation, which has a direct effect on individual effort and an indirect effect on customer satisfaction. Supervisors have the ability to amplify this effort through positive outcome feedback, but only when relational orientation is low. Their support had no effect on salespeople with a high relational orientation. The study is unique in that it combines an overlooked prosocial trait with a B2B Indian dataset. We provide value for firms because our results show that guilt-prone salespeople put more effort into their job—something universally desirable among sales managers—through the development of a relational orientation. We also give practical implications on how to support salespeople given their level of relational orientation.

Perspectives

The study is unique in that it combines an overlooked prosocial trait with a B2B Indian dataset. We provide value for firms because our results show that guilt-prone salespeople put more effort into their job – ”something universally desirable among sales managers” – through the development of a relational orientation. The authors also give practical implications on how to support salespeople given their level of relational orientation.

Dr Omar S. Itani
Univeristy of texas at arlington

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This page is a summary of: Can salesperson guilt lead to more satisfied customers? Findings from India, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, August 2017, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jbim-12-2016-0287.
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