The Role of Top Management in Developing a Customer-Oriented Sales Force

2 January 2013


Reprinted with permission from The Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

A national random sample of industrial salespeople was surveyed to examine the effects of salespeople’s perceptions of top management long-term orientation, top management emphasis, and top management risk aversion on customer-oriented selling behaviors. The results indicated that perceived top management long-term orientation had a significantly positive effect on perceived top management emphasis and a significantly negative effect on perceived top management risk aversion.

In turn, perceived top management emphasis positively affected customer-oriented selling, whereas perceived top management risk aversion did not affect customer-oriented selling. The study underscores the importance of salespeople’s perceptions of top management factors for implementing the marketing concept. The managerial implications of these findings are discussed and several directions for future research are proposed.

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