The Impact of Contests on Salespeople’S Customer Orientation : An Application of Tournament Theory

  • Poujol F
  • Tanner J
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Although experts agree on the importance of strong customer relationships, sales force management practices often result in behaviors that weaken relationships. The current use of sales contests with quantitative objectives in relation to revenue or profit margins testifies to this divergence. Sharma (1997) emphasizes the need for a better understanding of the impact of sales contests on customer satisfaction and salespeople's customer orientation because of the importance of strong customer relationships. Tournament theory, a mid-range theory developed in economics, provides a framework for understanding why and how contests may influence customer orientation. In an experiment examining four characteristics of sales contests, we explore which types of sales contests best preserve customer-oriented behaviors. The findings provide insight regarding contest design factors that support a strong customer orientation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management is the property of M.E. Sharpe Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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  • F. Juliet Poujol

  • John F. Tanner

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